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  • Writer's pictureSophie Harkness

TBT: Shrek The Musical UK Tour (Norwich) Review


Hellooo! I have a bad habit of not keeping up with my blog particularly well every now and again, leaving a lot of reviews unfinished so my plan for this year is to finish them and upload them as 'Throwback Thursday' posts! The first of these is a little review of Shrek The Musical's UK Tour! Way back in July (Saturday the 7th to be exact) I went down to the Norwich Theatre Royal to see the matinee performance of Shrek The Musical! Now for an impromptu story time! My Mum and I had booked to sit in seats J3-4 in the Stalls and a few days before my Dad decided he'd like to come too and there was a seat free on the front row of the Dress Circle so we decided I'd have that seat and my parents would sit in the stalls. So long story short I was sat in seat A22 in the Dress Circle and the view was amazing! There were a couple of bars along the front of the balcony but they didn't block anything and there was plenty of legroom! My parents said their seats also had a great view however they had to stand up quite a few times to let people in and out as they were towards the end of the row.

When we booked to go on holiday in Norfolk I had a browse to see what was on at nearby theatres and saw Shrek The Musical was in Norwich and having heard good things about the show from my friend Lyndsey, we decided to give it a go! I've seen the films many a time so was interested to see how it would translate to a stage show. Overall, I enjoyed the show more than I expected to and although it was definitely aimed more at the children in the audience, there were plenty of jokes in the show for the parents. I also very much appreciated the references to other popular musicals such as the iconic One Day More staging with the huge flag (Les Miserables) featured at the end of the song Freak Flag and the 'ohhhhh' riff from the end of Defying Gravity (Wicked) at the end of What's Up Duloc to name but a few. I enjoyed the music throughout the show however, a lot of the songs had parts where multiple people sang over the top of each other and it was hard to keep track of what was going on and hear everyone clearly.

Everything sounded great and looked great though the sets could've been improved upon. The start of the show was slightly delayed due to the projector for the book not working however, a lady from the tech team came up to fix it! I always check to see if there's any women in the sound or lighting teams and I believe this may have been Shona Reid (Assistant Electrician) but I may be wrong! The projector was a couple of seats down from where I was sat and she fixed it without a problem, earning a cheer from the audience. Once the show got started, I really liked the book used to open the performance and I also liked the costumes throughout the show. I also didn't understand how Fiona turned from human to ogre so quickly!

Onto the cast! From what I gather, the performance we attended was a cover run as all four swing performers were on stage! Steffan Harri took the lead as Shrek and I enjoyed his performance alongside Amelia Lily as Princess Fiona. I loved her singing and acting and she had great comedic timing along with a solid American accent! Next, Marcus Ayton performed as Donkey which I enjoyed and I really liked the dynamic between the three lead characters. Next up, Will Sawksworth understudied the role of Lord Farquaad who was hilarious and my parents and I all LOVED him throughout the show.

In the Shrek films, Gingy was always my favourite (after much deliberation, I couldn't resist buying a Gingy puppet for £15) and Jemma Revell definitely didn't disappoint while playing the role of both Gingy and Sugar Plum Fairy. I loved the portrayal of Gingy in Shrek The Musical and the way he was performed using a puppet. The Three Little Pigs were played by Adam Baker, Reece Kerridge and Adam Taylor along side Sarah-Louise Jones as Red Riding Hood and Michael Carolan as Wolf and Thelonius. Joseph Dockree played the role of Pinocchio and sounded just like the version of the character featured in the film series! Jennifer Tierney played Mama Bear along with understudying as Dragon and her voice was just amazing! I loved her performance as Dragon and also loved that she came out in person (rather than backstage voicing Dragon) at the end to sing! Alongside Mama Bear, Francesca Williams performed as Baby Bear and Kevin Yates completed the Three Bears as Papa Bear.

Now for the swings! This performance proved just how incredible swing performers are as they were all incredible and I wouldn't have known they weren't the lead cast if I hadn't checked the cast in the programme afterwards! Ethan Bradshaw understudied the role of Peter Pan with Thomas-Lee Kidd Understudying as Captain of the Guard and Pied Piper. Sophie Wallis understudied as Witch and Amy Oxley was listed as understudying the role of Tooth Fairy. However, there was no one listed as playing the role of Tooth Fairy in the Shrek The Musical programme and the role of Fairy Godmother was listed in the programme however, no one was listed as playing it at that performance so I'm not entirely sure what happened there!

Along with the Gingy puppet, I also bought a Shrek The Musical programme! Rather than the show offering a tour brochure and a house programme, the programme with the cast list on was sat inside the tour brochure which I liked. I think the programme was around £6 but I can't remember the exact price. They also had headbands with Shrek ears on which I loved!

All in all, it was a nice afternoon at the theatre and if it does another tour, I'd definitely recommend seeing the show if you're a fan of the Shrek films or if you have children that are. It's more aimed at children although, I believe adults would enjoy seeing the show too!

Thanks for reading!

Sophie

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