REVIEW: Viva’s production of Shrek the Musical is ‘a wonderful family show’

PUBLISHED: 09:51 09 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:51 09 March 2020

Viva Soham’s production of Shrek the Musical is ‘a wonderful family show’ says reviewer Rosemary Westwell. Shrek, Donkey and Princess Fiona are pictured. Picture: ROSEMARY WESTWELL

Viva Soham’s production of Shrek the Musical is ‘a wonderful family show’ says reviewer Rosemary Westwell. Shrek, Donkey and Princess Fiona are pictured. Picture: ROSEMARY WESTWELL

Archant

Having seen the film of Shrek several times I was a little concerned that the show would not be able to capture the characters as well, but I need not have worried.

Viva Soham’s production of Shrek the Musical is ‘a wonderful family show’ says reviewer Rosemary Westwell. Lord Farquaad is pictured. Picture: ROSEMARY WESTWELLViva Soham’s production of Shrek the Musical is ‘a wonderful family show’ says reviewer Rosemary Westwell. Lord Farquaad is pictured. Picture: ROSEMARY WESTWELL

This production, directed by Viva's founder Dan Schumann, did more than 'capture the characters'.

This show was even better than the film, for Shrek, Donkey, Fiona and Lord Farquaard were much more believable.

The interaction between them was far more effective and the development of their feelings very much more vibrant in this fantastic live show.

Shrek (played by Dylan Cardwell) was ever the wise long-suffering ogre thrust into unexpected adventures in which he battled and rose as the hero, rescuing the princess in the tower and claiming back his swamp for himself.

Donkey (Aaron Lord) became an unexpected, very annoying, jabbering friend of Shrek's who endeared himself to the audience considerably.

He was constantly over-enthusiastic and always showing off but no matter what he did, he remained adorable.

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The lovely Fiona (Livs Stevens) became a perfect match for the ogre and their trials and tribulations were well explored with excellent acting, perfect timing and beautiful singing and dancing to boot.

Another unforgettable character was Lord Farquaad (Michael Hesslop) whose movements were incredibly agile considering his circumstances: his diminutive stature.

He was a real showman and the audience was left in no doubt as to his cringe-worthy egotism.

The show was made complete by all the other characters, a splendid orchestra (conducted by Richard Hayward), and very effective scenery, props, costumes and lighting.

The nursery rhyme characters and ensemble filled the stage with colour and humour.

The choreography by Jess Clifford was particularly well contrived for this seamless production adding energy and pizzazz to the performance in addition.

This was indeed a wonderful, family show.

Coming up for Viva is an Easter school: 'The Lion King' at Soham Village College from April 14-16, and a musical production: 'Stepping Out' at Fordham Victoria Hall from May 14-16.

To keep up to date with upcoming Viva productions visit: www.viva-group.org.uk


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