Review: Shrek The Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre
Shrek The Musical Review - 2024

Based on the Dreamworks film ( 2001 ) Shrek the Musical took to the stage at Milton Keynes Theatre last night (27/02) and filled an ogre sized shape in our hearts.

A love story of the unexpected kind, we find the fairie tale folk banished to Shrek’s swamp, the childhood story of Shrek’s being there is absolutely brutally hilarious.
The laws of ogre family life can be harsh!

On a mission for peace and quiet by the loveable but grouchy green ogre, played by a rather marvellous and magnificent Antony Lawrence, the journey descends into a dangersome quest to rescue Princess Fiona, spectacularly performed by Joanne Clifton a Strictly dancing sensation but also an extraordinary singer in her own right.

The quest is dictated by a diminutive and dastardly coward, Lord Farquaad, played deliciously panto-esque byJames Gillan, so that he can marry and be King. In return, Shrek will get his swamp and his ‘happy’ lonely life back.

Shrek MK Theatre Review - Mar 24

An ensemble of enchanted characters gallivant gloriously on stage with song and dance as Shrek and Donkey make their way to Duloc. Donkey, well he’s a superb scene stealer and Brandon Lee Sears does sublime justice to the original.

Shrek and Donkey are the most unlikely of companions but under the layers of – albeit- begrudging friendship, kindness and loneliness, the tremendous twosome successfully rescue a somewhat feisty and secretive Princess. In these scenes we get to meet the Dragon, oh so excellently showcased by Cherece Richards and accompanying puppeteers, the mimicry of puppet and human literally bring Dragon to life. Genuinely my favourite character!

Princess Fiona bears her own curse and the cute song “I Think I Got You Beat” tells us more and so begins the bonding. Helped with an entertaining barrage of burping and bodily functions, adults and smalls delighted in this playful humour, and Shrek and Fiona melt our hearts.

The stage is ever changing and enchanting as the storybook tells tales of dragons, dreams and destiny. Mixed into the magic are moving renditions of performance and song with energy exuding through exemplary physical comedy and vocal excellence. A lesson learned that “beautiful is not always pretty” and the reminder not to judge so easily is wonderfully woven into the dialogue.

All credit to an immense cast and crew playing a multitude of roles with wardrobe, makeup and costume changes that were phenomenal. A splendid orchestral accompaniment and lighting effects added to the overall wonder of this musical marvel.

So much is involved in this production it belies belief, But I Believe!

Which brings us neatly to the grand finale, a standing audience clapping, dancing and singing along happily with the cast to the joyous “I’m A Believer“, it couldn’t have ended any other way. A superb singalongashrek !

As tales of the heart go, Shrek the Musical is a gala of green greatness and they all live… happily ever after.

Shrek The Musical is at Milton Keynes Theatre until Sunday 3rd March 2024 , matinee performances are on 28th Feb, 2nd & 3rd Mar, and the running time is 2 hours and 35 minutes including interval. Tickets are available from £13.00 (+ £3.80 transaction fee), General bookings: 0844 871 7615, Access bookings:0333 009 5399, Group bookings:0207 206 1174 or online.

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