My friend Joseph and I decided to take a last minute theatre journey up to London on January 2nd to go and see a few of our friends in Shrek the Musical just before it closed. It was quite the experience and the show was adorably wonderful.
So amazingly enough, we got to sit in the front row despite having only gotten rush seats, and that was definitely a great choice. This was a play that was just too much fun to not be in the middle of!
The sets were wonderfully fanciful, and I especially loved the story book that the characters could walk right through. The costumes were likewise whimsical and very much akin to what was seen in the movie that the musical is based on. I liked that they added in some new characters and/or gave more recognition to characters that were only minor parts in the movie, like the Wicked Witch or the Sugar Plum Fairy. However the Dragon’s costume was hands down the most impressive. The dragon itself was a giant puppet divided into 6 pieces that weren’t actually attached. Therefore it forced the actors to keep very close together and be very in sync to give the illusion of a whole dragon. The voice of the Dragon (in our case Ayrin Mackie) was then dressed in a fabulous sparkly/scaly dress whose colour was the same as the dragon. It was amazing to watch and the children in the audience responded well to it.
The story itself stayed very true to the movie, including some dialogue direct from the movie, while also adding in several new musical numbers for the play. I was particularly happy that they left in a good deal of the dialogue, it made the play recognizable for the children (and the young at heart) but it didn’t make you feel like you were just seeing the same thing either.
The acting was superb, and a great job was done by all. It would take me forever to mention all of the people involved in this show, but who I do want to point out are the young ladies who played the two young version of Fiona. They had very difficult roles in terms of playing not only Fiona but then other of the forest creatures. They performed well both vocally and dramatically, and Joseph and I were very impressed. I can say rather confidently that if either of those girls wants a career in acting, they will have no problem at all making that happen.
Overall, it was a wonderful family show. I heard just as much laughter from the adults in the room as the children. I was very happy that Joseph had asked me to go as it wound up being a wonderful adventure.