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Shrek The Musical at the New Wimbledon Theatre

| Kids, Theatre, Things to do | 26/01/2016

Shrek and Fiona go head-to-head
Shrek and Fiona go head-to-head

Based on the 2001 animated film, ‘Shrek The Musical’ is an entertaining evening which will have both adults and children dancing in their seats throughout the whole performance. On the penultimate stop of a hugely successful UK tour, Shrek is currently at the New Wimbledon Theatre.

The title character is brought to life by Dean Chisnall, who manages to showcase both the aggressive and softer side to the ogre, despite not having the strongest singing voice. Sometimes a struggle to understand his mumbling dialect, Chisnall most importantly captures the warmth of the character.

A personal highlight for myself was Bronte Barbé as Princess Fiona, a comedic performance that had me laughing for the duration. The character of Fiona was always meant to be portrayed differently to all the stereotypical Disney princesses, and that’s exactly how she was shown on stage. I Know It’s Today was a heartfelt, humorously penned number which put three Fionas on stage together as they sang throughout her life, a very cleverly done piece and to some degree, moving.

Gerard Carey was superb as Lord Farquaad. Despite the many sexual innuendos during what was clearly a musical for children, Carey’s comedic timing was brilliant and the way in which the character is given life on stage is a laugh in itself. However, there were one too many times Carey ran across the stage which ruined the illusion of Farquaad’s tiny stance slightly.

Unfortunately, I can’t say I enjoyed Idriss Kargbo’s performance as Donkey, which is a shame as he is one of my favourite animated movie characters. Kargbo didn’t seem to bring that much to the character, portraying him in a very feminine manner. It’s sad to say that if there was no Donkey in this version, I probably wouldn’t have noticed.

Special mention to Candace Furbert, who voiced the lonely dragon desperate for love, what a voice! It’s a shame that the men running around operating the dragon could be seen so clearly…

Overall, it’s important to remember that Shrek The Musical is a production predominately made for children, and it’s unfair for an adult to pick such holes in the performance. Although I much prefer the movie, I had a fantastic evening, as did everyone else in the theatre.

Gerard Carey stands tall

Gerard Carey stands tall

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