We were kindly invited to the Grand Opera House in Belfast to see Shrek the Musical with the boys. It was their first ever theatre visit, having only ever been to the cinema before to see Peter Rabbit. They had sat through that fine (minus a half an hour nap Sam took, so we were pretty hopeful they would be grand at the theatre too).
We loved going to the theatre growing up, the odd panto but mainly musicals! Our first ever was Joeseph and the Amazing technicolored Dream Coat in London with none other than Philip Scofield playing Joeseph. I (Tara) was only 3 years old at the time but vividly remember the finally and the songs. I pestered my Dad for the cassette tape soundtrack and the shiny badge from the merchandise shop! We have loved the theatre ever since, some favourites are Lion King and Blood Brothers, Chicago.
The matinee show was at 1.30pm so we had a brunch and made sure the boys had a bit of a nap beforehand. There was such a buzz and lots of children at this viewing which was great as lots of like minded parents and grandparents hopeful for a well behaved little one during the show.
The boys were gripped as soon as the lights came on. The first scene is a huge book which is really clever and the boys were shouting ‘Shrek’ when he appeared and were saying ‘turn the page’ as that is what Kerry and I say to them when reading.
They loved the singing, Zac was swaying away. They even loved when everyone clapped after the songs and thought this was great they could join in.
The staging and costumes were incredible and so so clever. The boys were so impressed with the Dragon, this could be really intimidating for a little one (baring in mind Zac is only 2 and Sam 19 months) but the way it is staged, the lighting and the songs it wasn’t scary for them at all. They were mesmorised.
They were both got itchy feet during the slower songs so that is where the popcorn and ice cream came in to keep them in their seats! Then they got a wee run about during the interval to let off some steam.
I thought Sam was going to hit a wall so gave him a small bottle thinking half an hour nap would do him the world of good but he couldn’t take his eyes off the stage so both sat through the whole thing!! Wee Rory (4 weeks) however was a wee gem and slept or fed the whole time!
Amelia Lily (of X Factor) as princess Fiona was fantastic. Her singing and dancing had the boys transfixed. We especially loved her tap dance with the pied piper. Again the clever costume design for the dancing rats was brilliant.
Sam was in kinks at Shrek and Princess Fiona when they let out a few ‘pumps’ as we call them in our house during one of the songs!
The storyline is the same as Shrek with all the highlights, we didn’t recognise all of the songs but they were all catchy and entertaining for the little ones. The finally was ‘I’m a believer’ it was superb, and everyone left on such a high. The whole audience was clapping along on their feet and dancing.
I think even if you were not familiar with Shrek it’s a great show for the little ones, a funny fairytale with friendship as one of the morals to the story.
I was worried the boys were going to be too young but they really enjoyed it. Not sure if they will remember their first theatre visit as vividly as I did when I was 3 years old but we will just have to bring them back again. A really fun day out for all the family.
The Shrek UK Tour runs in the Grand Opera House Belfast until Sunday the 21st of October with matinee and evening performances available. Tickets are from £26-£51. See more info HERE.
Thanks to Shrek UK Tour and The Grand Opera House for the kind invitation, we all thoroughly enjoyed it and will be back soon!
Kerry, Tara, Hubbies and Boys x