Shrek – Sutton Coldfield Musical Theatre Company
Lichfield Garrick Theatre
Tuesday 12th September 2023 – Opening Night
By Nigel Gambles
Photography – Nigel Gambles Photography
I have seen Shrek performed a number of times by amateur groups and also saw the premiere in the West End with Amanda Holden (Fiona) and Nigel Harman (Farquaad) , and for sheer commitment enthusiasm and inspired casting this is certainly one of the best productions I have seen.
Lets talk about the inspired casting, Peter Beck as Shrek absolutely nails the character channeling his inner Mike Myers (Shrek in the movie) he plays his character with an easy going and friendly style. Anil Patel as Donkey is superb, full of charisma and his witty comebacks sharp and timely. Charlotte Jervis as Princess Fiona plays the character with unbounded enthusiasm and with a good sense of the feisty princess’ character. She also copes well with a prosthetic nose, inflatable deer and a chorus line of dancing rats not forgetting the wonderful belch and fart competition with Shrek which is hilarious. Finally Simon Smith as Lord Faruuaad is wonderful as the villainous dwarf as he squirms around the stage with a pair of little false legs, his movements and facial expressions adding to the hilarity of the character exuding a wonderful unabashed sense of camp.
Full credit must be given to the supporting cast/ensemble who totally deliver amid numerous costume changes and energetic dance numbers. Too many to mention individually but a few mentions for Finley Waldron as Pinocchio and his extending nose, and Imogen Bloxham as Gingy brilliantly voiced. Ellie Summerfield as teen Fiona and Scarlett Brennan as young Fiona both excellent, Georgia Young as Humpty Dumpty Georgia Waldron as the Wicked Witch and Mark Skett as Big Bad Wolf. All the fairytale characters were wonderfully portrayed and it is nice to see a number of the youth group making their way to to this group.
I should also not forget to mention the Dragon wonderfully moving around the stage with flapping wings and gaping maw expertly controlled by the puppeteers and voiced by Chloe Child
Directed with imagination and flair what is a complex and fast moving show Paul Lumsden absolutely delivers this well known film and show aided by Sheila Pearson – Musical Director and Maggie Jackson – Choreographer who’s routines are energetic and slick.
I won’t go into the full story which Im sure everybody knows if you don’t which swamp have you been living in…
I will finally say all the characters were spot on, the comedy well timed, singing powerful and clear and the dancing super slick.