Last Friday was Alex’s 23rd Birthday and as his present I decided to take him to see Shrek: The Musical at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham. We saw the evening performance that began at 7pm which was a full house. We have wanted to see this show ever since it started as Shrek is one of our favourite animated films. As we are so busy during term time, I also thought it would be nice to get away for the evening and watch some theatre together. Here’s what we thought of the show…
The storyline of the show was much closer to the film which wasn’t what I was expecting. Often, when films are adapted for the stage the story is a variation of the original due to copy right and logistic reasons. I was pleasantly surprised to find all the classic puns and lines in bedded in the show. However, we noticed when we arrived that there were lots of children in the audience and the story definitely catered to them, in fact at times I found it more child orientated than adult. It almost reminded me of a pantomime with the nature of some of the jokes and how they had the children giggling with glee.
The costumes for the performance were absolutely phenomenal, especially those that the fairytale characters wore. My personal favourite was the Sugar Plum Fairy’s dress which I would definitely describe as a 6 year old Meg’s dream! All the little features had been thought of, from Pinocchios’s arms being painted to look like wood to a scale puppet of the dragon being the spitting image of the famous red friend from the film.
In regards to characters, there were definitely some that stood out more than others. For example, although I could see what see was trying to do with the character, I wasn’t that impressed with the portrayal of Fiona. I really loved Shrek, especially his singing voice and how he maintained the classic accent throughout. However, the stand out of the show was 100% Lord Farquaard. His comic timing was outstanding – he had the whole audience roaring with laughter! His singing was excellent and his portrayal of he character was just spot on. I honestly can’t praise the guy enough!
The other stand out moments were the chorus work, particularly ‘Freak Flag’ by the fairytale characters! My harmony loving soul also loved the three part harmony between Shrek, Fiona and Donkey at the end of Act 1. Pure bliss.
We both agreed it isn’t a show we would be in a rush to see a second time now we have watched it. However, overall we thoroughly enjoyed the performance and it was so nice to spend some quality time together watching some theatre.
Is there anything better than a cheeky theatre trip?