About Shrek the Musical
Shrek, Fiona and Donkey are on stage now at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). Based on the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks film, Shrek The Musical brings the hilarious and heart-warming story of everyone’s favourite ogre to life on stage.
Join Shrek, our unlikely hero, and his loyal steed Donkey as they set off on a quest to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona from her tower, guarded by a fire breathing love-sick dragon. Add the vertically-challenged Lord Farquaad, a gang of fairy-tale misfits, and a biscuit with attitude, and you’ve got an irresistible mix of adventure, laughter and romance, guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages.
Featuring a terrific score of 19 songs, big laughs, great dancing and breath-taking scenery, it’s no wonder The New York Times called it “true happiness” and The Daily Mirror said it’s “the most fun you’ll ever have”.
“There was lots of disappointment after its postponement earlier this year, so it’s great to be able to welcome Shrek The Musical,” Minister of the Arts, Leeanne Enoch said.
“The highly anticipated Queensland opening of Shrek the Musical was postponed due to Brisbane’s recent COVID-19 lockdown,” Minister Enoch said.
“QPAC has worked quickly to contact and reseat impacted patrons in order to comply with Queensland Government health directives requiring 50 percent capacity for indoor venues up to 22 January 2021.
QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas is excited to host Shrek the Musical in Queensland for the first time. “Musicals have such broad appeal and this Broadway production with its all-star cast is the type of international standard show that our audiences have come to expect from QPAC.” “In consideration of the year that it has been, the season will include family-friendly pricing to make experiencing Shrek the Musical as accessible for as many families as possible.
20 out of the 24 all star lead Australian cast will continue in Brisbane, after wowing audiences in the Sydney and Melbourne seasons earlier this year. The cast includes Ben Mingay as Shrek, Lucy Durack as Princess Fiona, and Todd McKenney as Lord Farquaad will lead an impressive cast in this lavish multi-million dollar production, with special guest appearance by Marcia Hines as The Dragon, and Nat Jobe as Donkey.
I love musicals. Almost all musicals. Sometimes when you go to the theatre it can be a transcendent experience, and the songs from the musical help to lift you along, and take you on an emotional journey. But, then there was Shrek.
By now, probably everyone has seen the movie, and the musical is very faithful to the original story. Many of the funny and memorable lines from the first Shrek movie make their way into the musical. If you are looking for the next instalment of Shrek and Fiona’s adventures – you have come to the wrong show. If you just want to see live-action Shrek characters singing songs – then great.
Ok – first let’s talk about what was good. Shrek is a familiar story and if you want something fun to take the kids to see – they will have a fab time (especially if they are at an age where fart jokes are the height of humour). The orchestra was faultless, the costumes stunning, and the backdrops impressive. The cast were all wonderful, especially the exceptional ensemble cast and Marcia Hines was beyond divine.
However, maybe it was me but I felt a sense of disappointment, and it all came down to the songs. While pleasant enough, they lacked a catchy melody or a hook. At times it was difficult to hear the lyrics, and there was nothing that was played that would make an appearance on my Spotify playlist. Shrek the movie was not a musical, however, it had a superb soundtrack. I think that they have wasted an opportunity not to sprinkle in more of the hits alongside the original tunes. This was highlighted as I watched the obviously bored adult faces around me perk up as the show closes on the upbeat “I’m a Believer”.
But we are living in COVID times, and the fact that QLD was able to put on a live-action musical to a full capacity audience is impressive, and I kept reminding myself how grateful I was to be living in a country where we are relatively safe and this is possible. QPAC were practising the usual COVID safety measures, with contact tracing, hand sanitiser, and reminders about physical distancing. However jam-packed crowds during entry and exiting meant there were times when physical distancing was difficult if not impossible, so if you are concerned or vulnerable I encourage you to bring a mask in case you need it.
Shrek the Musical is at QPAC and the Brisbane season has been extended until February 14.
To find out more and book tickets head to https://www.qpac.com.au/event/shrek_21/