Shrek the Mu­si­cal

Bay News - - FRONT PAGE - By Re­becca Mauger news@baynews.co.nz

Stage Right Trust is bring­ing Shrek the Mu­si­cal to the big stage.

But this is just the be­gin­ning. This is the first time the love­able ogre Shrek will be seen on stage in New Zealand.

The aim is to be­come the Shrek go-to hire for other groups and theatre so­ci­eties across the coun­try.

The set is large scale cloth and props to de­pict scenes of swamps and cas­tles, pur­pose-built for this pro­duc­tion.

The cos­tumes are high qual­ity, in­tri­cate and cre­ated from scratch.

“It’s been amas­sive chal­lenge,” says di­rec­tor Toni Hen­der­son. “There is a cer­tain level of ex­pec­ta­tion.”

Shrek the Mu­si­cal cos­tum­ing con­sists of an ogre, a don­key, a dragon, lit­tle pigs and lots of other lit­tle an­i­mals and crit­ters. The dragon cos­tume alone is 10m long and is per­son op­er­ated, built and de­signed by Ben Ham­bling who also de­signed the set.

The cos­tume de­sign and creation team areNikola Sped­ding and Marlise Hughes, who have made most of the cos­tumes them­selves.

“The pros­thet­ics for Shrek were pur­chased from the United States— he has a nat­u­ral coloured la­tex rub­ber head—

which we have painted.”

Shrek the Mu­si­cal fol­lows the Stage Right pro­duc­tion Blood Brothers last year.

Toni de­scribes Shrek as a great fam­ily show which ap­peals to aw­ide range of au­di­ences.

“It’s ac­tu­ally very, very fun and it’s high en­ergy. Al­though it is ob­vi­ously suit­able for chil­dren but it is also an adult cast Broad­way pro­duc­tion and it ap­peals to adults as well.”

Stage Right Trust crew should be spend­ing Septem­ber 22 at the re­gional ZonyAwards for am­a­teur mu­si­cal theatre com­pa­nies in Ro­torua.

In­stead, they are having their Shrek the Mu­si­cal open­ing night.

They have 11 Zony nom­i­na­tions al­to­gether for their pre­vi­ous pro­duc­tion Blood Brothers, plus some mem­bers are nom­i­nated for their work on other pro­duc­tions.

Toni is up for best di­rec­tor in Blood Brothers and Beauty and the Beast.

She says it’s just the way things have turned out.

They are send­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives to the awards.

There 35 in the cast, a 20-strong back­stage crew and 15 in the orches­tra. Shrek the Mu­si­cal is known for its big cho­rus, orig­i­nal score (apart from I’m a Be­liever). Boys High Teacher Mur­ray Ma­son or­gan­ised a lo­cal orches­tra.

The cast and crew are fam­ilystrong with hus­bands and­wives and their chil­dren, and one fam­ily has three gen­er­a­tions in­volved.

It‘ ‘

is ob­vi­ously suit­able for chil­dren but it is also an adult cast broad­way pro­duc­tion and it ap­peals to adults as well.’’

Toni Hen­der­son

There’s un­der­ly­ing mes­sages in Shrek, Toni says.

“This is an un­con­ven­tional love story and it also the high­lights the value of true friend­ship. There is a lot in there, like it’s what sort of per­son you are, not how you look. Shrek is of­ten judged be­fore peo­ple even know him, one of his lines in the story.”

Shrek the Mu­si­cal starts this Satur­day night at Bay­court.

Dis­trib­uted to Tau­ranga, Beth­le­hem, Pyes Pa, Wel­come Bay, Mount Maun­ganui, Pa­pamoa, Te Puke, Te Puna, Omoko­roa, Katikati, Waihi Beach, Waihi and Whanga­mata

PHOTO/Ge­orge No­vak

COVER: Shrek the Mu­si­cal: Matt Hen­der­son is the ogre, Han­nah Sped­ding is Fiona and Ge­orge Hiku is the don­key.

Stage Right Trust is putting on a per­for­mance of Shrek­the Mu­si­cal. Shrek is played by Matt Hen­der­son.

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