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5th February 2016

Review: A Shrektacular Performance

Harry Newton looks back on a fantastic performance by the cast of Shrek the Musical at The Lowry

It can often be risky when you take something so well-known and completely change it; whether that be a book into a film, or in this case a film into a musical. Shrek the Musical at The Lowry, however, has ignored this risk and triumphed in a fantastic adaptation of the much-loved film.

With classic lines from the films, constant laughs, and even the odd innuendo for the older watchers. The audience was full to the brim with many ages, and it was difficult to find a face not smiling with a glance around the audience, evident by the numerous members of the audience who stood up at the end to clap off the actors.

With big shoes to fill after big names having played Shrek and Fiona in the past, both Dean Chisnall and Bronté Barbé respectively lived up to expectation and put in a flawless and funny performance for the masses. Despite this, it was Gerard Carey who stole the show with his hilarious characterisation as Lord Farquaad. Despite his standard height, the actor brought himself down to his knees to carry out the performance, using fake legs to hilarious effect. Carey’s knees will no doubt be aching for weeks after spending the whole performance on them running up and down the stage, but I’m sure it will be quite a pain relief knowing that he performed so well.

Changes to the usual Dreamworks plot include the introduction of the Pied Piper and a back story to Shrek’s life as a child, however it was another big change that brought about my highlight of the night. Despite the film being famous for bringing to life animals and objects and giving them a voice, whether that be a talking donkey or a talking gingerbread man, the character of Dragon has always remained silent. However, silence no more! Dragon has a voice, and what a voice it is! Candance Furbert, who also played the Fairy Godmother, voiced the dragon and brought about the best song of the musical with “Forever” in act two, as her soulful performance brought rapturous applause from the audience and lived up to the high standards expected of from the audience as soon as the fantastically designed dragon puppet came out.

A night to remember for all the family, with all the expectations the film set before the musical—and then some! Whether you’re six or sixty, this is one for everyone to enjoy at The Lowry, until Saturday the 20th of February.

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