Shrek the Musical is Fart-astic!
Review of Shrek the Musical, now showing at the Wales Millennium Centre until 22nd April, 2018.
Last night we had the pleasure of being invited to the press night of Shrek the Musical at the Wales Millennium Centre. As a treat I took my youngest son with me. All I can say is, if the amount of times he laughed out loud was an indicator of how good Shrek the Musical was, then it must have been really, really good. In fact, it was absolutely fart-astic! His words not mine.
The show has everything to guarantee it’s a hit with the younger audience. It has tap dancing rats, a dragon, fairytale characters, a baddy and plenty of burps and farts to guarantee the giggles.
The story, based on the 2001 Oscar winning Dream Works film, adapts to the stage well. Most viewers will of course be familiar with the plot of the hugely successful film. Whilst, Shrek (and the musical) may be having a dig at classic fairy tales, it is essentially a fairy tale itself. A fairy tale story of a hero rescuing a princess from a dragon guarded tower, falling in love and then having a happy ever after ending. The main characters just happen to be Ogres.
There is of course a strong underlying moral to Shrek the Musical – Beauty is only skin deep. True beauty of course lies within. The song sung by outcast fairytale characters, ‘Freak Flag’, is certainly a great confidence booster song for anyone who feels like they don’t quite live up todays beauty standards. Other favourite songs were ‘I Got You Beat’, where Fiona and Shrek compete on who can fart and belch the loudest. Then there was ‘Morning Person’, where Fiona as a princess sings to the animals to disastrous effect. It’s an obvious poke at the Disney princesses.
There are many moments of hilarity throughout. But none more so than when Lord Farquaard, played by Samuel Holmes, is on stage. With one of the seven dwarfs as his dad, he is somewhat shorter than the average man. Holmes therefore played the part of Farquaard on his knees, his actual legs hidden behind a black cape. He had little yellow prop legs instead of his own which was pretty impressive when considering the dance routines involved. He even managed a few high kicks. Holmes whole rendition of Lord Farquaard was pure comic genius and he was no doubt the star of the show.
Fiona (Laura Main) and Donkey (Marcus Ayton) also gave strong performances, with obvious vocal talent. But bizarrely the show didn’t seem to really shine the spotlight that significantly on Shrek (Michael Carolan). Understudy Carolan played Shrek well, but apart from farting, there seemed to be little opportunity to really make a mark.
The music and dance routines throughout are colourful and fun and in no way disappoint. But yet none are quite catchy enough to remember after the curtain has fallen. The exception being the finale where they belt out “I’m a Believer”. Despite a somewhat un-catchy musical score, there is no denying that Shrek the Musical is full of fun. It 100% captures the humour of the film. Shrek the Musical is a perfect introduction to theatre for younger ones and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, whatever your age.
But don’t take my word for it, here’s my son’s review, age 7:
“I loved going to the theatre with Mammy, just the two of us together. Farquaard was so funny, he was so small, so much smaller than the guards. The funniest bit was when he was lifting weights, he just kept on counting even when he wasn’t lifting them anymore. Shrek and the princess kept on burping and farting and the dragon fancied the donkey. It was brilliant!”
Shrek the Musical is showing at the WMC until 22nd April 2018
Tickets from £19.00
Booking at: www.wmc.org.uk
Age guidance: 5+, no under 2s
Have you been to see Shrek? I’d love to hear what you thought of it in the comments below.