Theatre Review: Shrek Jr The Musical

The story of Shrek Jr is the same as the movie with Shrek rescuing and falling in love with Princess Fiona who is not what she appears to be.

Presented by Adelaide Youth Theatre
Reviewed 1.30pm performance 6/10/17

This was the first time I’d seen a production by the Adelaide Youth Theatre but it certainly won’t be the last. The talented and enthusiastic cast gave outstanding performances and were well supported by a wonderful production team, plus parents and helpers.

The musical was developed from the animated movies by Dreamworks which would explain why many of the cast tried to sound like the characters in the film. Given that my young niece was unable to distinguish between the film and the stage show, I can understand why but I didn’t like the fake American accents. The story is the same as the movie with Shrek (Jayden Prelc) rescuing and falling in love with Princess Fiona (Jess Muncheow), who is not what she appears to be.

Shrek sets off to see Lord Farquard (Sahra Cresshull) and get him to take back all the fairy tale characters he banished to the swamp. I was particularly impressed by the wonderful range of costumes for the fairy tale people and recognised most of them straight away such as, Pinocchio (Montana Vincent) with his long nose, the 3 Little Pigs (Phoebe O’Halloran, Bonnie Blacker and Aimee Caldwell) and  the Big Bad Wolf (Michael Shizas), still wearing grandmother’s nightgown.

Shrek reluctantly allows the Donkey (Nathan Stafford) to be his travelling companion to Duloc to see Lord Farquard whose performance was great fun and very well done with great movement and agility. My companion (aged 5) wanted to know what was wrong with his legs but I won’t spoil it for you, you’ll just have to go and see for yourself. Shrek agrees to rescue Princess Fiona in order to get his swamp back and there is a very clever scene where 3 Fionas, from a young girl (Zoey Velianovski) to a teenager (Holly Abbott) to a young woman thus demonstrating how long she’s been in the tower, sing about being rescued.

In rescuing the Princess, Shrek disturbs the Dragon (Erin Sowby) and there is a wonderful song and dance number Forever by the Dragon, the Knights (Oliver Lawes, Michael Shizas, Holly Abbott, Lily Horton-Stewart, Ella Waters, Kayla Parobiec and Alyssa Tacono) and the Donkey. Other notable musical numbers include I Think I Got You Beat which the audience loved as it involves farting and burping and Freak Flag which is all about being yourself. The young performers are well directed and provide polished performances and I urge you to take the kids to see Shrek Jr The Musical.

Reviewed by Jan Kershaw

The cast reviewed is the Swamp cast


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