There have been a ton of great theatre productions on stages around the country this year. From ballets, to bible stories, popular interpretations of Broadway hits and musicals a plenty. However, none have been more original and different than Shrek: The Musical. Yup! One of my favourite animations finally has its own stage adaptation – and it’s now showig at Gold Reef City!
Shrek is an orge who, at the age of seven, was abandoned by his parents and forced to live alone in a swamp. He soon got used to the idea of being alone – especially since anyone who saw him was filled with terror. One day, however, he woke up to many fairytale creatures on his land. They had been relocated to the swamp from the kingdom of Duloc on Lord Farquaad’s orders. So, he heads over to Duloc and makes a deal with the evil soon-to-be monarch. If he rescues Princess Fiona from a fire-breathing dragon and bring her to him so he can marry her, he will get rid of all the fairytale creatures. Naturally things don’t go according to plan and Shrek falls in love with Fiona. Oh, and he makes a friend for life with a talking donkey.
Shrek was a hit with many movie-goers making almost half a billion dollars around the world. So, making a stage adaptation would require an incredible amount of attention to detail – and the folks from Kickstart’s Production did a great job.
Since this is a musical based on an animation, it’s obvious that the production is geared more towards younger audiences. Kids will absolutely love this show. There are some awesome original tracks, some kid-friendly toilet humour and seeing their favourite characters come to life will have them on the edge of their seat.
Lyle Buxton does a decent job at portraying the title character. His accent was perfect, he nailed Shrek’s persona and kept the entire crowd entertained from start to finish. He had a whole lot of heart and really brought out the essence of Shrek. Donkey, played by Rory Booth, was a hit with the crowd! Audiences couldn’t take his eyes off him and, again, the accent was perfectly portrayed. Although he might have been a little too sassy for my liking, he brought the laughs. I do, however, think that the bootylicious costume was a bit over the top as well. It is a bit of a tough character to play but Rory did a good job.
Jessica Sole, who played Fiona, was hilarious! Fiona isn’t a typical princess. She’s an incredibly real and positive character and her portrayal in the production was flawless. I loved how they introduced the character as a child and almost took you on the journey with her to adulthood. However, my favourite character was Lord Farquaad. Yes, the villain had me in stitches throughout the performance and they integrated him into the production perfectly. The costume was perfect and I’m so impressed with Jacobus Van Heerden who performed most of the show on his knees. Oh, and the dragon is incredible! I must applaud the costume department – they did a great job on this.
The show isn’t perfect. There are many things I would add, remove and change but it sure is entertaining. You are guaranteed to leave the theatre with a Shrektacular smile on your face and it’s one that kids and adults will enjoy. Shrek: The Musical is now showing at Gold Reef City’s The Lyric Theatre until the 17th of July. Tickets range from R150 – R290. Rewards cardholders can save up to 20% on their ticket when using their card to book at the theatre. The show is fun for the whole family and is definitely something to add to your school holiday plans.
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