Shrek The Musical began its 12-day Southampton run this week, and wow – what a fantastic show!
It opened with Shrek singing ‘It’s a big, bright, beautiful world’, which was repeated a few times throughout, and ended up being my favourite song of the night.
For people who aren’t familiar with the smash hit films, Shrek is the story of a swamp-dwelling ogre who embarks on a life-changing adventure, in order to reclaim the deed to his swamp. He is accompanied on his quest by a talkative (and slightly annoying!) donkey. Shrek becomes an unlikely hero when he fights off a fearsome dragon, to rescue Fiona (who later becomes his wife). He soon learns that true love is not only found in fairy tales.
The show was led by a fantastic cast of actors, who engaged really well with the children in the audience, making them laugh throughout. There was plenty of adult humour in there for the grown-ups too. My favourite characters by far were Lord Farquaard and Donkey, who were both played brilliantly, and gave the show a lot of its laughs.
The only downside for me, personally, was that I didn’t particularly enjoy the musical elements. However, I could appreciate that they did a good job of adapting Shrek for the stage – no easy feat, given that it’s such a beloved story.
The costumes and set were outstanding, and the Mayflower itself is a lovely theatre, boasting some beautiful features since its refurbishment.
**** – Would definitely recommend. A must-see if you have children.
For more information, visit the Mayflower website, or call the box office on 02380 711811.