Home » Shrek The Musical Review at Sunderland Empire

Shrek The Musical Review at Sunderland Empire

I feel like I’ve been waiting so long for the highly anticipated Shrek the Musical to arrive in the North East.

The Broadway and West End smash hit is on it’s UK Tour and I’ve seen so many great things. As a child I have watched Shrek over and over again on the TV so I knew seeing it on stage would be fantastic. Who doesn’t love Shrek, or Donkey, Or Princess Fiona?

The film certainly did introduce us to characters we all loved and we get to see them all again on stage.

The team behind Hairspray and Priscilla queen of the desert, they have created the award winning musical which will win the hearts of adults and kids of all ages.

If you are wondering about the storyline than rest assured that the musical is pretty much the first Shrek film and so it isn’t completely reimagined. It completely children friendly and press night was packed full of youngsters who absolutely loved it!

Shrek is played by the wonderful Antony Lawrence. Antony does an amazing job not just asking, but singing and dancing and doing it all in his costume. You wouldn’t recognise him in real life as his Ogre impression is so good! It’s difficult to see him play a baddie as Scar in The Lion King but I would definitely go to see him again.

His sidekick, Donkey played by Brandon Lee Sears brings such comedy to the show. He has the best timing but also is skilled at playing an animal. I can’t think of anyone better to play his role but his voice blew me away, he is such a soul man! Looking at his experience in other musicals you can see it shine on stage and his relationship with Shrek felt so natural on stage. Of course there is a 3rd sidekick, Princess Fiona.

Wow she is amazing! Her voice! The dancing skills! Her comedy timing and professionalism. Joanna Clifton has an accolade of experience which just shines on stage no matter if she is ogre or human! You will probably recognise her from Strictly Come Dancing but she has so much more experience both on TV and in theatre. There is a tap dance scene that just blew me away and she looked liked she was loving every minute of it.

Lord Farquaad was brilliant! A previous nominee for best supporting performance, he has a great experience on stage. He was a perfect casting for this role!

I have to mention The Dragon, Cheree Richards. Her voice is just incredible! If ever I have heard a voice that reminds me of Jennifer Hudson, it is her! She is incredible! This brings me on to the songs.

Many of the songs in the show feature similar songs that you may have heard elsewhere bringing irony and funny jokes to the show and it really fascinated me. I was on the edge of my seating waiting for the next one they would throw in.

I have to give a huge shout out to the WHOLE cast. It’s been a long time since I have seen, or more heard that all have the most amazing voices! Every single one of them had unique voices and all shined on stage. One in particularly was Georgia Buckland who plays the gingerbread man. Her voice just blew me away!

The staging is great. They travel seamlessly from the swamp to Lord Farquaad ‘s castle. Yet you don’t see the work that has gone on behind the scene. This is even more so in the costumes. I mentioned before about certain characters however all characters in this musical wear costume. We really need to appreciate the time it takes to get in them but performing on stage in them in the lights can be so hot! It really takes skills performers to do this without anyone noticing how hard it is.

There are a few customer changes throughout the show. Again, you wouldn’t notice how difficult it might have been as they are so good at it!

Shrek is a perfect all rounder and guaranteed to uplift your day! Be sure to stick around until the end for a singalong!

Shrek The Musical Will be here at Sunderland Empire until 10th February 2024 but you can catch it on the UK tour elsewhere too.

*gifted ticket but view are my own

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