Shrek The Musical a Magical Delight at Venue Cymru – Theatre Review

We were magically transported to a land far, far, away, a land with a swamp, a green ogre and a talking donkey and the enchanted land of Duloc in the wonderful Shrek The Musical at Venue Cymru.

The question on my lips was could the hit animated movie from Dreamworks convert to a live musical on the stage, suffice to say there was no need to worry, this larger-than-life production, is a pure joy to watch from the start to finish, with all the delightful characters that we’ve come to love since the movie was released back in 2001.

Shrek is played brilliantly by Steffan Harri with all the comical charm that the CGI version of the character brought us, along with some hysterical fart gags that not only had all the kids in the audience laughing out loud too but also the adults and boy oh boy was there a lot of adults there for last night’s show. It only goes to show how much of an appeal this magical story has to young and old alike.

Shrek’s love interest, Princess Fiona is played with pure delight by Jemma Revell, as she performs some wonderful songs and adds to the perfect comic timing when joined by Shrek and his travelling companion Donkey (played by Marcus Ayton), the on-stage presence that comes across when the three are together on the stage is the perfect combination.

Steffan Harri and Amelia Lily in Shrek the Musical UK and Ireland tour 2018. Credit Tristram Kenton

Marcus Ayton is superb as Donkey, a character that I honestly thought that no one else could possibly take on after the Eddie Murphy voiced the character in the movies, but Marcus certainly brings Donkey to life on the stage for Shrek The Musical, his performance throughout the show is flawless, from the movements, singing and comedy that I loved with the movie version.

Marcus Ayton as Donkey. Shrek the Musical UK and Ireland tour 2018. Credit Helen Maybanks

Marcus Ayton as Donkey. Shrek the Musical UK and Ireland tour 2018. Credit Helen Maybanks

Of course Shrek The Musical wouldn’t be the same without the magical creatures and folk that have been evicted by Lord Farquadd to Shrek’s swamp and they are all here in the musical, all delightfully played by an amazing cast, the Three Little Pigs, Red Riding Hood, the Three Bears and even Peter Pan, but one character that always stood out for me in the film was Pinocchio and he still does in Shrek The Musical, with some wonderful moments when his nose grows and what topped it was that Joseph Dockree even sounds like the movie version, brilliant.

SHREK THE MUSICAL original 2015 UK and Ireland tour company. Credit Helen Maybanks (8)

SHREK THE MUSICAL original 2015 UK and Ireland tour company. Credit Helen Maybanks

Shrek The Musical is a show that has brought the film to life in its own unique way, putting a live-action spin on the magical world, I was expecting the gingerbread man to be a dressed up actor, but now we get a brilliant version of the character including that wonderful moment of Lord Farquaad asking about the Princess and that memorable scene of, “Do you know the muffin-man“, absolutely priceless.

Samuel Holmes as Lord Farquaad. Shrek the Musical UK and Ireland tour 2018. Credit Helen Maybanks

Samuel Holmes as Lord Farquaad. Shrek the Musical UK and Ireland tour 2018. Credit Helen Maybanks

Talking Lord Farquaad, what a brilliant performance by Samuel Holmes, I have to say that everytime his character came on stage he stole the show, there is so much humour from his performance and the way that his height is done is great and they use it for so many comical moments, I found myself laughing so much with some of his one-liners and the dance sequences are impeccable.

Shrek The Musical – DRAGON!!!!

To make the musical even more magical that it could be, the production and special effects in the show are mind-blowing, the sets are beautifully produced, taking the audience on a magical journey from Llandudno to the swamp, Duloc and to the volcano where the dragon has Princess Fiona captive.

How could they possibly bring the dragon to life on the stage, well they do and they do it in such a way that many of the children’s jaws dropped as the huge dragon takes to the stage to chase Donkey and perform an amazing musical number together, the picture in this review really doesn’t do the sheer size and stage presence of the “puppet” any justice!

With Shrek The Musical being based on the story and characters from William Steig’s book Shrek! and the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks Animations feature film, the show is a masterpiece of theatre production, to be honest, I really can’t find any faults in the production, the cast, music, set designs, lighting and overall feel of Shrek The Musical is a show that you have to see.

SHREK THE MUSICAL original 2015 UK and Ireland tour company. Credit Helen Maybanks (2)

SHREK THE MUSICAL original 2015 UK and Ireland tour company. Credit Helen Maybanks (2)

This is a show not to be missed! The show is on until 2nd September 2018. We would recommend you book your seats at www.venuecymru.co.uk or via the Box Office 01492 87 20 00.

Don’t miss your chance to win a pair of ticket to the show at Venue Cymru, competition ends 29 August at 1 pm!!

It's a Magical Delight
5

Summary

If you see one show this year, you must see the brilliant Shrek The Musical, it has everything that makes a night out magical, great cast, music, set design, costumes and lets not forget a talking donkey!

Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of the Blazing Minds. She is also a Cinema reviewer, based at the Scala in Prestatyn and also works with RealD 3D reviewing the latest 3D releases, she has also had several articles published in various publications. In 2015 she became an Award Winning Blogger and also has her website listed as one of the UK's Top 10 Film Blogs.
Karen Woodham