ACT Theatre Reviews 2021-2022

SHREK THE MUSICAL Director: Ben Ireson Musical Director: Michael Scott Choreography: Sophie Dickens Knutsford M.T.C. The big green ogre set up swamp in the Memorial Court, Northwich by the auditorium being lit with gobos, sound effects of bird song, and scented air. An open stage had a woodland cloth and inserts of Princess Fiona’s tower, and Shrek’s dwelling. This generated the right atmosphere, especially for the younger members of the audience who had come to see their favourite animated bogeyman come alive on stage. None of this could have worked without good designs for lighting (Ian Wiper) and sound (Tom Maurice). A special mention must go to Charades for their fabulous costumes and No Eyed Theatre for the ferocious Dragon for the overall effect to complete the Shrek experience. There was so much thought put into the presentation of this production. The creative team followed the rules by asking, “who is my audience?”. They ticked all the boxes to create a fun-filled family entertainment, rather than it turning, as sometimes happens, the show turning into a theme park extravaganza. This spoof on fairytale characters is larger than life: although it is not pantomime, it stands right next to it. The format laid down by the film has to be followed, although this musical adaptation gives a little bit of wriggle room for the imaginative production team to pull something out of the ideas bag. The director successfully took every opportunity to enlarge the original concept along with the bouncy choreography, especially the big tap number featuring dancing rats. Musically the standard was high, and each solo and company number was well delivered. The score is not one of Broadway’s or the West End’s best, but fortunately the show does not stand only on the music, it is the whole package that gets the audience approval.