Shrek the Musical Begins Performances at West End's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane May 6

News   Shrek the Musical Begins Performances at West End's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane May 6 Shrek the Musical, originally produced on Broadway in 2008 and now on a U.S. national tour, begins performances at the West End's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane May 6, prior to an official opening June 14.

Amanda Holden, Nigel Lindsay, Nigel Harman and  Richard Blackwood
Amanda Holden, Nigel Lindsay, Nigel Harman and Richard Blackwood Photo by Jason Bell

Based on the story and characters from William Steig's book "Shrek!" and the 2001 Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation feature film of the same name, Shrek the Musical is brought to the stage by an Anglo-American creative team that is led by co-directors Jason Moore and Rob Ashford and includes David Lindsay-Abaire (book and lyrics), Jeanine Tesori (music), Tim Hatley (scenic, costume and puppet design), Hugh Vanstone (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design) and Josh Prince (choreography).

The cast is headed by Nigel Lindsay as Shrek, Richard Blackwood as Donkey, Nigel Harman as Lord Farquaad and Amanda Holden as Princess Fiona. The company also includes Delroy Atkinson, Amy Beadel, Stephanie Bron, Dean Chisnall, Jon-Scott Clark, Ste Clough, Lee William-Davis, Ross Dawes, Lucie Downer, Alice Fearn, Michelle Francis, Ashley E Hale, Rosanna Hyland, Bradley Jaden, Aaron Lee Lambert, Emma Lindars, Grant Murphy, Spencer O'Brien, Landi Oshinowo, Damien Poole, Stuart Matthew Price, Jacqui Sanchez, Jonathan Stewart, Leigh-Anne Stone, Lucy Tapp, Karli Vale and Michael Watson. The roles of Young Shrek and Young Fiona will be shared by actors Samantha Allison, Chorlène Biron-Monnier, Lauren Dawes, Madeleine Hill, Emilia Jones and Sophie Wythe.

According to press materials, Shrek the Musical tells the story of the swamp-dwelling ogre who, in a faraway kingdom, embarks on a life-changing adventure in order to reclaim the deed to his land. Joined by a wise-cracking donkey who won’t shut up, this unlikely hero - not a handsome prince - fights a fearsome dragon, rescues the feisty Princess Fiona and learns that real friendship and true love aren’t only found in fairy tales.

The show originally played at Broadway's Broadway Theatre from December 2008-January 2010, after a prior try-out in Seattle, and was nominated for eight Tony Awards, winning Tim Hatley the Tony for Best Costume Design of a Musical. Shrek the Musical is DreamWorks Animation’s first theatre venture. The production was initiated when Sam Mendes, a fan of the first "Shrek" film, suggested the idea of creating a musical to DreamWorks Animation's Jeffrey Katzenberg around the time that the second film ("Shrek 2") was in production. The musical is produced by DreamWorks Theatricals (Bill Damaschke, president) and London-based Neal Street Productions (Caro Newling, producer).

Lindsay-Abaire won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for his play Rabbit Hole, which also attracted five Tony nominations. He is currently represented on Broadway by Good People at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Tesori won the Olivier Award for Caroline, or Change when it transferred to the National Theatre in London. The production received a Tony nomination for Best Musical, one of three Best Musical nominations for Tesori. She has written numerous songs for films which include "Shrek the Third."

Moore has directed Avenue Q (Off-Broadway, Broadway and London), and Steel Magnolias (Broadway) and Jerry Springer: The Opera (in concert at Carnegie Hall). He is currently directing Tales of the City, a new musical based on Armistead Maupin's series of novels, to begin performances at San Francisco's A.C.T May 18. He has also directed TV episodes of "Dawson's Creek," "One Tree Hill" and "Brothers and Sisters."

Ashford is an associate director of the Donmar Warehouse, where he has directed Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry's Parade and A Streetcar Named Desire with Rachel Weisz as Blanche DuBois. Other West End credits include choreography for Guys and Dolls, Evita and Thoroughly Modern Millie. He is currently represented on Broadway by his production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, running at the Al Hirshfeld Theatre with Daniel Radcliffe.

To book tickets for Shrek the Musical, contact the box office on 0844 871 8810 or visit www.shrekthemusical.co.uk.

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