What’s big, green, grumpy, gassy and staying at the Grand Opera House, Belfast? SHREK THE MUSICAL
As a child growing up I remember visiting The Grand Opera House in Belfast to watch a show every year. My husband was also lucky in that respect. When my tribe started to arrive I said I would always make sure we took them to a couple of shows a year so they could have the same memories we had growing up. All the kids love watching Shrek films, so of course we were excited to be invited to watch Shrek The Musical at The Grand Opera House starring Steffan Harri and Xfactor star Amelia Lily.
Our evening began with some preshow fun in the Baby Grand Studio. Our children, as per usual, made a beeline straight for the Shrek themed treats quickly followed by having their faces painted. Before leaving to take our seats there was the the chance to meet some Fairy tale characters. Normally our younger children shy away but this time they were all eager for photos!
Shrek and his loyal steed Donkey set off on a quest to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona from her tower, guarded by a fire breathing dragon in the hope they can get Shreks swamp back from the vertically challenged Lord Farquaad who banished a group of fairytale misfits and a biscuit with lots attitude to live there.
The musical is EXCELLENT, the characters engaging and the jokes making the whole audience laugh, including lots of topical references (Like Lord Farquaad’s horse Brexit), are on-point. The show has kept some of the great one liners from the film with the writer adding his own twist. At one point Shrek dabbed and farted at the same time, this of course had everyone roaring with laughter. I took along all 5 children who thoroughly enjoyed the show, this despite the show starting at what was normally bedtime! From the second the curtain went up and the kids saw the giant storybook open to begin the musical, that was them all hooked!
Shrek was played last night by Steffan Harri who interpreted the character’s two sides of a grumpy loner and someone who just wants to be loved. His comic timing, with a liberal sprinkling of sarcastic one-liners, was expertly done. He had the audience eating out of the palm of his hands, especially when he overhears a conversation between Donkey and Princess Fiona supposedly calling him an ugly monster at which point sympathetic ‘ahhhhh’s could be heard from the audience.
Princess Fiona was superbly played by X-Factor runner-up Amelia Lily, who showcased her musical talent but also threw herself into the comedic aspect of the character, making her a very warm and likeable princess.
Marcus Ayton was Shrek’s sidekick ‘Donkey’ but the undoubted star of the show is Samuel Holmes who was absolutely perfect in the role of Lord Farquaad. As soon as he appeared on stage on his knees, with tiny stick-on legs, as the pint-size bad guy the audience melted into fits of giggles and the ensuing dance routines with him waving the legs around never got tired.
If you’re looking for a show to see with kids of any age, I highly recommend SHREK THE MUSICAL and let the Dreamworks film come to life on stage. The show is recommended for children age 5+ but I found the younger girls were just as excited watching it as the older kids. It was a fantastic show with very talented cast members and great stage sets. Ending the show with the cast in a rendition of the hit song I’m A Believer… ‘I thought love was only true in fairy tales’. So we went home with 5 little happy faces and we can assume that fairy-tales really do come true #ImABeliever.
The show was enjoyed by everyone in the audience which ended in a well deserved standing ovation.
Tickets were gifted but all views are my own.