Imagine Theatre Academy’s Shrek The Musical Junior – 28 June 2024, Sheffield University Drama Studio

Review by Claire Taranaski.

Imagine Theatre Academy’s production of Shrek The Musical Jr is a lovely family friendly musical that makes the prefect introduction to musical theatre for fans of the film and those who may get fidgety during a full length musical. The writers are also not afraid to make fun of the fact that some of the more adult content has been cut.

Although the show was in many parts about the ensemble, at its best in the musical number “Story Of My Life” perfected with the energy and enthusiasm and friendship of an ensemble number from the likes of Annie”, with the entire company superb at ending each and every musical number on a high note, this is Shrek and if the roles of Shrek, Fiona and Donkey are not performed with perfection it will show, luckily the company had nothing to worry about.

Theo Pottinger was superb capturing the personality and attitude of Shrek and mastering the Scottish accent. Lucy Van Kesteren as Princess Fiona captured the innocent and need to be loved of her character and her chemistry with Theo shone through in my favourite and stand out number of the show “I Think I Got You Beat” (with special mention to Theo’s farts and burps). And Casper Samra as Donkey truly brought out in his inner Eddie Murphy for the 21st century with his friendship with Theo at it’s best in the “Travel Song”, a number which felt straight out of a classic Hollywood musical.

Of course Lucy was not the only Princess Fiona, with her younger versions performed by Lucinda Steel and Selina Jennings combining on the beautiful “I Know It’s Today” and left the audience routing for them with Lucy’s line “The waiting, the waiting” giving me actual goosebumps. Other characters, in a cast of over 50 who deserve a special mention are Maeve Kelly as Pinocchio who perfectly captured the voice and had one of the best props of the night in their expanding nose, Maya Clensy as vertically challenged Lord Farquard, who not only has to be on her knees all show and master prop legs but was also make a superb panto villain and the sultry tones of Hannah Rands as the dragon whose soulful voice on “Forever” would make me love to see her voicing the plant in a production of Little Shop Of Horrors”. I must also praise all those who puppeteered the giant dragon, as it could not have been easy.

Unfortunately the two remaining shows are already sold out but if you want to support the young future musical theatre talent of Imagine Theatre Academy members I would check out their forthcoming production of Grease when tickets go on sale.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.