Thursday, September 21

Shrek the Musical – Opera House, Manchester

Shrek the Musical is mesmerising extravaganza that is a great way to introduce children to the theatre and performing arts.

Shrek the Musical has arrived at Manchester Opera House and is an absolute delight that brings the beloved ogre and his endearing companions to life on stage in an unforgettable theatrical experience.

The cast is an absolute tour de force, with each actor embodying their iconic character with undeniable charm and flair. Shrek played by Anthony Lawrence has a warmth and energy that the audience immediately connect with and perfectly captures the grumpy yet lovable demeanour of everyone’s favourite ogre. Lawrence has a great on stage chemistry with Joanne Clifton who plays Princess Fiona with a great stage presence.

Brandon Lee Sears as Donkey and James Gillan as Lord Farqaad deliver an abundance of comedic moments throughout, Lord Farquaad’s portrayal is nothing short of spectacular, with his hilarious antics and impressive presence taking the spotlight whenever he appears.

The audience is captivated by the impressive set design by Philip Whitcomb which cleverly recreates the whimsical kingdom of Duloc and the mysterious woods using digital screens as backdrops to quickly transport you from scene to scene.

Photo: Marc Brenner

The vibrant colours, dazzling costumes, and clever use of props add to the overall visual spectacle.

What sets this production apart is its ability to capture both the light hearted humour and the deeper themes of acceptance, friendship, and self-discovery all present in the original film. The show’s heartwarming moments, coupled with its catchy and uplifting musical numbers, strike a perfect balance that leaves the audience emotionally invested throughout the entire performance.

The production’s choreography by Nick Winston is another highlight, with energetic and well-executed dance sequences that elevate the show’s entertainment value. The talented ensemble’s synchronization and enthusiasm further enhance the magical atmosphere and bring an added layer of vibrancy to the musical numbers.

In conclusion, Shrek the Musical is a triumphant success that caters to both children and adults alike. With its delightful storytelling, exceptional performances, and top-notch production values, it’s an absolute must-see for fans of the franchise and anyone seeking a great night at the theatre for the family!

Verdict: Prepare to laugh, sing along, and leave with a heart full of joy.

Playing until 12th August,

Reviewer: Max Eden

Reviewed: 2nd August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.