APAN has yet another great production for Perth audiences just in time for the school holidays, with Shrek Jr The Musical playing at Hertha Reserve in Stirling in the magnificent Big Top.
I loved the extra touches in this show – the characters acting as ushers, the opportunity to have a photo with the performers after the show, and lots of extras on sale.
This is a 2 hour show with an interval, giving the audience a chance for a quick duck out to the candy bar. Given the big top can be a trifle warm, we were very grateful for the fans, not to mention the well-priced slushies! For younger kids, it may be worthwhile bringing a cushion for them to sit on so they get a good view.
But, on to the show! The cast and crew have managed to meld together a professional production with a personalised feel. The big top is big enough to fit a crowd but still allows you to get up close to the stage.
With a range of fairytale characters, my kids were stoked to spot all their favourites (they are still talking about Puss in Boots!). I think this was also a great way to include a larger cast and do what APAN does best – expose young performers to the world of real life, commercial theatre.
The main cast certainly held their own with Jesse Watts as the lovable albeit smelly Shrek, and the delightful Lilyan Smith playing Fiona, not to mention Max Hughes, who was wonderfully evil as Lord Farquaad. Special mention goes to Presley Massara and Lloyd Matiaas as Donkey, a very true to the original portrayal with great comedic timing.
I enjoyed the clever use of several actors to show the journey of the main characters, as well as Fiona’s transformation into an ogre. I thought this was superb casting and a good way to ensure quick costume changes and a story that flowed well.
The singing was superb, though this was no surprise, with many of the cast being APAN trained. The costuming really helped bring the characters to life – after all, it’s no mean feat to have a cast that includes two ogres, a dragon, and a talking wooden boy!
The team at APAN have put together a school holiday experience that will be enjoyed by children of all ages and their parents. Well done to the cast and crew on a fantastic family show. Shrek Jr The Musical is playing at Hertha Reserve (opposite Stirling Train Station) til 30 September 2018 and tickets are available via Ticketek.
Revisit our review of APAN’s Legally Blonde The Musical here.