Shrek the Musical – Rose Theatre

Directed by Sally Lyall

Musical Direction by John Hodgson

Choreography by Dannielle Logan

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“Let your freak flag fly!”

Captivate Theatre present a humourous and well-performed Shrek the Musical to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The beloved story is transformed into an all-singing and all-dancing production, while still maintaining the heart and tone of the original film.

Leaning into the Scottish elements of the characters, a kilted Shrek is dismayed when persecuted fairytale characters invade the peace and quiet of his swamp. To ensure that they leave his land, he agrees to complete a quest for Lord Farquaad and rescue the princess in the tower. Alongside his trusty steed Donkey, Shrek rescues Fiona but bonding over their challenging childhood experiences, they form a bond that threatens Farquaad’s plans.

Kerr Mckinlay’s Shrek is charismatic, and his performance makes the character more relatable for the audience, showing a different side to the ogre in the song “Who I’d Be”, an emotive number about his unfulfilled dreams.

Excellently supporting McKinlay is Lewis Kerr’s Donkey, with their friendship dynamic and constant bickering being a comedy highlight. Kerr conveys the character with excellent comedic timing and displays his vocal talent in his song “Don’t Let Me Go”.

Fiona is portrayed by Sophie Holmes to be a strong and sassy princess, standing up for herself and what she believes in. The relationship building between Mckinlay’s Shrek and Holmes’s Fiona in their duet “I Think I Got You Beat” brings a level of believability to the relationship.

Presenting a humourous and villainous Lord Farquaad, Oliver Payn has the audience in hoots of laughter every time he shuffles on stage and the character’s backstory and motivations are explored in “The Ballad Farquaad”. Additionally, Colum Findlay’s Dragon is glamorous and powerful, with a well-conveyed endearing side.

The fairy tale creatures and their strong characterisation shine throughout the production, especially in their song about acceptance, “Freak Flag”.

 The live band and catchy songs keep the energy levels high. The costumes by Charlotte Nicolson and Mairi Cross bring colour to the production with its simple but effectively used set.

This is a fun-filled experience for the audience, with characters to root for and a strong message about how people should not be judged based on their looks.

Humourous & well-performed

Shrek the Musical runs at the Rose Theatre until August 27th.

Tickets for which may be obtained here.

Photo Credit – Rachel Duncan

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