PRIMA’s SHREK The Musical
Based on the DreamWorks movie and the book by William Steig
Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay – Abaire
Music by Jeanine Tesori.
Directed by Miranda Selwood
Redcliffe Cultural Centre
Season: October 5 – 14. Bookings: www.prima.org.au Duration: two hours 30 minutes with interval.
In the world of myth and legend, one monster stands out to be feared – the ogre. Shrek is such a monster. Exiled as a youngster, he has been living alone in his swamp until he is invaded by a group of fairytale characters who have been exiled by the evil Lord Farquaad from the Kingdom of Duloc.
Shrek goes to see the Duke in aan attempt to keep his swamp and meets Donkey, who becomes his friend, along with many other mythical/fairytale characters. Importantly he meets Princess Fiona. Of course, he finds love. With the story told mainly through song, SHREK teaches traits such as acceptance, trust, love and belief which are relevant to the modern audience.
This is a demanding production with a large cast and orchestra that director, Miranda Selwood, has managed quite well through both song and movement. The various locations were symbolically represented to allow for the necessary fluidity of the many characters. The costumes were excellent. Unfortunately, clarity of spoken dialogue and singing was not always there.
Tristan Vanyai brought the house down on his entrance as the diminutive Lord Farquaad and he kept us rapt with his outstanding performance. In the other key roles, Lucy Bardsley made a lovely and effective Princess Fiona, both as a human and an ogress while Zach Price was an energetic donkey but not always as clear as was needed. The central role of Shrek was played by Nathaniel Currie. He looked the part really well but he needs to be more consistent with the accent. He has given me a new perspective about ogres.
This musical has quite a long running time but the pace was maintained well. The confidence of the cast grew as the play progressed and the second flowed really well. There were only a couple of dull spots on an otherwise quite a polished production.