Friday 13 July 2018

Shrek The Musical at the Marlowe Theatre - Review

As a teenager, I absolutely loved going to the theatre. I went on a coach trip to see We Will Rock You and I was gripped, I loved Drama at school and even played the Deamon Headmistress in one of our school plays. Fast forward a few years many children later I haven't been for years. We were asked to come along to see the award-winning show Shrek the Musical. I decided to take Asti as an end of Primary School treat and also a first time at the theatre.

The show is based on the hit DreamWorks film that believe it or not came out 17 years ago (seriously where has the time gone). Shrek the Musical is such a feel-good show for all the family. It's full of laughs and the underlying message that is that it is alright to be different.

So off we went Me and Asti to the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury. I didn't know whether to take Ami and Sonny (aged 4 and 5) but thought with it being late they may not cope with the late night and also thought it would be a great chance for some one on one time with Asti. There were lots of families watching the show with small children and upon reflection they would have enjoyed it but we would have gone to a manatee performance.

Heres a little back story on Shrek if you have been living under a rock in the last few decades. Shrek the Musical is set in a magical land where lots of fairytale animals live. Sadly ruling the land is the evil Lord Farquaad who takes a dislike to any fairytale creatures. Some of the people banished include Pinocchio, the three little pigs, red riding hood and other popular fairytale stars. Lord Farquuard banishes the poor creatures to Shrek's swamp. Shrek being an Ogre is not happy because he likes to live alone in the swamp. He then goes to visit Lord Farquuard to get the creatures out of his swamp where he then strikes a deal to rescue Princess Fiona from the swamp in return of getting rid of the creatures from his swamp. Little do Lord Farquarrd or Shrek know that Princess Fiona is hiding her very own secret too.

The whole show is full of such wonder and magic and myself and Asti were so amazed at the set changes too. Apparently, it took two days for the set to be set up which when you see it in real life you can see why. Right from the very start, we are drawn into a fairytale book and straight into music and dancing. The show is similar to the film with some of the same dialogue but has a lot of fresh current parts to it too. Like references to Brexit and love Island much to Asti's delight (the Brexit not so much the Love Island). We see more into the characters than the film and learn more about there backstories. The music is upbeat and catchy along with some awesome choreography too.

Playing Shrek was Welshman Actor Steffan Harri he did a great job of being Shrek and looking very much like Shrek and even sounding like him too. Me and Asti were impressed with the Shrek costume and how heavy it looked. Sheffan did a fantastic job at belting out the songs and even dancing. Princess Fiona was played by Amelia Lily whos fame came from X-factor some years back. She was hilarious. In other areas, Princess Fiona is played by Call the Midwife star Laura Main. Donkey-like in the film was fabulous and gave us some really good laughs. The Donkey was performed by Marcus Ayton who gave the Donkey an almost Camp side to his character.

Saving the best till last was mine and Asti's Favourite character Lord Farquarrd, he was absolutely hilarious what with cheeky looks and audience participation. Also, some cheeky jokes that the adults would get all in all made the show so good. He is also if you have seen the film rather small and the actor Samuel Holmes plays the park on his knees providing the audience with funny moments with his little legs. One thing that really impressed us was the dragon. A beautiful set piece that is carried around by four people who all work different parts of the dragon. She fills the stage and moves around with such elegance.

The stage is colourful and so creative. The show provides some great dance numbers and like all fairy tales boasts a happy ending. It was the perfect introduction to musical theatre and one to rekindle my love of the theatre. Asti was over the moon it provided us with an evening of entertainment for something we wouldn't usually do. We would definitely recommend to anyone wanting a taste of the musical thertre.

Shrek is avalible at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury until the 22nd of June. Book here on the Marlowes website or look for more dates all around the country. The age guidance is 5 plus with no admittance to under 2's. Shrek the Musical is well worth the watch and a perfect family night out.

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