Shrek has emerged from his swamp and is coming to Australia.
The much loved digital animation turned stage musical, starring Ben Mingay, Lucy Durack, Todd McKenney and Nat Jobe is due to open on January 1st at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney. Even though there is over a month until we can watch the show, rehearsals are already well underway.
Media calls are always an interesting event, with a varying but inevitably large number of photographers, camera men, and journalists cramming themselves into the small prime positions to capture the one or two numbers on show. The performances are short, sharp and, considering that it’s just a couple of weeks into rehearsals, incredibly polished. Today we are given two numbers, “Story of My Life” by the ensemble (I use that term loosely as all the performers have characters; Pinnoccio, Sugar Plum Fairy, Peter Pan etc) and Shrek’s opening number “Big, Bright, Beautiful World” performed by Ben Mingay. Marcia Hines was unfortunately ill and could not perform at the call, so the gathered media were left, as you are, having to wait until 2020 to see don her dragon wings.
With the performance finished, the principal cast split up to engage in interviews and photo shoots for all the press outlets to cap the story with something more personal. Interviews vary from simple question and answer style, to the more entertaining, but I feel, slightly more kitsch interactions as professionally suffered through by Todd McKenny in demonstrating his character’s “mace dumbbell” work out routine. However, kitsch is this show’s middle name, and it is worn as a proud badge of honour, with Shrek ears handed out to all of the press in attendance.
Media call done, the press dash off to other stories and the cast move quickly on break; rehearsals will commence again as soon as the room has cleared. Half the job of a show is getting bums on seats, and this is just the first step to that end. No doubt I will be back in front of this talented and star studded company to bring to you all more images of the final, and fully polished version of Shrek in just a few short weeks. Watch this space . . .