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Theatre Review: Shrek The Musical

PUBLISHED: 11:56 23 June 2011 | UPDATED: 11:57 28 June 2011

The cast of Shrek The Musical. Picture: Jason Bell

The cast of Shrek The Musical. Picture: Jason Bell

Jason Bell

An amusing and riveting showpiece, SHREK THE MUSICAL brings out the big kid in this enthusiastic critic.

It’s funny how the big kid in us shuffles to the fore when watching a musical that brings back characters from nursery rhymes and children’s books.

This eagerly anticipated musical is based on the story and characters from William Steig’s book Shrek and the Oscar-winning film, and it features an all-star cast as well as childhood favourites including Humpty Dumpty.

Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden plays Princess Fiona, bewitching the audience with her guile and wit not to mention her aesthetically pleasing stage presence. Shrek is played by Nigel Lindsay, who packs a punch and is refreshingly spontaneous with his several but not overbearing wise cracks. His fellow Duloc-conquering buddy is Richard Blackwood, who plays the role of Donkey very well.

In an evidently high budget show, a swinging bridge used to hoist Shrek and Donkey in to the air was enough to drive children to ‘Wows’. Later when the fire breathing Dragon (Landi Oshinowo) flies above the auditorium, the noise levels were convincing enough to suggest conversations about the play would continue at school the next day - or at work for some!

Because of an added twist, the most challenging character part was the conspicuous Lord Farquaad, played by former Eastenders actor Nigel Harman, whose performance undoubtedly steals the show.

It is testament to director Rob Ashford and his team that Shrek The Musical is an amusing and riveting showpiece.

* Showing at Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, WC2, until February 2012.

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