Anne Hailes reviews: Shrek the Musical

IMG_1545.JPGAt last, a brilliant show suitable for children and adults alike with fun, music and magic all the way. When a 10 year old says the stage show is better than the film you know the company has succeeded. The show is based on the book by William Steig and is a well known Dreamworks Animation film but to see it on stage is mega. A touring show that’s as fresh as paint is a rare thing and this is it, just a joyous entertainment for all the family. A few funny adult comments, lots of good jokes and a fulsome band backing great singers.

The programmes says .. Starring …. but they are all stars and there must be almost 30 of them. First you identify with Shrek (Dean Chisnall) poor gentle ogre, then his Donkey with attitude (Idriss Kargbo) steals your heart; Lord Farquadd of the expressive eyebrows (Gerard Carey) turns out to be the love child of Grumpy of Seven Dwarfs fame and a word here, how Gerard acted on his knees for the whole show was a minor miracle and has to be seen to be believed. Speaking of theatrical tricks, the dragon fills the stage and it’s awesome to see how it swoops and dives only adds to the thrill.

The story is brilliant as it incorporates so many fairy tales and all the characters come together to challenge the horror that is Lord Farquadd, (I love their song Let Your Freak Flag Fly), and they get the better of him. The finale is only to be seen to be believed, Pinocchio, Snow White, Three Blind Mice, Peter Pan, Three Bears, Red Riding Hood, the Ugly Duckling and at one stage The Pied Piper leads one of the best numbers in the show with his rats in white ties and tails. And just to make the party complete on comes Lord Farquadd’s dad, Grumpy.

There’s a lot of dry ice which gives the fairy tail a touch of unreality just as it should, the make up is incredible and the costumes pristine. There’s even a Carrickareed Rope Bridge over molten lava which leads to the castle prison holding the beautiful Princess Fiona (stunning and funny Faye Brookes).

We all go home on the wings of the big number, I’m A Believer knowing that Shrek has found the love of his life – and so has Princess Fiona.

Terrific, terrific, terrific.
Go see.

By Anne Hailes

Check all Anne Hailes Belfast Times reviews here.

Running until Sunday 19th October 2014 at the Grand Opera House.
Box Office and details 028 90 241 919

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