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Shrek the Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre

Published by: Louise Winter on 28th Jul 2018 | View all blogs by Louise Winter

Reviewed by Vicky Tomopoulou

27 July 2018

Shrek poster

The story of Shrek the ogre is a love story with a twist. We all know of the beautiful princess trapped in a castle guarded by the fiery dragon, saved by the handsome prince and they all lived happily ever after. It is really refreshing to have an ugly cowardly prince for a change and an ending where instead of the unsightly ogre changing to a handsome prince, miracles happen the other way around: the beautiful princess turns into an ugly ogre and finds true love. 

Shrek the musical is colourful, boisterous and full of fart jokes. You might think that this kind of show would only appeal to children but the truth is that the performances of the cast, the delightful costumes, the music and dancing make this an enjoyable performance for the whole family. It wasn't a show that lasts past the theatre experience and this is down to the music. With the exception of the song in the finale (I'm a believer) no other song had a catchy chorus or rhythm.

Stefan Harri as Shrek is fun to watch and his singing is full of feeling. His good friend Donkey (Marcus Ayton) is highly energetic and his facial expressions make his jokes come alive. It's a shame that the lack of on stage chemistry between them; that might enable them to deliver their lines and songs with more conviction. Princess Fiona (Laura Main) is delightful and you can't help but have a smile on your face when you see her dancing and singing flawlessly. For me it was Lord Farquaad played by Samuel Holmes whose performance was a cut above the others. He manages to be humorous, posh, witty and all this while performing on his knees!

The ensemble musical numbers performed by the cast of various fairytale creatures are impressive. Jemma Revell (the Sugar Plum Fairy and the voice and puppeteer of Gingy the gingerbread cookie) is the standout of the supporting acts.

The quality of costumes, sets and sound is high overall although the use of half a dozen puppets to support Princess Fiona when singing "I know it's today" left me wondering why. The puppets didn’t seem to be put together well and contrasted poorly with the rest of lavish set.

I would recommend taking your children to this for a summer hols treat. It's not ever going to rank among the greatest musicals but nevertheless it is great family fun. The two hours went by in a flash and not for a moment did we feel bored or tired. Although slightly uneven in places overall it is great entertainment.  

Plays Milton Keynes until August 5th and then continuing on tour

Box Office 0844 871 7652

Booking transaction fee applies



1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 20 days ago
    Thanks for this review, Louise. Lots of positives coming through, particularly for a family audience.
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