Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Faye Brookes Oozes Class!

There have been so many fantastic Shrek tour reviews since the show landed at the Palace Theatre in Manchester that I doubt I'll have chance to feature them all.

However I'll do my best to post as many as possible because they are all full of praise for Faye's incredible performance as Princess Fiona.

This next one was written by Mark Smith for the Public Reviews wesbite:

Shrek the Musical

Palace Theatre, Manchester

Based on the popular DreamWorks Animated film, I was curious to see how this family favourite would be adapted for the stage. Shrek the musical, I am pleased to say is brilliant, brimming full with original songs, theatrical ideas and your favourite characters; this is a show not to be missed.

Shrek arrives in his swamp as per the film to find the likes of Pinocchio, Three Little Pigs, the Wicked Witch, and Little Red Riding Hood who have been banished from the town of Duloc by order of Lord Farquaad. Shrek enraged goes off to give Lord Farquaad a piece of his mind and to rid himself of his new pesky neighbours, enroute to the castle he meets donkey. Our unlikely duo set off to rescue the feisty Princess Fiona from the clutches of the dragon, which is brilliantly created and voiced by the ensemble. This relationship between Shrek, Dean Chisnall and Donkey, Idriss Kargbo is the cornerstone of the show and although both are fine performers this relationship does not quite work, it feels forced and clunky in the set up and subsequent adventures between the pair.

Princess Fiona played by Faye Brookes is brilliant, she oozes class in a very talented company, she is everything you want from a Fiona, witty, feisty and very funny.  Her performance, from dance numbers to comedy skits is handled with real confidence and skill. The stand out of the show is Gerard Carey as Lord Farquaad, who plays each scene with a delicious glint in his eye, he is a skilled comic performer who relishes every line and movement, but has the judgment not to take it too far. The simple comic device employed to shorten Lord Farquaad is exploited to its full potential and manages to top itself again, scene after scene.

This is not a show simply for children, there is enough to delight adult audiences with knowing gags and nods to musical theatre. The songs are witty and well-crafted and performed with verve by the cast and the live orchestra was excellent. The award winning design by Tim Hatley is brilliant, the props, costume and stage design is carefully crafted to serve and enhance the storytelling as was the lighting created by Hugh Vanstone.

This is a great night at the theatre and you will leave beaming, as both my children said, this is the best show they have seen and for parents looking for an alternative to the Christmas fare on offer, I suggest you take them to see this feast for the eyes and ears.

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