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Shrek the Musical: Review

AD – Press Tickets for Shrek the Musical provided by The Alexandra Theatre Birmingham

Some films were destined to become musicals from the moment they were released, and this is definitely one of them. Shrek the Musical is a fun, upbeat show that has something for everyone. We headed to the land of Far, Far Away last night at the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham and this is our review of Shrek the Musical.

About Shrek the Musical

In a sad start to the story, we meet Shrek when he is being banished by his parents aged just seven years old. Informed that this is Ogre tradition, little Shrek has to make his way in the world. As he encounters crowds of people who attack him with pitchforks, he decides that a life of solitude is the only way and settles in the swamp. He lives there peacefully until the fun cast of fairy tale folk arrive to break the silence.

Lord Farquaad has labelled the fairy tale characters as freaks and thrown them out of Duloc. Far from seeing Shrek as a scary Ogre, they brand him their hero and send him to Duloc to face Lord Farquaad on their behalf. Lord Farquaad has other ideas, promising to hand over the deeds to the swamp only if Shrek rescues Princess Fiona from her tower.

So, it’s time for Shrek and his trusty sidekick Donkey to set out on an adventure. It’s then that we encounter the wonderful Dragon and meet Fiona. Once Fiona is free from her castle, it’s not long before she and Shrek start to fall in love. On arrival at Duloc, they decide to spend just one more night together. When Donkey finds out that Fiona spends her nights as an Ogre, she swears him to secrecy. Unfortunately, Shrek hears Fiona talking about how repulsive she finds herself as an Ogre and thinks she is talking about him.

When Shrek delivers Fiona to Lord Farquaad, wedding plans start at once. But with the help of Donkey, Shrek realises that he can’t allow it to go ahead. Off the pair go to save the day and ensure that everyone lives happily ever after.

The cast of Shrek the Musical on stage

The Cast

As you would expect from a show like Shrek, the cast were full of energy. Their dancing was second to none and they perfectly captured the essence of the well-loved characters. The puppeteers working with the dragon were amazing and I absolutely loved the way the dragon was represented. Cherece Richards was the focal point dressed in a very glamorous, sparkly red outfit. Behind her was the huge flying dragon, expertly operated by three puppeteers.

  • Shrek: Anthony Lawrence
  • Princess Fiona: Joanne Clifton
  • Lord Farquaad: James Gillan
  • Donkey: Brandon Lee Sears
  • Dragon / Wicked Witch: Cherece Richards

The rest of the cast, all of whom whom had multiple roles were:

  • Leo Abad
  • Scotty Armstrong
  • Imogen Bailey
  • Jabari Braham
  • Georgie Buckland
  • Natasha Cayabyab
  • Mark D’Arcy
  • Jonathan David Dudley
  • Remi Ferdinand
  • Bethany Kate
  • Edward Leigh
  • Jessica Lim
  • Andilé Mabhena
  • Bronte MacMillan
  • Nathan Ryles
  • India Thornton

Shrek the Musical: Review – The Alexandra Birmingham

Shrek the Musical is a production that I might not have gone to see if I didn’t have kids. So, I was quite surprised when there were just as many groups of adults as people with kids in the audience. If not more. Once the show got going, I could see why. Much like a well-loved pantomime, Shrek the Musical has little gems for people of all ages. My 11 year old was laughing like a drain at the fart scene. There were a few sneaky bits of adult humour too but on the whole, it was all good wholesome entertainment for all ages.

I have heard a few criticisms of the music in Shrek the Musical since its release. And I completely disagree. Whilst the songs aren’t well known yet, they’re really fun and each one is appropriate to the story it’s telling. Having heard a few of them before due to the children singing them or doing dance and drama workshops, I would actually recommend listening to the soundtrack before you go. There’s definitely something fun about hearing songs you recognise. My daughter recently learned the dance to Welcome to Duloc so she loved seeing it on stage.

The characters were brilliantly portrayed, with each remaining true to the film whilst also giving their own take on it. My favourite was donkey, until the dragon appeared. And by the end, I couldn’t decide between the two. In the finale, the whole cast sang I’m a Believer and the audience were up and dancing along. This was a fun, upbeat show that all ages will enjoy.

Shrek and Donkey on stage in Shrek the Musical at the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham

Shrek the Musical FAQs

Where can I see Shrek the Musical?

Shrek the Musical is at the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham until 14th April 2024. Tickets are available from ATG tickets. Following that, the show goes to Millennium Forum Derry from 16th to 21st April 2024, Royal Derngate Nothampton from 23rd to 27th April 2024, Marlowe Theatre Canterbury 29th April to 4th May 2024 and Eventim Apollo London from 19th July to 31st August 2024. Booking information is on the official Shrek UK tour website.

How long is Shrek the Musical?

The show lasts for two hours and 10 minutes including an interval. It is worth noting that when we went to see it, it started and finished about 10 minutes late.

What age children is Shrek the Musical appropriate for?

The age restriction for Shrek the Musical is 3+ and children under 14 have to be accompanied by an adult. I think this seems about right, I wouldn’t take a child under 3 but equally it’s fun and not too scary so would be fine for little ones of three and above.

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