I was lucky enough to be given tickets to see Shrek the Musical and took Dexter along on Monday evening.
I don’t know about you, but I find I have to keep things like this secret otherwise he will literally be asking questions about the event from the moment I tell him until the moment the curtain raises. Instead, we had this conversation:
Me: “We’re going to London on Monday night for a surprise!”
Him: “Is it food related?”
Me: “No love, although you will get fed, don’t worry.”
Him: “Right, is it game related?”
Me: “No, sorry.”
Him: “Are we going to the cinema? On a boat? Will there be food?”
And so on.
To say it was a rush to get up there on time, is an understatement, but get there we did. Went a little like this:
Work through lunch and leave work early
Drive like a mentalist from work
Pick Dexter up from childminder
Drop car off
Get chips from chippy (remark on how rank Dexter’s battered burger is)
Run to train station
Buy train tickets
Get on train
Play noughts and crosses for the next hour
Die of boredom after playing noughts and crosses for an hour
Get on tube
Do a full lap of Covent Garden
Finally find Shrek … exhausted.
We had invited my gorgeous fellow blogging friend Kate and her daughter but of course, there was a bomb scare at Victoria and she had to make her way across London via bus .. (we don’t ‘do’ public transport well.) Thankfully, she arrived on time, we collected our tickets and settled down to watch.
The opening to the show was funny and thankfully held Dexter’s attention because, quite frankly, he’s normally in bed by eight. I was worried that he wouldn’t last the whole show so kept him supplied with a steady stream of Counters and Wine Gums (and the promise of ice cream at half time.) Yeah, yeah, not quite the Earth Mother providing apple slices and grapes but hey, it’s meant to be a treat, right?
Here’s a little rundown of what I thought of the actors:
Princess Fiona played by Carley Stenson
I was initially skeptical because the only thing I know Carly from is Hollyoaks and figured (wrongly) that she wouldn’t be very good. I was actually pretty impressed by her singing and thought she had a beautiful voice.
Shrek played by Dean Chisnall
Very capable performance. He ‘does’ Shrek very well but I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not as it’s not the most charismatic character I’ve ever seen on stage! Great voice, good Scottish accent (but then he may well be Scottish for all I know.)
Donkey played by Richard Blackwood
Hmm. OK, bit controversial, but I didn’t actually think he was that good. And you know the main thing that bugged me? His accent. I don’t see why English actors should put on an American accent – was faintly ridiculous if I’m honest and a little distracting because once I noticed how bad it was, it continued to irritate. But it was late, and I was tired. Other than that, he lacked Eddie Murphy’s personality but did an OK job. Other people seemed to find him funny.
Lord Farquaad played by Neil McDermott
The real star of the show – although I didn’t find him quite as hilarious as the woman two rows behind me who laughed at everything he did … even when it wasn’t meant to be funny, was Lord Farquaad. He really was a natural on stage, playing with the audience (not literally) but his shuffling around on stage did make me giggle. Worth seeing the show just for him really.
You all know the story of Shrek so I won’t bang on about it here and the story on stage is the same so it’s easy to follow for younger fans.
We really enjoyed the show. The supporting cast were very talented, the effects fab (especially the dragon,) and well, it is what it is. If you like Shrek, you’ll like this.
I don’t think it’s something Dexter would want to see again but then he is 8 going on 34 and for me, I didn’t feel the songs were catchy enough to come out singing (like I did with Wicked.)
It was good. If good is what you like. I can’t really complain about anything to do with the performance, but perhaps Dexter and I are just too old before our time and have outgrown Shrek .. (insert sad face.)
But if you’re not, and you want to get into the Christmas spirit, the cast have released a Christmas song in aid of Centrepoint.
Thanks to Kayleigh and the team at Corner Shop for the tickets.