THEATRE REVIEW - Shrek The Musical

A scene from Shrek The Musical at The Palace Theatre, Manchester
A scene from Shrek The Musical at The Palace Theatre, Manchester
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QUESTION ... is Shrek aimed at children or adults. Answer – there doesn’t seem to be one.

All I know is that when the fantastic, full-of-laughter show opened at Manchster Opera House on Wednesay night, an equal amount of young and not so young filled the theatre.

Of course, many remember the iconic and award-winning animated movie. This Manchester Shrek is a live show – and all the better for being so. It’s absolutely gob-smackingly good. Family entertainment at its best, and a winner from first curtain to last.

We join the unlikely hero Shrek and his donkey as they set off to rescue the princess from the jaws of a fire-eating, love-sick dragon. A whiff of panto? Perhaps.

Then add the diminutive Lord Farquaad, a cruel, deluded would-be king, and throw in a motly gang of fairytail misfits, and a biscuit with attitude and you’ve the ingredients for one of the tastiest theatre meals you’ve ever enjoyed in many a long year. It’s unique.

This is an all-singing and all-dancing extravaganza, and lots of music, including the popular number I’m a believer, add to the zany night.

In the all-encompassing role of Shrek is former Winstanley College student Dean Chisnall, who captures the heart and soul of the sad ogre. It takes over two hours to prepare him for the stage – and the effect is wholly brilliant. Dean is a great actor, a fine singer and true professional.

Easy to hate Lord Farquaad is sensationally handled by Gerard Carey, Fay Brooks is the attractive Princess Fiona and Idriss Kargbo makes a delightful donkey.

Sherk is a newish musical. It’s all the better for being different and magically entertaining.

Shrek The Musical is on at The Palace Theatre until Sunday, January 11.