An enchanting “Shrektacular” at Shrek The Musical

 

Shrek The Musical is based on the 2001 DreamWorks film, a firm family favourite. Capturing the magic of animation, the show begins with sets that open up like the pages of a children’s storybook. Directed by Rob Ashford and Jason Moore at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, the production brings the unforgettable film characters to life and explores their underlying feelings and motives.

A trip to theatreland is always magical but never more so than when the unlikely hero is a green ogre who finds himself caught up in a rescue mission more suited to a handsome knight in shining armour.

Settled into a brilliant front row seat, I sat back in ready anticipation as a green glow was cast onstage and Shrek ambled out from the wings, keen to tell us his story and describe the persecution he has faced.

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Shrek The Musical: Dean Chisnall as Shrek, Richard Blackwood as Donkey and Kimberley Walsh as Princess Fiona.

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TOP HAT IS TOP ENTERTAINMENT

 

World stage premieres are normally the preserve of the West End but Milton Keynes Theatre can boast that musical extravaganza Top Hat is making its global debut as a new stage show here in the new city this month.

Top Hat is a 1935 screwball comedy musical film starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers which has been lovingly crafted for the stage, encompassing the original classic songs by Irving Berlin and a further ten from the Berlin back catalogue.

Holby City and Strictly Come Dancing star Tom Chambers (pictured, below, with me) and experienced musical theatre performer Summer Strallen take the title roles of Jerry Travers and Dale Tremont – the leads played by Astaire and Rogers in the movie.

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Top Hat will sweep you off your feet: Leading man Tom Chambers dancing with Georgina Butler at the press launch for Top Hat at Milton Keynes Theatre

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Broadway smash hit Legally Blonde The Musical is a ridiculously enjoyable show. It opened at The Savoy Theatre in December 2009 and has been playing to packed audiences ever since. What’s more, it won the award for Best New Musical at the 2011 Laurence Olivier Awards in March.

After months of promising myself I would go and see this bubbly show, I made a visit to The Savoy Theatre part of a girly trip to London back in June. With perfectly manicured fingers painted a shocking pink in honour of the occasion, I clutched my ticket and entered the gorgeous West End auditorium.

Every theatre has its own vibe and the overwhelming feeling I was getting from both the building and the assembled audience was one of excitement and enthusiasm.

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Legally Blonde the Musical. Savoy Theatre, West End, London.

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Former world champions Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace have dazzled television audiences as the incredibly talented and likeable stars of Strictly Come Dancing for the last six years. In Midnight Tango they are “Strictly” sensational.

Midnight Tango is Vincent and Flavia’s first proper foray into theatrical performance. When they left the ballroom behind during the most recent break between seasons on the hit BBC show, Milton Keynes Theatre was one of the venues that welcomed their stunning production.

The breathtaking show – complete with first class tango routines, drama, comedy and pure unadulterated passion – is produced by acclaimed choreographer and So You Think You Can Dance judge Arlene Phillips and features ten of the finest Tango dancers in the world. An internationally renowned tango band joins the dancers for a sensational production that fuses dazzling choreography with intoxicating Tango rhythms.

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Vincent and Flavia dance Midnight Tango.

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COURAGEOUS AND COMPULSIVE CLEOPATRA

Northern Ballet’s Cleopatra is a mesmerising production.

 

Northern Ballet’s retelling of the story of Cleopatra beautifully illustrates the Company’s strengths.

The show takes the audience on a journey akin to wandering through an extravagant museum exhibition, effectively bringing Ancient Egypt to life.

Production and choreography– from the hieroglyphics projected onto the backdrop to the stances adopted by the dancers – combine to evoke the era in an absorbing spectacle.

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CLEOPATRA; NORTHERN BALLET,

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