Shrek The Musical is at the Playhouse Theatre Edinburgh for the festive season running all the way through until Sunday 7th January 2018 and, like all holiday season productions, has to somehow find that trick of appealing to a wide range of ages in the audience, providing something for both adults and children (even if at times at different levels).
Based on the story and characters from the DreamWorks Animation film, the stage show has become as well loved as its original source material. But just how well does it transfer from animation to the stage? Well, tonight I was about to find out as I took with me my young son Earl for a birthday treat.
At its core, Shrek is still very much a traditional fairy tale (even though our characters are updated for a modern audience), and this is reinforced with the stage set of a giant story book which opens and the musical begins, and it's not long until we are introduced to the key players Shrek (Steffan Harri) living happily alone in his swamp until a gaggle of fairy tale characters are moved on to his land. Shrek goes to see Lord Farquaad (Samuel Holmes) to sort it out and meets Earl's favourite character Donkey (excellently played by Marcus Ayton). Lord Farquaad sends Shrek and Donkey to get Princess Fiona (Laura Main), and this is where our story really begins to find its strengths.
With much singing, burping, flatulence (children just seem to love the last two) and enjoyable dance numbers, Shrek’s adventure is fun for all the family. Earl’s favourite part was being introduced to Donkey and my favourite was the dragon (proving there is something for all ages here) and our favourite song was "I think I got you beat".
Shrek of course has a very positive message to everyone once you strip away the music, the jokes and the pantomime elements and that is one of finding real true love…someone who sees past the outward appearance of someone to see the real person under the surface and accepts you for what you truly are.
Overall it was a fun night out, very colourful and as noted very positive, and we would recommend it if you get a chance.
Review by Donald and Earl