Theatre announcement: Shrek to return to Sunderland Empire

Shrek the Musical UK Tour
Shrek the Musical UK Tour

Monster of a musical, Shrek, is returning to the Sunderland Empire, the Echo can reveal.

It’s been announced today that the show, based on the hit fairytale animation, will head back to the city for a fortnight in January next year.

The larger-than-life production will run at the High Street West theatre from January 31 to February 11 after proving a hit during its first outing at the venue in November 2015.

Tickets for the musical will go on sale from tomorrow at 10am.

Ben Phillips, general manager at Sunderland Empire, said: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming back this wonderful production at the beginning of 2018. Shrek delighted audiences young and old on his last visit and was a popular personality around the theatre.

“The musical itself is a quality production and I’m sure the show with its wonderful characters will be just as fun this time round.”

Shrek the Musical UK Tour

Shrek the Musical UK Tour

Nigel Harman will return as director, having made his directorial debut on Shrek The Musical’s first UK and Ireland Tour.

Best known for his television and stage work, the former Eastenders actor originated the role of Lord Farquaad in the West End production, winning the Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical.

Nigel said: “I had so much fun directing the original UK and Ireland tour that I jumped at the chance to work on it again. Shrek the Musical has created pivotal moments in my career – firstly winning an Olivier and then my directorial debut.

“It’s certainly become one of the classic family musicals of all time and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”

The musical is based on the story and characters from William Steig’s book Shrek! and the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animations feature film.

It tells the story of unlikely hero Shrek and his loyal steed Donkey as they embark on a quest to rescue Princess Fiona from a fire-breathing, love-sick dragon.

It features all new songs, as well as cult Shrek anthem I’m a Believer.

During its first UK and Ireland tour, in 2014/15, the show was seen by almost 800,000 people visiting 25 major venues over 20 months.

Shrek the Musical UK Tour

Shrek the Musical UK Tour

Casting for the new tour will be announced in the coming months.

•Tickets for Shrek, at Sunderland Empire from January 31 to February 11 2018, are on sale from tomorrow, February 24, at 10am. Tickets available in person at the Box Office on High Street West, from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022* or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland*

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