Friday, 21 August 2015

Review: Shrek The Musical (UK Tour) at the Milton Keynes Theatre

Shrek The Musical (UK Tour) 
Milton Keynes Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 19th August 2015

"Shrek? As in a musical of Shrek?" is what my friend asked me when I invited her to press night of Shrek The Musical's UK tour. Following two years on Broadway and two years in the West End, Shrek The Musical has hit the road. I think the concept takes some by surprise, but the 2001 DreamWorks film translates superbly on stage.

Jeanine Tesori and David Lindsay-Abaire's score is fantastic. I caught the show several times during its West End run, but had forgotten just how many catchy, original tunes are featured in the show. As well upbeat, charming numbers such as 'Morning Person' and 'I Think I Got You Beat', there are some beautifully tender ballads such as 'Who I'd Be' and the reprise of 'Big Bright Beautiful World'. Shrek is fluffy and fun, but it also has heart which is why the stage show works a treat.

Not only is there great humour for adults (the two women in front of me cackled from beginning to end), but there are also some brilliant theatrical references. The nods to Les Miserables, Dreamgirls, Wicked, The Lion King and Dirty Dancing are cleverly incorporated and hit me by surprise. 

Dean Chisnall is magnificent as Shrek, a role he originally played in the West End. Gerard Carey whips up a comical storm as Lord Farquaad whilst Bronté Barbé gives a dazzling performance as Princess Fiona. Understudy Ryan Reid stole scenes as Donkey.

The whole cast are on top form, with other stand out performances coming from Will Jennings, Christina Modestou, Nikki Bentley and Candace Furbert who brings some serious sass as the dragon. One of my favourite things about Shrek is the constant use of the ensemble who pop up in almost every scene in the show. They work incredibly hard, their group number 'Freak Flag' provides a huge highlight.

A well-constructed show with a stellar cast and wide appeal, Shrek provides a night to remember for all the family.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Shrek runs at the Milton Keynes Theatre until Sunday 6th September 2015 and tour the UK until 20th February 2016. Please visit for further information, full tour dates and tickets.

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks

No comments:

Post a Comment