Shrek: The Musical
Liverpool Empire Theatre
November 25 – December 6
Producer; Dreamworks Theatricals
Author: David Lindsay-Abaire
Director: Nigel Harman
Choreographer: Josh Prince
Set, Puppets & Costumes: Tim Hatley
Cast includes: Dean Chisnall, Bronte Barbe, Gerard Carey, Idris Kargbo
There are few things that are more satisfying than sitting in a theatre and watching a gig or show that ticks all the boxes. With Shrek: The Musical, which is currently running at The Liverpool Empire, then Dreamworks Theatricals have certainly been busy with the Magic Marker because Dreamworks by name, Dreamworks by nature because this is a production to die for.
From the moment Dean Chisnall’s fabulous Shrek closes the gigantic Fairy Tale book in the face of the poor Princess Fiona played by the exquisite Bronte Barbe, the audience know exactly what to expect and the laughs keep rolling around and through a set that is simply divine – the Dragon has to be seen to be believed – costumes that sparkle like a plethora of Catherine Wheels on November 5th, Choreography that would put to shame that Saturday Night Prime Time TV show and songs that are as catchy as any Nursery Rhyme and as near the knuckle as any signet ring.
Of course it is the cast that truly marks the show, with Chisnall and Bronte leading the way, although mentions have to be made Idris Karbo’s Donkey who is as funny, feisty and irreverent as anything Eddie Murphy managed in the 2001 onwards movies, and Will Haswell’s Pinochio who is as far removed from being wooden it is a joy to watch ... particularly his spat with Peter Pan.
Yet without question, it is the innovation, style and panache that Gerard Carey brings to the diminutive rebel Lord Farquaad that truly steals the show. Here is a performance guaranteed to have tears of joy springing unrestrained from the eyes of everybody who sees it and never more so than during his outrageously funny Ballad and slick asides to all those who surround him.
A bumper box filled with delight, Shrek: The Musical is an absolutely tremendous show that is as vast as Lion King and as ludicrously funny as Spamalot combined which in itself marks it as a show that is under no circumstances to be missed.