top of page
Shrek 9.jpg

Shrek 2023

Audience Reviews:

"Everything about this show was amazing, well done to everyone who took part in making this happen"

"One of the best shows I have ever seen. Never seen a cast that looked like they were having this much fun before. I wanted to dance in the aisles - very uplifting!"

"When I heard you were doing Shrek I didn't think it could be done on Batley Town Hall stage, but I was amazed! The set looked like it could have been on a West End Stage"

"The whole show was very professional and done brilliantly"

"Excellent cast and crew, lovely props and scenery, very helpful team members on arrival"

"The sets were Incredible, the singing was excellent, the energy was high, it was a great night"

"I saw the Shrek professional tour in Manchester last month and it wasn't a patch on this production!"

Noda Report:  Kirstie Turnbull

For any amateur society to perform a show as well-loved and iconic as Shrek presents a challenge, no matter how big or small the company is.

Well, Carlinghow Theatre Company managed it and delighted the audience with a high-spirited, sparkling and pleasurable performance from beginning to end.  

The show opens with an introduction to young Shrek as Mama Ogre and Papa Ogre break the news to him on his 7th birthday that he is now on his own in a Big Bright Beautiful World, where happiness is all around, but not for him and so he should find his own patch of swamp and stay there! I was delighted to see that this was done via a video projection, very original and very effective. During the song, young Shrek disappears and grown up Shrek continues to tell his life story. Chris Hall as Shrek was a joy to watch and indeed listen to. His Scottish accent never once faltering and his rich voice was a treat to listen to.

We are then introduced to a plethora of Fairytale characters as they are evicted from their homes in Duloc. Olivia Griffin as Pinocchio added all the charm of the film character to her own portrayal and brought humour to the role with her extending nose! It would be impossible to name each fairytale character individually but everyone was absolutely on point, from the physical representation to the voice and as a group they lit up the stage on every appearance.

Gareth Jones played Duloc’s evil leader Lord Farquaad, and he had brilliant comic timing and seemingly knees made of titanium. I particularly enjoyed his gymnastics display on the high bars, it was very entertaining!

The stage had been extended to encompass a walk way that was used to great effect during the journey to Duloc by the three lead characters. As we got to know the witty, down to earth Shrek himself, it was impossible not to be swept along with his charisma and energy because he was funny and highly relatable. He is perfectly complemented by the arrival of Donkey played by Patrick Stephen. Patrick, as Donkey, was just hysterical throughout and displayed some great physical acting. His facial expressions had me laughing out loud and keeping up the boundless energy couldn’t have been easy, but it was achieved with great aplomb. The two of them were a joy to watch. Princess Fiona, cursed as a child and forced to live in a tower was played by Melanie Stephen. As Fiona is freed and comes to realise her rescuer is definitely not the handsome prince she dreamed of, Melanie treated us to wonderful comedy acting and a journey from a princess acting in the polite manner expected of her to being downright feisty and sometimes vulgar. I particularly enjoyed the duet ‘I Think I Got You Beat’ with Shrek and her solo ‘Morning Person’. Melanie has a fabulous singing voice.

As the show progresses we are treated to so many amazing scenes from the very cleverly staged bridge scene to the spectacular dragon, puppeteered by a good half of the ensemble. Which brings me to how this show felt like a true community theatre production with all the set, costumes and prosthetics being made in house. What I took away from this show above all the excellent performances, is the love and time put into it by every member of the company from the front to back stage It was by no means a small task and one to which the company rose admirably. The set design was very colourful and captured the world very effectively. The costumes were fantastic, especially the Fairy-tale creatures. The lighting design by CS Technical was also effective and enhanced the atmosphere.

One of the biggest strengths of Shrek the Musical is its music. The score is filled with catchy and memorable songs that range from upbeat and funny to heartfelt and emotional. If I was to have any tiny criticism, it would be that I would have loved to have heard the wonderful score played by a live band, but I also realise the budget restrictions that so many societies face in today’s climate.

Overall, congratulations on a wonderful show. I was singing all the way home.

bottom of page