Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Theatre 2015: Review 16

Shrek the Musical, Theatre Royal, Norwich. June 2015.

I was vaguely interested in this when it had a London run, just not enough to plan a trip to the capital to see it, so finding out that Norwich was on the tour schedule came as a nice surprise.

I am really not at all sure what to make of the show however.

Visually it was stunning, the scenery and set were inventive, fun and worked in harmony with the rest of the show,  The costumes were also good - it did look a lot like the animation had come to life.  The cast were okay too with a couple of real standouts.  Just sadly the parts just didn't all come together to make this a 'wow' event for me.

I think that on the whole I blame the score and the sound for my feelings.  The songs were all original to the show - this is not a 'jukebox' musical like Mamma Mia or We Will Rock You, and yet unlike other original shows (Phantom, Miss Saigon etc) the songs were not catchy and for a lot of the time I found them to be incomprehensible and was wishing for subtitles! Duets and ensemble numbers seemed badly balanced and again often inaudible.

Bits of this show had me in absolute stitches - the drop in gags about other musicals were very funny, and Lord Farquaad stole the show every time he appeared on the stage.  The dragon was brilliant too - again puppetry proving that you don't need expensive animatronics to create effects. The scene with the Pied Piper and the rats was very well done too.  I just expected a little bit more.

It was a fun evening, I did laugh a lot and thanks to the end number I did come out humming a tune which is what you want from a musical but it just wasn't quite the fabulous experience I was  expecting and I'm glad I didn't travel too far to see it.

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