Shrek the Musical at Regent Theatre

The current tour of Shrek the Musical has reached Stoke on Trent and everyone is talking about it. Keeping reading to find out what we thought of the show and see some pictures from the performance

Steffan Harri and Amelia Lily in Shrek the Musical. Credit: Tristram Kent

Shrek is like the ultimate fairy tale. It brings together everything we know (and love) about traditional tales and shakes it up into a comical and contemporary story. There’s the likes of Pinocchio, Fairy Godmother, Big Bad Wolf, Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding all thrown in, but, for those that haven’t already seen the 2001 animation film, the main crux of the story is based around an ‘outcast’ green ogre called Shrek and his ‘noble-steed’ and sidekick ‘Donkey.’ The unlikely duo embark on a quest to rescue the trapped Princess Fiona from her tower that is heavily guarded by a fire breathing dragon for the evil Lord Farquaad.

What Staffordshire says…

@fozzy1967: @RegandVic shrek the musical was amazing #Imabeliever
@TRACEYBRO: #shrekthemusical @RegandVic is AMAZING!! Everyone should go see it. Brilliant actors, script, costumes, scenery, everything!!

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Steffan Harri as Shrek. Shrek the Musical UK and Ireland tour 2018. Credit Helen Maybanks

I could probably count on one hand the number of people I know who haven’t seen the film, and most of you will recognise those epic movie moments – from the gumdrop buttons of the Gingerbread Man to the love-sick dragon and Farquaad’s vertical challenges. Moments that the film’s cast: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and John Lithgow have given us for life. And Shrek just wouldn’t be Shrek without them. So, I, like most of the audience, was eager to see if the musical could live up to this magic! And thankfully it does, there is the same wit and sarcastic humour the film was so famous for, there are all the jokes we love and few new ones too. Yes, it’s very silly, but it’s done so well.

In fact, on the stage, the show bought to us by David Lindsay-Abaire (Book and Lyrics), Nigel Harman (Director), Tim Hatley (Set and Costume and Puppet Designer), Josh Prince (Choreographer) and Jeanine Tesori (Music) is no easy feat, and behind the scenes, I can imagine it’s chaotic! There’s just so much going on, it’s hard to keep up. From the complicated musical score to the constant changes of scenery, the inventive costumes, special effects, props and trickery – your eyes are darting from one side of the stage to the next.

And it’s fair to say that the Shrek creative is by far some of the best I have seen on the stage at the Regent – from the design to the costumes – and it’s proving just how advanced these productions are now becoming, especially in the family sector. Music and dance just isn’t enough anymore! One of the highlights of the production was the huge dragon puppet, absolutely fantastic.

Samuel Holmes as Lord Farquaad. Credit: Helen Maybanks

The cast is led by Steffan Harri (Shrek), X Factor finalist, Amelia Lily (Princess Fiona), Marcus Ayton (Donkey) and Samuel Holmes (Lord Farquaad), but the night must go to Holmes – pulling off a stellar performance literally on his knees! He certainly got the most laughs on the night and well-deserved too.

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

Having recently joined the tour to replace Laura Main as Princess Fiona, Geordie lass, Amelia Lily, excels on the stage – giving off a convincing American twang and singing with such a powerful and unique tone to her voice – you wonder how she ever got voted off the X Factor on the first live show. Harri and Ayton were also a brilliant comedy duo on stage and hats off for performing so well in such masterful costumes!

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A fast-paced and spectacularly entertaining family show that has you giggling and cheering throughout.  A wonderful story of romance, love, adventure and comedy. I would say go and get tickets but I’m pretty sure most of you have already got them. Enjoy!

Shrek the Musical is on at The Regent, Stoke-on-Trent until Sunday 13th May 2018. Tickets are available from The Regent Theatre Box Office, or by calling 0844 871 7649.

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