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Last week, I had the pleasure of a #matedate with the lovely Fiona of Greedy Sisters, at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. We were off to see a show, that’s an adaptation of a film I absolutely love – Shrek The Musical.

There were a few of us bloggers from WeBlogNorth going along and in honesty, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of the show. It was nice to arrive to a mixed crowd of families, young-uns and singletons, so the atmosphere was already fantastic. I’d never been to the Palace Theatre in all the years I’ve lived in Manchester. I’ve frequented it’s sister, The Opera House, but for some reason hadn’t caught a show here before.

We had a quick pre-show drink and photo in the Stage Door Bar, grabbed our Princess Fiona ears (you know, to get into the spirit of things) and made our way to our seats…

Shrek The Musical – what to expect

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Firstly, the Palace Theatre in Manchester is stunning, with comfy seats (slightly more spacious than it’s sister, The Opera House) and a circle, grand tier and boxes. A real old traditional theatre, full of grandeur – the perfect setting for a fantastic stage show.

We had fantastic seats in the stalls (row E, nice and central – lucky us!) and knew right away the tone was set for the night ahead of us when within minutes, we were introduced to a farting, singing Shrek. You can’t help but chuckle.

The familiar Scottish character was made his own by Steffan Harri and before we knew it, we were whisked away, joining him and Donkey on a quest to save Princess Fiona. And what a quest it was.

I probably don’t need to tell you too much about the story, as who hasn’t seen the movie?! but the familiar fairy-tale characters (or “freaks”) were a joy to behold and the songs, clever and hilarious. The staging was incredibly impressive, as were the costumes and my personal favourite element of production, was the Dragon…really quite magical!

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Who stole the show?

Personally, the one character that had me giggling continually and childishly, was Lord Farquaad, played by Samuel Holmes. I don’t want to spoil it, but gosh he’s funny – his expressions, his stage presence and glimpses at the audience, drawing us in. His character is so much funnier even than in the film – perfectly cast I’d say.

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Can you take the kids?

So I went with a fellow thirty-something old (sorry Fiona!), but sat there, watching families and kids laughing away, thinking I could have taken Flo, who would have loved it! There’s enough action to keep the kids entertained, along with silly (farting) humour and familiar characters that they will love to spot. So I’d definitely say take the kids along…particularly to one of the matinee performances. Although the evening performance starts at 7pm and is over by 9.30pm, so not a super late night for slightly older kiddies.

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One more week in Manchester

Shrek The Musical is here in Manchester for another week (til the 28th Jan), so do make sure if you’re in town, you snap-up tickets as believe me, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, I’m A Believer! (that’ll make sense if you go see it!).

You can buy your tickets to Shrek The Musical here.

The tour then heads-off to Sunderland, Birmingham, Aberdeen, Northampton, Sheffield, Cardiff, Stoke, Blackpool, Woking, Liverpool, Norwich, Canterbury, Milton Keynes, Bristol, Llandudno, Nottingham, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Plymouth, Southmapton and then finishing off back up North in Leeds.

So there’s plenty of opportunity to catch the show – and I genuinely suggest you do!

If you’d like to see another review/opinion of the show, check out my date Fiona’s write-up too.

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