By Natasha Cousins
With eager anticipation, my 11 year old daughter and I headed to the Theatre Royal in Nottingham to see Shrek: The Musical.
We had timed our arrival to grab a bite to eat. As soon as we hit the street we were inundated with places to visit for food, ranging from TGI Friday’s to Pizza Hut, Harvester, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Subway, to all you can eat buffets. In Nottingham, you are truly spoiled for choice. We decided on going to Pizza Hut as this is a family favourite.
The show started at 1900hrs, so we arrived a little early to get our tickets, and had a look around the foyer. There was a special area where you could go and have a few pictures taken such as Shrek’s Out House. However, we settled for the eight foot tall sparkling ‘S’ to have our photo opportunity. Merchandise was on sale throughout the foyer ranging from the standard programmes to Shrek and Fiona Ears, to Ginger Bread Man Puppet’s to coffee mugs and CDs. These varied in price from £4 for a standard programme to £14 for the Puppet, and £16 for the Cast Broadway CD.
One of things I liked about the venue was that theatregoers were given an indication as to when the show would finish. As a parent, I know only too well how anxious one can be about what time children will come out of the show, particularly on a school night.
The theatre itself seemed to come alive when we were transported to what looked like a forest as the theatre was lit in green. My daughter gazed in amazement.
Due to the popularity of the show, it was a little late starting because many members of the public were still turning up. Right from the start however, I was enthralled by the costumes and the set. It felt like it was plucked from the film and played right in front of my eyes.
Members of the cast were wonderful to watch – all of them had their own funny characteristics. Jokes were flying all over the place, including some for the adults so we could be entertained. The actors did such a wonderful job – the heavy costumes must have been restrictive and hot. However, it didn’t seem to phase them one bit. The show had everyone laughing and clapping along. I was astounded by the puppeteering for the dragon within this show. For a brief moment, I honestly felt and believed this was a genuine dragon.
Overall, I felt the production team did a great job with everything – even the small detail on the dragon breathing and blinking when singing. The show in itself really doesn’t steer too far from the movies, which I think is a great idea as it was a good story but they put a few little extra bits in which were great and kept it entertaining.
In total the show was around three hours long and to be honest, it didn’t feel like that at all. My daughter and I came out of the theatre firmly on a high, having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. This show is definitely suitable for all ages and is worth watching even if you don’t have children.