REVIEW: Shrek The Musical, Theatre Royal, Newcastle, Until March 29

ON STAGE ... Shrek The Musical is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal. Dean Chisnall as Shrek and Faye Brookes as Princess Fiona.
ON STAGE ... Shrek The Musical is at Newcastle's Theatre Royal. Dean Chisnall as Shrek and Faye Brookes as Princess Fiona.

TRANSFORMING a much-loved family film for the stage is a terrifying quest for even the bravest of knights – but Shrek The Musical has done it triumphantly.

The show, based on the 2001 animated film, has stopped off at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal as part of its UK tour.

The audience was packed with people of all ages and every single one of them had a Shrektacular evening.

It tells the story of reclusive ogre Shrek (Dean Chisnall) who, at the age of seven, is sent off by his parents into the big, wide world.

But after Lord Farquaad (Gerard Carey) banishes all of the fairytale characters from his ‘Kingdom’ of Duloc, they’re sent to live on Shrek’s swamp.

Shrek is horrified to find the likes of Pinocchio (Will Haswell), the Wolf (Iain Mattley), and the Three Bears, have set up camp in his home and are refusing to leave.

He storms off to Duloc to demand that Lord Farquaad gives him his land back, meeting annoyingly-chipper Donkey (Idriss Kargbo) along the way.

The pair team up and after arriving in Duloc, are tasked with rescuing Princess Fiona (Faye Brookes) from a dragon-guarded tower on behalf of Lord Farquaad, who plans to make her his wife and earn himself a crown.

The heart-warming show includes all of the famous moments from the film and lots of added extras, with songs specially written for it.

The audience chuckled throughout, pausing every now and again to let out an ‘ahh’ at the more touching moments.

BIG CHARACTER ... Dean Chisnall stars as Shrek.

BIG CHARACTER ... Dean Chisnall stars as Shrek.

Costumes in the show are hugely impressive, particularly in the lightning fast transformations of Princess Fiona from beautiful maiden to scary ogre.

The set is colourful, fun and ever-changing and perfectly creates each setting.

Chisnall is fantastic as Shrek. His big personality shines through from behind all that green facepaint and the audience just loved him.

Kargbo was suitably energetic, quirky, and entertaining as Donkey and Brookes is fiercely wonderful as the unconventional Princess.

The audience was packed with people of all ages and every single one of them had a Shrektacular evening.

Carey gave a huge performance as pint-sized Lord Farquaad. The character is, of course, the villain of the piece but you can’t help but love him. His athletic feats are particularly impressive.

Specially-written songs like Big Bright Beautiful World, I Know It’s Today, and When Words Fail, are brilliantly fun but equally emotive.

Choreography is also a huge strong point, in particular the rib-tickling routines between Lord Farquaad and his guards and a sequence with dancing rats.

The show ended with a spirited sing-a-long to I’m A Believer, leaving everyone on a high.

Shrek is real feel-good family show. Whether or not you’ve seen the film, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable night at the theatre.

Shrek The Musical runs at Theatre Royal, Newcastle until Sunday, March 29. Click here to book tickets.

STAGE MAKEOVER ... Shrek The Musical is at Theatre Royal, Newcastle. Dean Chisnall as Shrek and Idriss Kargbo as Donkey.

STAGE MAKEOVER ... Shrek The Musical is at Theatre Royal, Newcastle. Dean Chisnall as Shrek and Idriss Kargbo as Donkey.

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