Friday, 13 February 2015

Princess Fiona is Faultless!

I'm just about to set off for Canterbury for tonight's show but before I hit the road I wanted to feature this latest Shrek review written by Chris Britcher for Kent News.

As you'll see he loved the show and was particularly impressed with a certain Princess.

Shrek the Musical - Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Take a no-questions-asked animated movie success story, hurl a significant budget at it, mix in plenty of song and dance and plonk it on the stage, and the result? Well, in short, it’s Shrek The Musical.

After a hugely successful run in London’s West End, the show is now on the road and hitting the bigger theatres in the provinces.

And after the Marlowe Theatre’s transformation a little over three years ago into major modern venue, it now delivers the capacity and facilities which make it ideal for such a high profile production.

So this week Shrek moved in, and, like trying to get an ogre out of his swamp, it is refusing to budge for a month.

Taking up residency until March 1, the show is perfect to attract people back to the live theatre environment. It has characters which everyone knows, a storyline familiar to all and more colour than a Dulux catalogue.

And judging by the make-up of the crowd, it’s not a million miles away from those who would normally flock to enjoy the theatre’s excellent festive pantomimes - everything from pensioners to five-year-olds and plenty inbetween.

The question is, after being trumpeted by the theatre for more than a year, is it worth the ticket money?

The answer is a resounding yes.

The songs are catchy, the script sharp and witty, and the costumes fabulous.

You’ll know the story - ogre Shrek is tasked with saving a princess in a tower, guarded by a dragon, in order to stop his swamp being over-run by persecuted fairytale characters. He’s joined by the ever-jabbering Donkey who decides Shrek is his new best friend, Just that Princess Fiona’s fantasy of being save by Prince Charming is rudely awoken by Shrek’s arrival. Cue some key revelations and the positive message of celebrating what you are.

It is some of the individual performances which shine so brightly. Faye Brookes as Princess Fiona is faultless. What’s more, without the extensive make-up which Dean Chisnall (Shrek) requires, she injects life and emotion everytime she takes to the stage.

She, however, only shares the limelight with Lord Farquaad, played by Steffan Harri. Without wishing to spoil some quite glorious visuals, Farquaad’s portrayal is worth the entrance fee alone, and his set-pieces are laugh-out-loud entertainment.

Yet it would be unfair to identify just the pair of them;. the ensemble work so well together and the characters are just so vibrant.

The second half in particular is just a glorious romp from start to finish.

If you’re pondering whether to go, just do it. You will not be disappointed.

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