SHREK The Musical

St James Theatre 2, Wellington

12/10/2022 - 16/10/2022

Production Details

Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire
Music by Jeanine Tesori

Originally produced on Broadway by DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Productions
Based on Shrek the movie by DreamWorks Animation and Shrek! the book by William Steig

Directed by Nick Wilkinson
Musical Director: Nick Braae
Choreographer: Hannah McFarlane

Produced by Layton Lillas

Presented by Showcase Entertainment Group Limited

Based on the The Academy Award-winning animated film Shrek, the hilarious story of everyone’s favourite ogre will be brought to life on stage at the Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre in Auckland in the April school holidays followed by seasons in Hamilton at Clarence Street Theatre, Christchurch’s iconic Isaac Theatre Royal then Wellington’s St James Theatre.

This lavish multi-million-dollar musical is part romance, part twisted fairytale and all irreverent fun that brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage and proves there’s more to the story than meets the ears.

In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre — not a handsome prince — shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a bad guy with a short temper, a cookie with attitude, and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand … and his name is Shrek.

Shrek The Musical has been enjoyed by audiences around the world since 2008, having toured Australia, the US, UK, Asia, Canada, South America and Scandinavia among others. Now it’s your turn New Zealand.

As Shrek would say, it’s better out than in! Shake off your Covid blues and make your friends “green” with envy with a ticket to Shrek the Musical this July in Auckland and Hamilton. Tickets available from Ticketmaster and Ticketek.

Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland.
Performances from 12 July.
Tickets from $35 from Ticketmaster. A service fee applies.

Clarence St Theatre, Hamilton.
Performances from 19 July.
Tickets from $35 from Ticketek. A service fee applies

Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch.
Performances from 3 October 2022.
Tickets from $35 from Ticketek. A service fee applies

St James Theatre, Wellington.
Performances from 12-16 October 2022.
Tickets from $35 from Ticketmaster. A service fee applies.

Lord Farquaad:  NIC KYLE 

Stage Manager – Annah Jacobs

Children’s , Family , Musical , Theatre ,

Exceptional and faultless

Review by Deborah Rea with Luna Rama and Dev Rama 13th Oct 2022

Brought to us by Showcase Entertainment group, Shrek the Musical knocks it out of the kingdom. We are so lucky to have these supremely talented Kiwis as our own.

The set and gorgeous puppets were shipped in from the West End, designed by the award-winning Tim Hatley. It’s such a treat to have, for us Kiwi set-starved audiences. It’s so rare and elaborate to me that I had to look up exactly what a ‘Head Mechanist’ does. Shrek the Musical has set changes for every scene! And it’s beautiful as well of course. The ten-strong stage team of Stage Manager Annah Jacobs and Head Mechanist Damien Brown make it all seem to appear by magic, flowing seamlessly without interruption.

Tom Knowles’ Shrek is nothing short of sublime. We love him immediately. His success is assisted by the incredible work of the show’s makeup team, headed by Kirstie Dawson Smith.

Karla Lyford’s Fiona is terrific. My only gripe would be that I want more Fiona! More stage time and more dialogue for this cool character to be shown – but you can only fit so much into a two hour show (incl. interval).

Cameron Clayton is tasked with stepping into Eddie Murphy’s shoes as Donkey. Clayton is charming and unstoppable. Eddie who? Nic Kyle spends the majority of the show running or dancing about on his knees as Lord Farquaad. While he is our villain, it’s quite hard to stay mad at the delightful little twerp.

The incredible dragon puppet – brought to glorious life by songstress, Jessica Ruck Nu’u, and Brad Thomson’s technical team – is worthy of receiving its own standing ovation.

Every single actor’s performance is exquisite without a single misstep amongst the entire production. Shrek the Musical features possibly the hardest working (and undoubtedly most successful) ensemble of the year. Rebekah Head, Oliver Humpries, Meredith Jackson, Joseph Kummer, Jack Shatford, Chelsea Kelly, Drew Noble, Jessica Rogers, Fletcher Oxford, Falstaff Dowling-Mitchell take on multiple roles with aplomb. They feature as fairytale characters (including Pinocchio whose nose actually grows!), Knights, Duloc dancers and puppeteers to name a few. Another bow to the supremely talented (and fast!) makeup team and Calire Field’s wardrobe team.

If you’re lucky enough to catch the Wellington or Auckland season you will score a lovely guest appearance by Paraparaumu College student Mischa O’Brien as Young Fiona.

The theatre-maker in me couldn’t help but start adding up the costs of it all. We are so blessed that Showcase Entertainment Group took a punt and went all out to give us this experience.

My mini-reviewers had not yet seen the movie version so were wowed at Fiona’s revelation. Once home, the movie was demanded so our family ended up being treated to approximately 3.5 hours of Shrek that day – not counting the re-enactments, discussion, soundtrack and attempts at piecing together the mesmerizing (and apparently addictive) choreography bu Hannah McFarlane.

As for Nick Wilkinson (Director) and Nick Braae (Musical Director), I don’t know what to say, other than virtually extending my arm to shake your hands. That’ll do Nicks. That’ll do.

I don’t know where producer Layton Lillas found these people but I bet he skips home at night, clicking his heels.

Shrek the Musical was simply beyond my wildest dreams. Exceptional and faultless.

Sorry Mike Myers and Dreamworks, but Tom Knowles does it better.

Dev (aged 3 ¾):

I liked the part of the show where the princess was being green.

The donkey was my favorite because he wanted to come with Shrek and be his friend.

Shrek farted flowers.

I liked Mama bear but there wasn’t a baby bear on the show.

I liked all the dancing.

I liked it when they loved each other.

I liked the dragon because there was a dragon girl talking and singing for it and I could see her. The dragon was really big and I liked it.

The show was so funny. There were a lot of farts.

Luna (aged 6):

I had not been to the St. James Theatre before. It was very big and it has faces everywhere.

Shrek sang a song and farted flowers. Then all the fairytale people came. A fairy, Peter Pan with Tinkerbell as a little light, The Ugly Duckling, Mama Bear, Big Bad Wolf, Pinocchio, Wicked Witch, Three Little Pigs.

The pigs looked funny because their costumes gave them very big tummies. Shrek went Rah! And some of them ran away. They wanted Shrek to help them. Lord Faquard was getting rid of them all. Shrek said he would help them just to get them to go away and give his swamp back.

The yellow haired girls and boys did a song and dance because they were excited for the new king. Lord Farquaad got Shrek to rescue Princess Fiona from a dragon. The donkey made friends with the dragon because he said nice things to her. I’ve never seen a puppet like the dragon before and I want to have it.

Lots of them were my favourite character. My favourite, favourite, favourite characters were the Fairy, the Ugly Duckling (I don’t want her to feel bad that all the other ducklings called her a not very good thing…), Princess Fiona and Shrek.

The funniest guys were Donkey and The Three Little Pigs.

The baddie was Lord Farquaad.

I really liked the set. It was so big and it changed and moved a lot. How did Fiona get her face paint on so fast?

I liked the songs and dances. I want to learn the dance at the end that they were doing. Lots of people told me that I looked very pretty and nice and some called me Princess Fiona.

At the end I was clapping so fast that I only saw a blur for my hands.

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