I’m a believer — a review of Shrek the Musical (2020)

Live at Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre
Starring Ben Mingay, Lucy Durack, Todd McKenney, Nat Jobe, Marcia Hines

Despite loving the theatre, I didn’t realise everyone’s favourite ogre had been given a musical adaptation until I was gifted a ticket. I decided to keep the air of mystery and resisted my natural urge to research. And boy was I pleasantly surprised. 

The movie Shrek and its sequels already lend themselves to the musical treatment given the delightful soundtracks, fun characters and a fairy tale plot unlike the others. The resulting stage realisation of Shrek the Musical ticks all of the best boxes — great cast, not-so-hidden innuendos that fly over heads of the little ones, a superb soundtrack, a vibrant wardrobe, fantastic mise en scene … and a cameo from the best booted kitty cat in all of once-upon-a-time-dom. 

Mingay portrays Shrek with the perfect balance of grouchy exterior and soft gooey heart. Durack brings Princess Fiona to life with an equally perfect balance of princess perfection and ogreish olfactory offences. McKenney is brilliant as Lord Farquaad whose short stature sees McKenney performing great dance numbers with his usual talent and grace — all while on his knees! 

While the three actors already mentioned were all wonderful in their own way, the stand out for me was Jobe’s portrayal of Donkey. Jobe brings all of the hilarity, heart and sass of Donkey to life and was a pure delight to watch. 

And of course, supporting the four main characters is a talented ensemble whose performances are tight, fun and, in parts, downright whimsical. 

Shrek the Musical is a hilarious romp that is sure to be fun for the whole family. It’s a must see for anyone who enjoys the Shrek movies or great all-ages musicals. Get in quick though — if you miss out you will be green with envy. 

– CJ


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