ACT Theatre Reviews 2021-2022

of each scene Choreography, including tap dancing rats, had much to enjoy. Musically everything, whether solo, duet or company, was so well delivered and all accompanied by a first-class band. All these areas were in sync with each other and never allowed the focus of the audience to drop. There was a principal cast of 4, plus support, and a large ensemble that depicted a cavalcade of fairytale characters. From glamorous, vampy, three blind mice backing vocalists, to Pinocchio, complete with his liegrowing nose, all added to the success of the piece. The cameo role of the vocal voice of the dragon was richly delivered by Sam Kearney. As Donkey, Samuel Maurice had the daunting task of finding the voice of the character after Eddie Murphy created the role in the film. The die was cast so to speak. Samuel found the voice through phrasing and pitch making his Donkey a sassy ass. Gareth Smith, in true panto mode, entertained as the undersized Lord Farquaad. Spending the whole show on his knees and, despite his short comings, he managed a high-kicking routine with the aid of prop legs swathed in yellow tights. Gareth was a firm favourite with the audience. There was much to enjoy in Laura Meredith-Hoyle’s portrayal of the feisty Princess Fiona, the witty parody of all the Disney Princesses. Laura delivered all the aspects of Fiona, singing, dancing (tapping), trumping and belching. Watching her energetic performance she could not help but put a smile on your face. The tartan-clad, laudable outcast, Shrek, with his soft Scottish accent, was embodied by John Wood. John put his own spin on the beloved green Ogre: he created such fun and the laughs kept coming. Shrek’s quirky friendship with Donkey and their antics received enthusiastic applause. Then boy meets girl: the chemistry between Fiona and Shrek gave credence to their relationship which showed another side to this loveable character. John Wood and the company delivered the warmth and fun of the show and the audience went home feeling happy. Something we all need after the last couple of years.