A Shrek-tacular show for the winter holidays

kickstart - shrek

SHREK The Musical heads to Johannesburg for a limited season at Gold Reef City from June 24 to July 17.

From the producers of Little Shop of Horrors, Cabaret and more recently Sweeney Todd, Durban’s KickstArt Theatre Company now brings Jozi audiences the musical stage adaptation of DreamWork’s global movie phenomenon Shrek!, set to delight old and young during the June/July holidays.

The talented local 28-strong cast will be bringing these instantly recognisable characters to life in this fabulous, fun, charming and hugely funny Broadway and West End hit musical.

The leads are portrayed by Lyle Buxton (Cabaret, Annie, Beauty and the Beast, Sweeney Todd) as Shrek, Rory Booth (Xtrafactor, Puss in Boots, Aladdin) as Donkey and Jessica Sole (Cabaret, I Love You You’re Perfect Now Change, Orpheus in Africa) as Princess Fiona.

Also in the cast are Jacobus van Heerden (Popcorn, Little Shop of Horrors, The Ladykillers) as the diminutive Lord Farquaad; Graeme Wicks (Sweeney Todd, Aladdin) as Pinocchio; Charon Williams Ros as Gingy the Gingerbread Man and a ferocious fire-breathing dragon…. With a huge cast of fairytale characters, and a chorus of tap dancing rats!

The stellar cast also includes; Ashleigh Harvey, Kyra Green, Luciano Zuppa, Samuel Hyde, Daniel Fisher, Tumelo Tokgwi, Senzo Radebe, Zchane Zietsman, Shani McLea, Sarah Richard, Caitlyn Thompson, Sarah Falconer and more.

The Johannesburg premiere of Shrek The Musical will be the first of many major productions to be staged at Gold Reef City following the completion of the recent multi-million rand redevelopment.

“The recent extensive refurbishment and expansion of Gold Reef City has created a perfect opportunity for us to stage this superb and larger-than-life Broadway inspired musical adaptation of the hit movie Shrek. This magnificent production will feature a large cast, spectacular music and great humour that will delight both children and adults alike,” says Noeleen Bruton, director of marketing – Tsogo Sun Group.

Shrek the Musical is directed by Steven Stead, designed by Greg King, choreographed by Janine Bennewith, lighting by Tina le Roux with musical direction by Rowan Bakker. It is based on the 2001 DreamWorks film Shrek! and the book by William Steig. The musical adaptation has book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire and music by Jeanine Tesori.

Shrek the Musical has become a global phenomenon with productions staged internationally including on the WestEnd and Broadway. With an enormous cast, a fabulous score; speedy set changes; extravagant costumes, prosthetics and make-up – this is quite possibly one of the most challenging and elaborate productions staged by KickstArt. I got to see it in Durban and I urge you to book tickets. It’s FABULOUS!

The story revolves around a benign ogre named Shrek who lives contentedly alone in a swamp. However, his solitude is disrupted when a band of disgruntled fairytale creatures show up on his property after having been banished from the Kingdom of Duloc, on pain of death, by the evil Lord Farquaad.

Irritated by having to share his swamp, Shrek journeys to see Farquaad with the intention of regaining his privacy. On the road, he rescues a talkative donkey who insists on tagging along to show him the way. Shrek and Donkey arrive in Duloc where Farquaad demands that Shrek rescue his intended, Princess Fiona. The two unlikely friends set off to save Fiona. After a quest involving a fire-breathing lady dragon, Princess Fiona is “rescued” from the tower by Shrek. On the way back to Duloc, Shrek and Princess Fiona get better acquainted and Donkey tries, unsuccessfully, to match-make them.

As Princess Fiona and Lord Farquaad are about to be married, there is an uprising from the fairytale characters, and Princess Fiona realises that Lord Farqaad is perhaps not her champion after all. And in the tradition of all good fairy stories, the villain is vanquished, the hero finds true love, and they all live happily ever after….

A highly successful inaugural season in Durban in 2015 garnered the production seven awards in the prestigious Mercury Durban Theatre Awards (2014/5) including; Sound Design (Stephanie Pais), Lighting Design (Tina Le Roux); Director (Steven Stead); Supporting Actor: Musical Theatre (Jacobus van Heerden); Lead Actress (Jessica Sole); Lead Actor (Lyle Buxton) and the coveted Musical Theatre Production Award.

In the recent BroadwayWorld.com 2015 Awards, Shrek received two further awards; for best Costume Design (Greg King) and Best Family Friendly Entertainment.

And now it’s Jozi’s turn to enjoy this Shrektacular theatre production that’s been turbo charged as it brings a favourite movie to life on stage!

Afternoon performances run from Wednesdays to Sundays at 2.30 pm with evening performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7,30pm.

Tickets range from R150 to R290 and bookings can be made at http://www.goldreefcity.co.za or by calling The Gold Reef City Box Office on 011 248 5000 or through Computicket.

The show runs for 2 hours 10 minutes with a 20-minute interval.

No children under 4 years will be admitted into the auditorium.

 

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