Friday, 13 March 2015

Fearless, Fun and Fiesty Fiona!

Later today I'm setting off for a long weekend up north.

My first stop is Halifax where I hope to see my football team - Bristol Rovers - secure another win to stay top of the league. Then on Sunday morning I continue on to Newcastle to see Shrek and catch up with Faye at the Theatre Royal.

I wont be back until late Monday night so unfortunately this will be the last post until the middle of next week :(

Luckily I can at least leave you with another glowing review. This one was written by Michael Pearson for the Northumberland Gazette.

As you can see he loved Faye so much he even tweeted about her stunning performance as Princess Fiona.

Read the full review below and if you live in Geordieland make sure you head down to the toon to see this fantastic show.

The Northumberland Gazette Reviews:
Shrek the Musical at the Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Grey Street goes green to welcome a special character this month - and judging from the audience’s response tonight, the North East could be his home.

The highly-anticipated, larger-than-life, musical attraction Shrek the Musical that is full of flatulence and fun has arrived at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal.

The show firmly replicates the hit mock-Disney Hollywood blockbuster that follows a big green ogre and an unlikely tale of friendship, trust and eventually love.

But the musical version takes a closer look at the troubled lives of Shrek (Dean Chisnall) and Princess Fiona (Faye Brookes), who are pitted together by the hilariously brilliant Lord Farquad played by a ‘larger than life’ Gerard Carey.

The show is held together by a magically brilliant company which bring the necessary energy to hold up some of its hardest musical numbers.

But the fun and games don’t stop there.

Children will fall in love with the striking costumes and latex which do not disappoint. The set, which has been specially designed for the tour, transformed the Royal into a stunningly complex dream sequence which enraptured the audience throughout.

As far as performances were concerned, Faye Brookes is a fearless, fun and feisty Fiona and all credit to the production team for avoiding a drastic celebrity casting while performers like Brookes are perfectly capable in the lead roles.

But Gerard Carey steals the show from under their noses. He is show-stoppingly-hilarious as the vertically-challenged Lord Farquad.

The fairy tale folk are well defined and the appearance of the dragon, which looked like a magical version of War Horse, stunned the audience.

The design (Tim Hatley) and lighting (Hugh Vanstone) drew the audience in and the original score (Jeanine Tesori), for me, saves the show from falling into a juke-box catastrophe, but the show does dangle on a fine line.

Nigel Harman’s stab at directing after he starred superbly as Farquad on the West End was an admirable attempt but needs further work.

Some of the scenes were uneven and the pace of the show, at times, laboured - most often in the Donkey’s scenes.

It was clear that Harman knew his strengths particularly when it came to the wicked lord’s sections of the show, but other parts fell flat.

In the first half, the songs rush into scenes while the company dashed to change costumes at least 10 or 11 times with little time to spare.

The second act picked up the pace and with a more receptive audience, the next thing you know, we’re being sung out with a classic pop song by The Monkees which made the film famous.

I particularly enjoyed references to various musicals from Gypsy to Wicked and Lion King to Les Mis which keep the musical theatre geeks like myself entertained.

Luckily this story does have a happy ending and you don’t need to watch the film to know that.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself and since I was sitting in a row of people critiquing the show, it was very clear to see that their thoughts were the same.

So yes, four stars for this show and I would encourage Northumberland theatre-goers to make the trip while you still have a chance.

Shrek runs at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal until Sunday, March 29, and this show is 100 per cent suitable for all ages, even dad! So with Mother’s Day around the corner, treat yourself and head down to the toon!

No comments:

Post a Comment