Oscar-winning Shrek the Musical is heading to Colne

It is based on the Oscar-winning film by DreamWorks Animation which captured the hearts of audiences in 2001 when it made a hero out of an ogre.

Shrek might be a smash-hit blockbuster with a fan base spread out across the globe, but Pendle Hippdrome Youth Theatre isn’t afraid to take it on. The group will bring a musical adaptation of the tale to a stage in Colne next month.

Musical director Laura Schofield said: “We have some amazing singers and great character actors. The show is so well-known so you have to portray the characters perfectly.

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“There’s a fantastic story to it and I think you get to see that more with the musical.”

The production team picked the show after one of the founders, Celia Harrison, left money for 30 youth members to attend a Shrek-themed workshop in Birmingham.

The musical takes audiences on an adventure from swamp to castle as Shrek and his loyal steed Donkey attempt to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona from the watchful eye of a love-sick dragon.

DreamWorks’ film is loosely based on William Steig’s picture book fairy tale of 1990.

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The animation company followed up the movie’s cinematic success with three more instalments, as well as a spin-off about Shrek’s feline companion, Puss in Boots.

But audiences couldn’t get enough of the green giant and his wacky crew of misfits.

“The tale has a fantastic message,” Laura said.

“There’s a line in the musical, ‘This is our story’, which is just brilliant, and when Shrek realises he’s in love with Fiona, he says, ‘Fairy tales should be updated.’

“The story encourages people to accept who they are and live as they want to, not as they think they should.”

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A musical adaptation written by David Lindsay-Abaire and composed by Jeanine Tesori was trialled in Seattle and made its Broadway premiere in December 2008.

A re-vamped West End production ran from June 2011 to February 2013 and went on to become a smash hit, later enjoying a record-breaking tour of the UK and Ireland.

If the Pendle team are daunted by the success of previous stage performances, director Laura certainly doesn’t show it.

She is also wearing the hat of codirector, with the help of George Bailey, and can count choreographer Cathryn Osbourne among her team.

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“It’s my first show as director with the youth theatre,” Laura added.

“It’s been hard work but so fun and enjoyable, and I have a great production team.

“We normally have 10 months to put on a show but this time round we’ve had just 12 weeks!

“It’s been hard work for our cast members but I can’t praise them enough. They are full of talent.”

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Playing the iconic role of Shrek, who was made world-famous by Canadian film star Mike Myers, is Levi Martin, while Lewis Mumby will step into the huge comedy boots of Hollywood’s Eddie Murphy as Donkey. Both Hippodrome actors are just 10-years-old.

“You wouldn’t think it as they are full of confidence,” Laura added.

“It’s been challenging for them but they are doing an amazing job.”

Performances run from June 21st - 23rd at Pendle Hippodrome Theatre, New Market Street, Colne. Friday and Saturday at 7-30pm. Saturday and Sunday, 2pm.

Tickets will be on sale mid-April via www.ticketsource.co.uk or 01282 863210.

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