Once upon a time there was a movie franchise powerhouse called Shrek. Now the loveable ogre has been transformed from the animated world on to the stage.
But while the production is genuinely theatrical and as heartwarming as the film, the supply of gags and memorable tunes are as short as Lord Farquaad himself.
All the humour comes from the story’s villain, masterfully played by Gerard Carey, as he scuttles around on stage on his knees while sporting prosthetic legs.
Dean Chisnall as Shrek and Chichester’s Bronte Barbe, playing love interest Princess Fiona, put in admirable turns as the lead characters.
But Idriss Kargbo struggles to get anywhere near the comic genius of Eddie Murphy’s Donkey and there’s only so many times you can rely on fart jokes to keep the audience amused.
That said, the show succeeds in having its own identity from the film, the Dragon sequence and Gingerbread Man cameo particular favourites for my children.
The real snag, though, is the omission of any stand-out songs. It says a lot that the only tune which really got the audience going came from 1966 in the form of The Monkees’ I’m a Believer.
Shrek’s good – but failed to leave me happy ever after.