Never in a million years did I expect to be writing a post about Shrek The Musical on my hidden gems blog. I’m not a fan of the film Shrek, though I have been known to enjoy the odd musical. In all honesty when I got asked to go along to see Shrek The Musical by Royal Caribbean Cruises (they have a live performance of Shrek on-board hence the connection), as lovely as the invitation was, I was a bit hesitant. Sharps was horrified at the prospect. He’d seen a dubious performance by the cast on Britain’s Got Talent. But I’d interviewed the lovely Nigel Harman who told me all about his role as Lord Farquaad. And it sounded like it could be fun. So I convinced Sharps we should at least check it out, though I wasn’t expecting too much.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. Shrek the Musical was bloody brilliant. The night we went Amanda Holden wasn’t in the show. The part of Fiona was being played by her understudy. Nevertheless the entire cast gave stellar performances. Shrek The Musical is a real hidden gem. A bit like an episode of The Simpsons there’s lots of adult humour in Shrek the Musical as well as plenty of farting for the kids (and men). Nigel Lindsay’s Shrek kept us entertained, especially the bit where he pretends to clean himself with a skunk. And the stage production of Shrek the Musical, complete with a flying dragon, was pretty impressive. But it’s Nigel Harman who really steals the show. His Lord Farquaad had the audience in stitches with his facial expressions and dance routines. As the midget meglomaniac he spends the entire time on his knees, which can’t be particularly comfortable either.
Shrek The Musical didn’t fare too well on Broadway. Failing to wow critics it closed after a year despite being one of the most expensive Broadway productions to date at an estimated cost of £15 million. It was only surpassed by the £37 million New York musical Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark which had more than its fair share of problems. But this is the country where The Fantasticks ran for 50 years. I was (un)fortunate enough to have been to one of the previews. It felt like I was like sitting through an amateur dramatics production. And it was little surprise that the show closed in the UK after about a month. It’s A Big Bright Beautiful World out there so go with an open mind and you won’t be disappointed.
What’s your favourite musical and have you come across any hidden gems? Send me a comment and let me know?