The opening night of KickstArt Theatre’s African premiere of Shrek the Musical, based on the book by William Stieg and the DreamWorks animated movie, played to a house packed to capacity.
Executive Director Steven Stead, his team, and every one of the talented cast, must have been on tenterhooks – this is their most expensive and lavish production to date, which is saying something because they have not lacked ambition with past ones – but they had no need to worry. From the opening scene right through to the rapturous clapping-in-time, dancing, stomping, and yelling standing ovation, the audience was hooked. They were dazzled by the spectacle, entranced by excellent singing, captivated by outstanding acting, amazed by the numerous special effects, and often in stitches at the humour. Some of this, as Steven admitted during the interval, is over the heads of younger members of the audience, but it doesn’t matter – there is more than enough to amuse them, too!
And a glance inside, which gives some hints regarding the wonderland the show produces:
The story is, of course, basically the same as that of the movie though with some variations. So why see it staged? Put simply, for the reason that instead of simply watching good entertainment, one becomes part of an incredible experience.