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Nov 22nd

Miracle on 34th Street - The Musical at The King's Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

Our evening began with a false start as the red velvet curtain was raised two feet and then lowered hurriedly revealing that the cast were not in position for their opening tableau! Sadly, this was the first of many technical hitches on the opening night of Miracle on 34th Street in Glasgow's King's Theatre.

The show itself began with some promise as the energetic cast burst into a cartwheeling and high kicking rendition of "Big Ca-lown Balloons" which segwayed directly into the colourful Macy's Parade. However the energetic performances on stage could only briefly mask the electronic soundrack underscore which we can only assume was pre-recorded because we were never introduced to the band or musical director. The opening number also overstayed its welcome revealing that this show might be somewhat out of touch with the modern musical theatre audience who prefer short punchy (catchy) numbers and a story that pulls us in. Sadly, the narrative falls a little short in that department, too ... and there is NO PLACE for a dream ballet in 2015!

The cast certainly gave it their all with solid delivery from all the principals backed by a talented and effervescent chorus. Hannah Thompson was delightful and charming in the central role of Susan Walker. Ms Thompson's youth was wonderfully balanced by a consummate Kris Kringle (Santa to you and me) who was played by a remarkably youthful Danny Lane! Mr Lane gave the audience exactly what we wanted from this most famous of characters - no mean feat from one so young. Brendan Matthew gave a wonderfully OTT performance as Shellhammer - a great distraction for the younger members of the audience. Claire Hawkins and Carl Lindquist delivered the romantic interest well; within the limits of a somewhat old fashioned script.

Technically, the production was quite a disappointment with christmas lights on the blink, misplaced spotlight specials and a truck sliding into the wings. The show was also a victim of that annoying habbit that lighting crews have on opening night of 'nudging' gobos into place bit by bit as though the audience will not notice the 8 foot "window pane" illumination moving across the set if it only moves 2 inches at a time. Many things did go well, though and the set was well designed by David Shields. The snow effects were delightful and much appreciated by the audience.

The production certainly has the ingredients to deliver a little early Christmas cheer but, for me, was only saved by performances which (thankfully) outshone the faulty Christmas Lights onstage.

 

Miracle on 34th Street

Tour continues:

MANCHESTER Opera House

23-25 November

CHESTERFIELD Winding Wheel

26-28 November

CARDIFF New Theatre

1-5 December

EASTBOURNE Royal Hippodrome

9-12 December

WORTHING Connaught Theatre

14-17 December

PETERBOROUGH Broadway

18-19 December

WATFORD Colosseum

21-28 December

 

Oct 20th

My Theatre Matters - And The Winner Is ....

By Cameron Lowe

Huge congratulations to Newcastle Theatre Royal, winner of the coveted My Theatre Matters! UK's Most Welcoming Theatre Award 2015, in association with Smooth Radio.

The award was presented by Smooth Radio's Paul Phear at the UK Theatre Awards ceremony at London's Guildhall on Sunday, attended by over 400 UK Theatre members and guests. The ceremony was compèred by Michael Xavier, with a performance from the cast of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged13 ¾ and appreances from guest presenters including Sir Patrick Stewart OBE, Barbara Windsor MBE, Richard Wilson OBE, Anne Reid MBE and Lee Mead.

Amongst the other awards presented were;

• Matthew Bourne OBE received The Stage Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Theatre
• Dame Eileen Atkins was awarded the prestigious Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts
• Imelda Staunton won Best Performance in a Musical for her performance in Gypsy, which also won Best Musical Production
• York Theatre Royal received the Clothworkers’ Theatre Award for £150,000 as part of The Clothworkers’ Foundation’s five year £1.25 million Dramatic Arts initiative

A full list of winners can be seen online atwww.uktheatre.org/awards.

Sep 24th

FOOTLOOSE Cuts Loose on a Brand New National Tour!

By Cameron Lowe

FOOTLOOSE: THE MUSICAL

RETURNS IN A BRAND NEW PRODUCTION

WITH GARETH GATES AS WILLARD

Worldwide smash hit musical Footloose: The Musical will burst back onto the stage in 2016 in a major new UK Tour.

 

Based on the 1984 screen sensation starring Kevin Bacon, Footloose: The Musical tells the story of city boy Ren, who has to move to a rural backwater in America where dancing is banned. All hell breaks out as Ren breaks loose and soon has the whole town up on its feet. Featuring classic 80s hits including Holding Out for a Hero, Almost Paradise, Let's Hear it for the Boy and the unforgettable title track, Footloose: The Musical is set to take the world by storm once again in this brand new production, bursting with youthful spirit, dazzling dance and electrifying music. 

 

When the film was released in 1984, it became the highest-grossing February release in US film history.  The soundtrack album ended the year-long reign of Michael Jackson’s Thriller at number one and went on top album charts all over the world, eventually selling in excess of 17 million copies.  Footloose was nominated for a Golden Globe, and both the title song and Let’s Hear It for the Boy received Academy Award nominations. Footloose: The Musical first opened on Broadway in 1998 where it ran for 709 performances, with a London production following in 2006, opening at the Novello Theatre following a UK Tour. 

 

Gareth Gates will play Willard. Gareth rose to fame through the inaugural series of Pop Idol in 2001, going on to sell over 5 million records worldwide and have hits across the globe. His version of Unchained Melody sold over a million copies in the UK and is the 3rd best-selling single of the Noughties. Gareth is also the youngest ever-male solo artist to debut at number 1. More recently Gareth has enjoyed a successful career on stage, with credits including Les Misérables, Legally Blonde and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. In 2014 Gareth appeared in the final series of Dancing on Ice, and joined boyband 5th Story as part of ITV’s second series of The Big Reunion, touring arenas with bands including Blue and Five.

 

Gareth Gates said: “I have been so lucky to perform in some of the greatest musicals over the years, from Joseph to Les Misérables and Legally Blonde, and I am so excited that Footloose will be my next. It’s such a high energy show full of incredible dance and music, and this brand new tour is going to be a fresh and exciting new take on it.

 

Further casting and tour dates to be announced.

Aug 31st

Curtain Falls on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015

By Cameron Lowe

WHAT THE FRINGE?! AFTER 50,459 PERFORMANCES OF 3,314 SHOWS, THE 2015 EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE DRAWS TO A CLOSE


After 50,459 performances of 3,314 shows in 313 venues across Edinburgh, the curtain falls and the house lights go up on the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

 

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has announced that by Monday afternoon, with hundreds of performances still to take place, an estimated 2,298,090 tickets had been issued for shows across Scotland’s capital. The number of tickets issued reflects a 5.24% increase in comparison to tickets issued by the same point last year. 

 

Kath M Mainland CBE, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said:

 

“As this year’s Fringe draws to a close we can reflect on what a spectacular success it has been. Once again artists and audiences have travelled from across the globe to be a part of this unique cultural event. And with an estimated 2,298,090 tickets issued and many thousands of people attending the 800 free shows in the programme, I’ve no doubt every single person who watched a Fringe show, or experienced this wonderful festival city, will take away unforgettable memories. 

 

“With incredible talent from 49 countries from all over the world taking part this year, the Fringe has once again demonstrated itself to be both truly international and profoundly Scottish.  The 2015 season has firmly cemented Edinburgh’s reputation as the world’s leading festival city. “

 

Fringe Society Chair, Sir Tim O’Shea added:

 

“On behalf of everyone who visited and enjoyed this year’s Fringe, I would like to thank all the creative souls, both onstage and backstage, who brought their work here. Their courage, creativity and sheer hard work is unrivalled anywhere in the world, and without them, the Fringe simply wouldn’t be possible.”

 

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs added:

 

“This has been another incredible year for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The festival continues to evolve and work with the city to expand and offer more and more to audiences from across the world. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe demonstrates the innovative spirit that makes Scottish culture so vibrant. “

 

One new initiative this year was a scheme launched by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, in collaboration with the City of Edinburgh Council and Virgin Money aimed at providing complimentary tickets to Fringe shows for children and young people who are being cared for by City of Edinburgh Council. The project called Access Fringe – Looked After Children made £173,172.00 worth of tickets from 233 shows in 38 venues available to children and young people whose circumstances would not normally allow them to participate in cultural activity. Access Fringe – Looked After Children is a part of the Fringe Society’s commitment to making the Fringe accessible to all and is one of a series of initiatives over the years to come to tackle the physical, economic, social and geographic barriers that prevent people from participating.

 

Other highlights in 2015 included the participation of a total of fourteen new venues across the city. These included the return of the famous St. Stephen’s Church in Stockbridge under the banner of Momentum Venues, Underbelly launching their Circus Hub on the Meadows in the city’s southside and SpaceUK debuting a new three floor venue called SpaceTriplex in The Prince Philip Building on Hill Place.

 

The Fringe Society unveiled two new commercial partnerships in 2015; with Airbnb and the Caledonian Sleeper. Both these relationships offered new opportunities for Fringe participants and audiences.

 

The Royal Mail celebrated this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe by issuing a special postmark, applied to stamped UK mail from 07-31 August. Royal Mail’s postmarks are reserved for special occasions and are used to recognise significant events, historical anniversaries or support of charity. It was the first time in the Royal Mail’s 500 year history that a festival has been featured on a postmark.

 

Award-winning comedian and theatre-maker Bryony Kimmings delivered the 2015 Fringe Central Welcome Address to participants, organised by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. The welcome address, designed to welcome and inspire participants, was attended by a record number of people. Bryony Kimmings, an Associate Artist at Soho Theatre and a Fringe participant herself, encouraged participants to take advantage of over 85 free events hosted throughout August, to help develop performance skills, expand networks and advance careers. 

 

A wide range of awards were on offer throughout the festival organised by a range of organisations. Euan’s Guide, the disabled access review website launched their Fringe awards, acknowledging a show and a venue for their outstanding efforts to include disabled audiences at this year’s Fringe.

Jul 29th

Love Me Tender at Milton Keynes Theatre

By Cameron Lowe

 

 

What a great way to start a week!

Last night’s performance of “Love Me Tender” at Milton Keynes Theatre was enough to give you a boost to last the rest of the week!

Based around Elvis Presley’s famous songs, this very humorous, happy musical featured 25 of Elvis’s back catalogue!  I could sing all the words, as I expect the rest of the audience could too.  They were cleverly woven into a story of a 1950’s, behind the times, small time American town.

The townsfolk were “All Shook Up” by the arrival of a charismatic, full of life biker stranger, who brightens up everyone’s lives.  This guitar playing Romeo, steals the heart of several young women, none more strongly than motor bike mechanic, Natalie, (superbly played by Laura Tebbutt).  The best in town!  She gets her man eventually, after posing as a male sidekick, and going through various funny adventures!

Although Mica Paris led the cast list as Sylvia, and as good as she was, others stole the show for me.

Chad, the afore mentioned gigolo, was brilliantly played by Ben Lewis.  He had everything going for him, good looks, Elvis projecting hips, good voice and well timed humour!  

His first sidekick, Jim (in love with Natalie.  An unrequited love!) played by Shaun Williamson was a perfect, soppy, intellectual, lacking in any romantic feelings man.  He tried so hard to learn from Chad, but unsuccessfully!

There was no-one in this cast who did not, dance, sing and act superbly!

The 1950’s costumes (designed by Vicky Gill) were excellent, as was the set.  It amazes me that now, in the theatre, there does not seem a need for stage hands to move the sets from one scene to another.  If it needs to be moved, and can’t be done by technology, it is done by the cast and hardly noticed by the audience.  Set designer, Morgan Large needs to be congratulated.

Lighting, by James Whiteside, too enhances the atmosphere.

Last, but not least, the choreography (Karen Bruce) was awesome, executed by a brilliant cast! 

Book tickets

Jun 2nd

SPAMALOT at The King's Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

Monty Python’s irreverent spin on the Arthurian legend returns to Glasgow to taunt us for a third time as SPAMALOT, plants a large pair of armored feet at the King’s Theatre this week.

 

“We dine well here in Camelot, we eat ham and jam and Spam a lot.”, sing the Knights of the Round Table in a jolly refrain that was the inspiration for the show’s title and a good indicator for the tone of this hilarious comedy musical.  Lovingly ripped off from Monty Python’s 1975 movie, “The Holy Grail”, the show “farts in the general direction” of the Arthurian legend.  Python fans will be delighted to learn that many of the original characters and songs from the movie are faithfully recreated while new elements and characters have been added to hilarious effect.  Rest assured that alongside King Arthur and his faithful knights, we are entertained by The Black Knight (“It’s only a flesh wound”), the French Taunter (“Your mother was a hamster …”), The King of Swamp Castle (“One day lad, all this will be yours …”) and the Knights who say “Ni”!  But King Arthur and the world of musicals are mocked in equal measure with references to Lloyd Webber, ‘star’ cast headliners, camp dance routines and blatant overacting throughout.

 

Joe Pasquale dons the crown of King Arthur this time around and brings an interesting “accountant” slant to the role which I had never before considered a possibility. Comic timing was, of course, impressive as evident in the quick-fire scene where he meets Dennis Galahad (Richard Meek) for the first time.  Sarah Earnshaw (as The Lady of the Lake) was wonderfully OTT, happily lampooning the role of diva with great gusto and singing “The Diva’s Lament” to great comic effect.  Joe Tracini joins the cast in the role of Patsy (King Arthur’s faithful companion) in this third national tour.  While rarely vocal, Patsy adds a great deal to the show through physical humour and Mr. Tracini’s rendition of “Always Look on The Bright Side of Life” was a big hit with the audience.  As in the Monty Python movies, the supporting cast played several roles throughout the show displaying diverse character talents.  Jamie Tyler was particularly enthusiastic with his French Taunting.

 

The cast were given some room to revel in the classic Python script … allowing the audience to fully appreciate some of the funniest lines ever uttered on stage.  Don’t miss out on your chance for some SPAM … to say this show is a laugh a minute would be a gross understatement!  I, for one, will never trust a “cute wee white bunny” ever again.

 

SPAMALOT

King’s Theatre Glasgow

Mon 1 – Sat 6 June

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm

Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee)

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow (bkg fee)

May 21st

Chichester's Festival of Theatre for Under 25s

By Cameron Lowe

MUSICALS, DRAMA AND MUCH MORE...


Anyone aged 16 to 25 can now buy £8.50 tickets to some of the summer's biggest and best productions at Chichester Festival Theatre. 

These £8.50 tickets are released for sale just one month before each production opens, often making them the only seats available for the hottest shows.

So this summer you can get your hands on exclusive tickets for our large scale, feel-good musicals A Damsel in Distress and Mack & Mabel, as well as for sold out drama Educating Rita and the theatrical event of the year, our Young Chekhov season. You might even catch a famous face or two!

Don't miss out on seeing some of the biggest and best productions on the South Coast and sign up to our 16 to 25 mailing list for the latest news and ticket releases.
 
A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS

The first of big musical of the Festival Season opens this month. With a stellar cast featuring Richard Fleeshman and Summer Strallen, £8.50 tickets are already going fast.

 
 
EDUCATING RITA

Arguably the hottest ticket of the Festival 2015 season, £8.50 tickets are currently the only remaining seats for this classic Willy Russell two-hander with Lenny Henry and Lashana Lynch.

 
 
MACK & MABEL

Following on from the success of Gypsy last year, we're pleased to present another dazzling Broadway musical as Michael Ball returns to Chichester in Mack & Mabel. £8.50 tickets go on sale Friday 12 June.

 
YOUNG CHEKHOV SEASON

Don't miss this unique theatrical event and see Chekhov’s early plays performed together for the first time. Enjoy all three over different days or as one intense theatrical experience on trilogy days.

May 19th

NEW YORK REVIEW: Forever

By Cameron Lowe

By Lucy Komisar in New York

Dael Orlandersmith, photo Joan Marcus. Production Credits: Neel Keller (Director)

Dael Orlandersmith, photo Joan Marcus.

Dael Orlandersmith’s “Forever” is a powerful blend of fact and fiction about this talented writer/performer’s growing up as the daughter of an abusive, alcoholic mother in Harlem. And her discovery of the roots she chooses to adopt after a visit to the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris where great artists, writers, musicians, are buried.

Orlandersmith has done fine autobiographical works in the past, among them “Yellowman,” about a dark, over-weight black woman falling in love with a light-skinned black man. So one knew that this production would be dark in the psychological sense. But the story takes one by surprise.

With long reddish-brown cornrow braids and a billowy black sack dress with a heavy silver pendant, at a set which has only a folding table and two spindle-back chairs, she relates the story of her life.

Dael Orlandersmith, photo Joan Marcus. Production Credits: Neel Keller (Director)

Dael Orlandersmith, photo Joan Marcus.

She is as good an actor as writer, pulling one into her story. She is compelling. And director Neel Keller keeps this story honest instead of melodramatic.

The main reality is that her mother was a drunk. Orlandersmith was born by Caesarian section and thinks that after that her mother hated her. Subtly, she suggests that she was disliked for being fat. The billowy dress shows that she still is. It’s a part of her life she only alludes to, but one thinks it underlies her sense of self. At least till that “self” became a successful playwright.

Orlandersmith had seen a documentary where a character views the Père Lachaise cemetery, the people buried there, the visitors. So she imagines her visit to the cemetery, paying homage to Balzac, Richard Wright, Modigliani, Chopin, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison.

That is fiction, which replaces the truth, because the story of her growing up is pretty awful. The people in the cemetery will stand in for her mother, will be her ancestors. On a turntable, she plays “The Doors,” her cultural connection, especially to singer Jim Morrison.

Dael Orlandersmith, photo Joan Marcus. Production Credits: Neel Keller (Director)

Dael Orlandersmith, photo Joan Marcus.

The young woman lived in a dangerous neighborhood. Her best friend also had a mother who drank and was violent. In a horrific scene, Orlandersmith is a teenager raped by her mother’s friend. The only kind person she recalls of that incident is the Irish cop who took her testimony. No one was arrested. That is rather curious, since it appears that the attacker was in the apartment at a party given by her mother.

She gets over it, goes to Greenwich Village clubs, to alternative music places, and to theater at the University of the Streets in the East Village. She moves to that free neighborhood. She goes to college to graduate in 1976. She’d now be 55. It’s taken decades to open up to this past.

Orlandersmith speaks the story sorrowfully. When he mother dies, she curses her dead body, but then, surprisingly, learns her mother had been a dancer. She wonders about her mother’s own sorrows, her connection to art, music and poetry. Her mother once said if she’d only gone to Paris. Did her mother feel blocked by regrets? Does her daughter now forgive her? Now the billowing dress seems to cover a lot of the past.

“Forever”. Written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith, directed by Neel Keller. New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East 4th Street, New York City. (212) 279–4200. Opened May 4, 2015; closes May 31, 2015. 5/18/15.

Lucy Komisar is a New York journalist and theatre critic.  Her web site is The Komisar Scoop.

May 18th

NEW YORK REVIEW: Street Singer

By Cameron Lowe

By Lucy Komisar in New York

The very fine Broadway and cabaret singer Christine Andreas channels Edith Piaf in an elegant, sharp, charming dance production choreographed by Pascal Rioult, a former Martha Graham Dance Company principal dancer.

The space is a cabaret/dinner theater space at the 42West Nightclub. Tables are set around a center runway and look at a proscenium stage.

Christine Andreas, photo Paul B. Goode.

Christine Andreas, photo Paul B. Goode.

Andreas in gamine hairdo, black glittery silk dress, looks (a bit) and sounds like Piaf, her trills and tremors.

Drew Scott Harris wrote the story that takes Piaf from the dance halls of Pigalle, the seedy neighborhood in Montmartre, in the north of Paris, to her triumph as a French icon.

It opens with her signature Je ne regrette rien.

Non, Rien de rien
(No, nothing of nothing)
Non, Je ne regrette rien
(No, I regret nothing)

Ni le bien qu’on m’a fait
(Not the good things that have been done to me)
Ni le mal tout ça m’est bien égal
(Nor the bad things, it’s all the same to me)

Andreas pulls you into the dark story. Piaf’s character is a fille de joie, a prostitute. The famous Milord, which she sang on the Ed Sullivan show (did they really understand the text?), says:

Allez, venez, Milord
Vous asseoir à ma table
Il fait si froid, dehors
Ici c’est confortable
……Je vous connais, Milord
Vous n’m’avez jamais vue
Je ne suis qu’une fille du port
Qu’une ombre de la rue.

“Come on M’lord, sit down at my table,
It’s cold outside. It’s comfortable here….
I know you very well, but you never saw me……
I’m just a girl in the harbor, a shadow in the street.”

Dance hall dancers, photo Paul B. Goode.

Dance hall dancers, photo Paul B. Goode.

The dancers fill out the story. Cartoonish wiggles and turns represent the Can Can. We learn that performing at a Nazi camp, Piaf helped some prisoners escape; she dressed and smuggled them out as troop members.

The drama of couples separated by war is expressed by “La vie en rose.” And a stunning pas de deux of a man physically abusing his lover is realistic, not sexist. In one piece, dancers are dressed in white to represent the pills Piaf took.

Rioult has built his vivid fluid ballet theater on elegant Martha Graham inspired dance. Rioult makes an appearance with Andreas as an anonymous guy, maybe Piaf’s lover.

But our views are caught by the elegant movements on stage, the story dances that makes us feel Piaf’s life.

The central catwalk should be higher for the sake of people at the back tables who, blocked by those seated in front of them, miss the full aspect of the dancers. The mediocre sound system doesn’t do justice.

Still, I was very glad to have the chance to see the Rioult troop which has performed in New York City for about twenty years. This production should have run longer.

“Street Singer.” Concept and choreography by Pascal Rioult. Written and directed by Drew Scott Harris. Musical Director Don Rebic. Featuring Christine Andreas. Rioult Dance New York at 42West Nightclub, 514 W. 42nd Street, New York City. May 13-16, 2015. Drinks at the club bar and small plates and snacks provided via the Ktchn restaurant at the Out NYC Hotel next door. 5/17/15.

 Lucy Komisar is a New York journalist and theatre critic.  Her web site is The Komisar Scoop.

May 2nd

Shrek the Musical at The King's Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

Music is a very powerful tool when it comes to rekindling fond memories.  It can remind us of good times past in a way that no other medium can.  And now musicals can transport us to yesteryear as Broadway and West End producers endeavour, with remarkable success rates, to recreate movie classics from our past like Ghost, Willy Wonka, Matilda, The Bodyguard ... and Shrek.  Shrek takes me back to a time when my son was very young.  A family favourite movie that could be played at home again and again and never failed to bring great big belly laughs – not just from the children, but from the adults, too.  So the producers of Shrek the Musical had some very high expectations to fulfil.

 

Shrek the Musical

 

Shrek the Musical is an ugly, green, odious, odorous, bad tempered, overweight, rip roaring success!   

 

Our favourite characters from the movie are brought to colourful three dimensional life, retelling the tale of the original movie to a broadly original score of catchy characteristic tunes.

 

In case you didn’t know, Shrek (Dean Chisnall) is a large green ogre who lives alone in a swamp close to the mythical town of Duloc.  His peace is shattered as a host of Fairy Tale refugees descend upon his home having been evicted by Lord Farquaad (Gerard Carey) – the evil, pint sized (yet ambitious) ruler of Duloc.  Farquaad doesn't  want these ‘freaks’ littering the streets of his perfect town as he seeks to climb the social ladder by winning the hand of a Princess.  Shrek visits Duloc with his somewhat unwelcome companion, Donkey (Idriss Kargbo) to have a short (and likely violent) conversation with Farquaad but is, instead, persuaded to rescue Princess Fiona (played in this case by understudy, Nikki Bentley) from a tower surrounded by a lake of molten lava and guarded by a fire breathing dragon in exchange for the deeds to his swamp.  Shrek and Donkey set off on their quest blissfully unaware that Princess Fiona hides a terrible secret and that the dragon is not the only creature in that tower with a fiery temper!

 Image by Helen Maybanks

Image by Helen Maybanks

 

The story translates well to stage as the road trip / buddy story transforms nicely to blossoming romance once Shrek and Donkey rescue the Princess.  The musical score from Jeanine Tesori compliments the well known characters and lyrics from David Lindsay-Abaire add a great deal of humour that can be appreciated by audience members of all ages.  Technically, the show astonishes with smooth scene transitions, a dazzling light show and an awesome dragon brought to life by the combined talents of 3 puppeteers and the vocal skills of Candace Furbert.

Dean Chisnall impressed as Shrek striking the right balance of cantankerous ogre and likeable hulk with an admirable singing voice (albeit with an accent which strayed a little south of the border from time to time).  Idriss Kargbo’s Donkey was wonderfully energetic and demonstrated his dancing skills well.  Nikki Bentley was wonderful as Princess Fiona – a self confessed sufferer of bi-polar disorder at the same time sweet, regal, feminine, flatulent and spoiled.  However, the show was well and truly stolen by Gerard Carey as Farquaad.  I don’t want to spoil too much by describing exactly WHY he was so fabulous but it is fair to say that this was the best demonstration of physical humour I have ever witnessed on stage.  Almost “Frank N Furter” esque in delivery he was the villain that we wanted to see again and again.  Perfect.

Image by Helen Maybanks

Image by Helen Maybanks

Look out for a cameo appearance from Puss in Boots and sing along to “I’m a Believer” at the end!

Beg steal or borrow a ticket to see this amazing production on tour.  It’s ridiculously entertaining!

Shrek the Musical

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Until 17 May

Tickets £15 - £60

 

 

Book tickets:

http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/shrek-the-musical/kings-theatre/#performance_tabs=tab_performances