Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh in Shrek The Musical

As Amanda Holden shares her wonderful news, Shrek The Musical is delighted to welcome Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh to the swamp! Amanda Holden’s pregnancy, announced today, means that she will perform as Princess Fiona for the final time on Monday 3 October 2011. Kimberley will take over the role of Princess Fiona from Wednesday 5 October 2011, two months earlier than originally planned.

As a member of pop group Girls Aloud, Kimberley has sold 10 million records, released five platinum selling albums, won a Brit award and played sold-out arena tours.

Based on the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks Animation feature film Shrek, SHREK THE MUSICAL® stars Nigel Lindsay as Shrek, Richard Blackwood as Donkey and Nigel Harman as Lord Farquaad. The production officially opened on June 14, 2011 and has fast become one of London’s favourite musicals, playing to more than 225,000 people at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane since the first preview performance on Friday May 6, 2011.

Review: Shrek The Musical – Be prepared to be swept Far Far Away

Shrek The Musical is currently playing at Theatre Royal Drury Lane until February 2012.  Previews ran from 6th May to 14th June.  From 20th June, evening performances are at 7.30pm Mondays and Wednesdays to Saturdays; matinee performances are at 3pm on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.  Tuesdays, Shrek and Fiona will be taking a well-deserved mud bath.

Having been to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane before, the beauty of the décor was a pleasure to see again.  The seats in the Stalls were comfortable with moderate leg room.  As usual, theatre staff were quite helpful and friendly.

I’ll try not to say too much to spoil all the fun surprises.  It was one of the most fun times I’ve had at a show.  It’s a different kind of fun than say Mamma Mia or Jersey Boys, for example.  It’s something that can be enjoyed by the whole family.  It’s one of the few West End shows which are suitable for children.  There were only two mild swear words used (by Donkey, bad boy).  Any minor adult-related humour is done in such a way that it is hopefully missed by children.

Everything you might think couldn’t possibly be transformed from film to stage… think again.  It has it all from the dragon to the talking gingerbread man and everything in between including every childhood fairytale character you can think of.

Nigel Lindsay played a BIGGER than life Shrek and quite well!  Richard Blackwood played the incorrigible yet endearing Donkey – sidekick extraordinaire.  Princess Fiona was played by the lovely and talented Amanda Holden.  While very capable in her performance, I’m afraid she wasn’t believable as a 27 year old.  The character who seemed to have stolen the show though was Lord Farquaad played by Nigel Harman.  Though small in stature, he was large in presence.  He played the whole show unbelievably on his knees.  The costume was amazingly concealing.  All of the costumes were very well done and the scenery top-notch… interesting and ingenious at times (walking across the bridge as it was rising into place, manoeuvring the huge dragon on stage, the exploding bird, the shelter in the woods – to name a few).  The entire cast were very energetic.  Well done!

The finale was huge and had everyone on their feet.  I don’t know if it was the show or just the crowd on the evening but the show went over very well.  I myself enjoyed it very much.  It had quite a few surprises and was quite interactive with the audience.  And for those in the Stalls, be ready for an unexpected surprise.  Everyone will be in for a surprise during the wedding scene.  Alas, go and make up your own mind if it makes yours a ‘Big Bright Beautiful Word’!  I know that ‘I’m a believer!’

by Ann Kamran (stagetalk.co.uk)

[Rating:4.0/5]

Book tickets for Shrek The Musical