Review: SHREK THE MUSICAL at Harlequin Theatre

The live music, shaped by Lindy Tennent-Brown, shifted the mood seamlessly. Made up of around 10 musicians, the score added to the enjoyment of a great night out. 

By: Nov. 17, 2023
Review: SHREK THE MUSICAL at Harlequin Theatre

Reviewed by Katie Pidgeon

What happens when Mum, Dad and their eleven-year-old son go to Harlequin Musical Theatre’s production of Shrek, The Musical? 

They have a rollicking good night. 

Once upon a time… the notion that everyone in a family could be entertained at the same event was a fairytale, yet the Harlequin’s production takes you to a land where this fairytale has come true. All the ingredients for everyone to be entertained are included: a love story, puppets, full-blooded singing, slapstick, farts, a talking donkey, a singing dragon and an ensemble of fairytale characters. 

Director Robin Lane and his team clearly took great care in casting the roles. Tony Smith as Shrek and Bridie Allen as Fiona, the lead roles,  both sang powerfully and took the audience on their flight of fancy. They had good chemistry as the unconventional and heartwarming love birds (or ogres). The supporting players Reuben Su’a as Donkey and Jack Hanrahan as Lord Farquaad were hilarious. Reuben and Jack provided comic relief in the best possible way. Lord Farquaad particularly leaned into the humour of his innovative presentation and Donkey’s wisecracks gave a contrast to the main love story which pulled heartstrings. 

Special mention needs to be made of the whimsical Dragon which was beautifully created. She was brought to life by the extremely effective puppeteers and Sharon Fogarty’s incredible voice that commanded attention in every scene she was in. 

The live music, shaped by Lindy Tennent-Brown, shifted the mood seamlessly. Made up of around 10 musicians, the score added to the enjoyment of a great night out. 

The ensemble of fairytale characters was a highly tuned group. Rebecca Ceballos, the choreographer, had them dancing in many different styles which showcased their talents. The many varied styles of costume were breathtaking and the scene changes were clearly well-oiled by the 60 crew and cast. The ensemble’s singing provided comic interludes to the musical's slightly more serious romantic narrative. The ensemble was Mum’s highlight.  Dad was impressed by Lord Farquaad’s frolicking and ‘small talk’. Their son was enchanted by the magical dragon and fart jokes. We left jiving and singing "I’m a Believer" all the way home.

The hard-working production manager, Dale Smith, president of the Harlequin Musical Theatre is buoyant about ticket sales for the 140-person theatre. And well should she be. The season starts on Saturday 18th November and runs until Saturday 2nd December. With the strong reputation Harlequin Musical Theatre has built, you will need to get your tickets quickly to have your own happily ever after.

Shrek, The Musical

Harlequin Musical Theatre, Howick

18 November - 2 December 

Tickets HERE




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