Shrek (UK Tour)
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 21st January 2016
As its UK tour comes to an end, Shrek The Musical has returned to London for a short run at the New Wimbledon Theatre. Based on the 2001 DreamWorks film, Shrek translates terrifically well on stage; it is a charming musical with greater appeal than some might think.
Similar to a good panto, whilst also appealing to younger audiences there is lots of humour for adults too as well as some very clever stagey nods to other musicals such as Dreamgirls, Les Miserables, The Lion King, Dirty Dancing and Wicked. The production feels fine-tuned; the design is slightly scaled down from the West End but stays in line with the recent trend of high quality UK tours.
Having first played the role in the West End, Dean Chisnall continues to excel in the title role; his rendition of 'Who I'd Be' which concludes the first act is a huge highlight. Bronté Barbé is in her element as Princess Fiona, proving herself as a dazzling leading lady with her performance of 'Morning Person' which opens the second act.
Gerard Carey steals all the evening's biggest laughs as Lord Farquaad whilst Idriss Kargbo makes the perfect noble steed as Donkey. Elsewhere Candace Furbert kicks up a vocal storm as the dragon.
Shrek utilises its ensemble superbly; performing as various fairy tale creatures, everybody has their chance to shine. The second act company number 'Freak Flag' is exhilarating - the cast are tight and perform with punch and flair. I love Jeanine Tesori and David Lindsay-Abaire's score which is incredibly catchy - I've caught myself humming numbers from the show too many times over the past few days.
It's wonderful to see Shrek back in London for a short time. Shrek is a big, bright, beautiful show which provides fun for all the family.
Shrek The Musical plays the New Wimbledon Theatre between 20th and 31st January 2016 before concluding its tour at the Lowry in Salford between 2nd and 20th February 2016. Please visit www.shrekthemusical.co.uk for further information and tickets.
Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks