Last night we had an awesome Daddy/Daughter night out at Shrek: The Musical – complete with our green Shrek headbands! Whilst we had both seen Shrek before, we wouldn’t class ourselves as uber fans, but thoroughly enjoyed it all the same.
This version was staged by BOST Musicals – an amateur dramatics group based in Birkenhead, who put on annual productions at the Empire. To use the word “amateur” does them a massive disserve though. Honestly, you would never know that this talented bunch of performers (and back stagecrew) were anything other than the real deal – deeply impressive when you realise most have to rehearse around full time jobs, and obvious family commitments.
The performances were all spot on – the chemistry between Shrek and Donkey successfully manages to capture the magic of the movies. Donkey was my daughter’s (aged 6) favourite, whilst I thought standout performances were Jennifer Swanepoel as Princess Fiona (fabulous singing voice) and Michael Pearson as Lord Farquaad. You could feel just how much they loved being up there performing, with Michael clearly relishing his comedy villain role.
Which brings me neatly onto the sets and costumes, again these wouldn’t have been out of place on a West End Stage. Simple, yet clever illusions (including Lord Farquaad’s tiny legs) gave everything a fun lift, and the spectacular giant dragon was eye poppingly good. At any one time there must have been 30 cast members on stage, all with a unique and visually stunning costume.
My only gripe really was with the songs, and this isn’t a criticism of the cast – they performed them brilliantly. I just felt the show as a whole didn’t have enough toe tapping, stand out songs. I certainly didn’t leave the theatre humming any tunes, or feel the desire to locate the broadway cast version on Spotify like we have done with other musicals.
But overall, there was plenty on offer for all ages (lots of toilet humour) to have a really special night out – plenty of laughs, special effects and heart. I commend all the team at BOSH for putting on such a slick and well rehearsed show, wonderfully performed with energy and passion. It almost made me want to get up there myself and have a go!
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.