The Zest Theatre Group could not have picked a better show which allowed the talent for all the cast to be shown. The singing, dancing and acting were all exceptional and were a credit to the production team of Directors Peta Bowey and Terry Mountstephen, the Choreographer Natalie Stevenson and the Musical Director Ari Stevenson. The overall effects were added to by the props, lighting, sound and exceptional costumes. The production was true to the book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire of a fairy tale where an ogre finally wins the heart of a princess.
The lead character, Chris Stevenson as Shrek, was very believable in this major role highlighted by his vocals and interaction with the other actors. From start to finish he never wavered despite the big workload of dialogue and songs.
Matilda Boysen as Princess Fiona showed her talent singing in a trio with the two younger Princesses, her duets with Shrek and her solos one of which was a contest with a ‘bird’ which she won, destroying the bird in the process. The timing
and presentation of the fart sequence was enjoyed by all especially the younger ones in the audience.
Joel Pathus as Donkey played this role with unbridled enthusiasm. His expressions and actions were most fitting for this difficult part. At times some of his words were lost but this did not lessen the overall effect as a donkey.
Harrison Golledge played the part of the vertically challenged Lord Farquaad. The challenge however did not have any effect on his powerful vocals or the fact that his performance brought the audience to their knees!
All of the many fairy tale characters with their extraordinary costumes played and sang their hearts out. Some notables were Jack Van Rhoda as Pinocchio, Tia Stevenson as Sugarplum Fairy and Gingy, the Three Blind Mice. Added to these were Flynn Turner who managed four characters. The Knights and Guards along with the young ensemble members completed this cast of performers of all ages.
The minor disappointment was the blocking towards the end of the show which prevented more than half of the audience from witnessing the Dragon devour Lord Farquaad.
This was a big show with a big cast and big songs. The twenty or so songs were well rehearsed and finished with the popular ‘I’m a believer’ by Neil Diamond. There is no doubt that in its tenth year Zest has a winner with this production and
we look forward to others in the future.