Shrek The Musical at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton REVIEW: ‘This family-fun theatrical experience is not to be missed’

Shrek the Musical is coming to the Mayflower, Southampton.
Shrek the Musical is coming to the Mayflower, Southampton.

Shrek the Musical enjoyed 715 performances on the West End before embarking on a tour of the UK.

Now on its second quest to entertain audiences throughout the country, this family-fun theatrical experience is not one to be missed.

As a huge fan of the 2001 Dreamworks Animation of the same name, starring Mike Myers, I approached the musical with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.

However, within a matter of minutes, my nerves were alleviated as the clever set design, bursting with colour, and the talented cast assured me they would do one of my favourite films justice.

Steffan Harri impressed as Shrek; transitioning well from unapproachable grumpy ogre to lovable romantic hero. He was at his best in scenes shared with his trusty sidekick, albeit not through choice, Donkey. This part was made famous by Eddie Murphy in the film meaning Marcus Ayton had big hoofs to fill. However, he was more than up to the task and was a firm favourite with the crowd.

Call The Midwife’s Laura Main was captivating as Princess Fiona, whilst Samuel Holmes was incredibly funny as short-statured Lord Farquaad, the bumbling ruler of Duloc.

However for me, the star of the show was the Dragon, played by Christina Modestou. In the film, the fire-breathing beast doesn’t even speak but on stage, the best song, “Forever”, was sung by her and what an absolutely incredible voice she had.

Sadly, with this one spectacular exception aside, I feel the musical is let down by the score. Whilst they are performed brilliantly, the songs are simply not good enough, let alone memorable. The crowd were audibly delighted when it closed with “I’m A Believer” from the movie’s soundtrack.

The visual effects and talented cast, however, are really worth the trip.

Shrek fans won’t be disappointed.

Until December 8.