Shrek The Musical
Congress Theatre, Eastbourne
from Tuesday 26 July to Saturday 30 July, 2022
by Tony Flood
Rattonians celebrate their return to the Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, for the first time since the pandemic with an excellent performance of Shrek The Musical.
Nathan Morris, as the tubby, green ogre with protruding ears, Alex Adams, a charismatic talking donkey, and Laura May Sivers, a delightful Princess Fiona, are superb.
But even their high standard of singing and dancing, backed by a wonderful supporting cast, cannot turn mainly unmemorable tunes into show-stoppers. There are exceptions, particularly the finale I’m A Believer, which was added to the 2001 Academy Award-winning animated Dreamworks film.
We are also treated to some impressive choreography by Debbie Adams – the fourth member of the Adams family involved in this production – as Shrek and Donkey set out to rescue the feisty princess from her imprisonment in a tower guarded by a flame-throwing dragon.
The huge dragon and the undersized evil landlord Lord Farquaad, who intends to marry Princess Fiona, both benefit greatly from the excellent vocals of Shannon Smith and Steve Clarke. As His Lordship is less than four feet tall, Clarke has to shuffle around on his knees, over which tiny false legs have been placed.
There are a host of fairy tale characters, with stand-out contributions coming from Emily Davis as Pinocchio, Robyn Nash (Gingy), Kieran Potter (Pied Piper), Amie Woodgate (Sugar Plum Fairy), Eliza Hackett (Wicked Witch) and Georgie Williams (Humpty Dumpy).
Lexi Blundell and Stevie Wickens take turns in playing the young Fiona and Zara Pout and Scarlett Hiles the teen Fiona.
The musical direction of Robert Cousins, direction of Mark and Alex Adams and production of Mark, Melanie, Alex and Debbie Adams add greatly to an entertaining evening.