Review: Shrek The Musical, Edinburgh Playhouse

Steffan Harri leads the cast as Shrek with Laura Main as Princess Fiona. Pic credit: Helen Maybanks.
Steffan Harri leads the cast as Shrek with Laura Main as Princess Fiona. Pic credit: Helen Maybanks.

If you enjoyed the 2001 Dreamworks film Shrek then you should head along to the Edinburgh Playhouse to watch the beloved swamp-dwelling green ogre as he takes to the stage in the Capital for the festive season.

Shrek the Musical is running at the Playhouse from now until January 7, 2018 before the production embarks on a tour throughout the country.

Samuel Holmes stole the show as Lord Farquaad. Pic: Helen Maybanks.

Samuel Holmes stole the show as Lord Farquaad. Pic: Helen Maybanks.

Leading the cast as ‘Shrek’ is Steffan Harri, having previously starred in the original UK tour of the show and Aberdeen-born Call the Midwife star Laura Main stars as ‘Princess Fiona’. While Marcus Ayton plays Shrek’s wisecracking sidekick ‘Donkey’ and Samuel Holmes provides a stellar performance as pint-sized villain ‘Lord Farquaad’.

The production is based on the book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, who more or less follows the same direction as the film except he goes into more detail about the main characters and he develops the role of Lord Farquaad, who proved to be the star of the show.

The pint size lord has great ambitions of marrying Princess Fiona so he can become king and he does it with such humour that you can’t help but love the character.

I thought Samuel Holmes was fantastic in the role - he really came to the fore in the weight-lifting scene when he aimed to show just how good a match he would be for the feisty princess. His entrance on stage in the second part of the show on his horse (called Sturgeon) was another comical moment which proved to be a winner with the audience.

The cast of Shrek the Musical on the 2017 tour. Pic: Helen Maybanks.

The cast of Shrek the Musical on the 2017 tour. Pic: Helen Maybanks.

Shrek is sent on a mission to rescue Princess Fiona from a dragon-guarded tower and as the story unfolds the audience watches as the friendly green ogre falls in love with her, although he is unaware of a secret the princess is hiding.

Steffan Harri was excellent as Shrek as was Laura Main as Princess Fiona in this heart warming story which reminds us all that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

It was also good to see some popular storybook characters also making an appearance including Little Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio and the cheeky Gingerbread Man.

The only thing the show is really missing is some well-known songs. The music by Jeanine Tesori does feature some fab numbers like ‘the upbeat Morning Person’ and ‘The Ballad of Farquaad’ is brilliant, but the show’s last number is definitely the best and certainly proved to be a real crowd-pleaser (I won’t spoil the surprise by telling you which song it is but you will certainly know it when you hear it!)

The multi award-winning set and costumes by Tim Hatley really helped to bring the story to life on stage with a number of storybook characters providing fantastic, colourful performances.

Shrek the Musical is a show for all ages and this musical comedy is definitely worth going to see at the Playhouse before the show’s run ends next month.

For tickets visit: www.atgtickets.com/shows/shrek-the-musical/edinburgh-playhouse/