In the last twenty years it has become common for Hollywood studios to culturally cannibalise their most prosperous films into brands which will bi-annually turn out profitable sequels. Amongst Anglo-American theatre producers, it is imitated in the re-packaging of successful films to Broadway and the West End. Hairspray, The Producers, The Lion King, The Full Monty, Beauty and the Beast and Billy Elliot have all been adapted for the stage in recent years, and the trend shows no sign of abating.
This production of “Shrek The Musical” ran for more than a year on Broadway, earned eight Tony award nominations and a Best Musical Show Album Grammy. The only reason it didn’t run longer? It was just too expensive. But before it was scaled back and went out on the road, this October 2009 performance was captured to remember the show in its full pomp and glory.
Auditioning for the role of Shrek must take an incredible level of body confidence. To walk into a casting knowing that you will be immediately judged on how much you resemble Wayne Rooney would be an excessive burden for almost anyone. But Brian d’Arcy James in the title role is enjoyably charismatic and a well deserved Tony award nominee for his efforts.
There are 21 songs to sing along to, the costumes are as vividly arresting as the film and the characters equally engaging. From the Puckish Donkey, kindly Princess Fiona and the dastardly Lord Farquaad, the cast will keep young eyes glued to the screen from start to finish. An excellent distraction when you need a few hours peace over the festive period.
Shrek The Musical is available on DVD now