The producers of Shrek the Musical have announced that the larger-than-life production will be returning to the Sunderland Empire for two weeks only from Wednesday 31 January – Sunday 11 February 2018.
Nigel Harman will return as director, having made his directorial debut on Shrek the Musical’s first UK and Ireland Tour. Best known for his television and stage work, Nigel Harman originated the role of Lord Farquaad in the West End production, winning the Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical. Television credits include heart-throb Dennis Rickman in EastEnders, villainous valet Mr Green in Downton Abbey and Bradley in Sky’s Mount Pleasant, which aired its sixth series in Autumn 2016. Notable stage appearances include Jamie Lloyd’s production of Three Days of Rain alongside James McAvoy, Privates on Parade at the Donmar Warehouse and A Chorus of Disapproval, directed by Trevor Nunn.
Nigel Harman said: “I had so much fun directing the original UK & Ireland Tour that I jumped at the chance to work on it again. Shrek the Musical has created pivotal moments in my career – firstly winning an Olivier and then my directorial debut. It’s certainly become one of the classic family musicals of all time and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”
Ben Phillips, General Manager Sunderland Empire, said: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming back this wonderful production at the beginning of 2018. Shrek delighted audiences young and old on his last visit and was a popular personality around the theatre! The musical itself is a quality production and I’m sure the show with its wonderful characters will be just as fun this time round.”
Shrek the Musical is based on the story and characters from William Steig’s book Shrek! and the Oscar -winning DreamWorks Animations feature film. Originally directed in the West End by Jason Moore and Rob Ashford, the production has book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, music by Jeanine Tesori with multi award-winning set and costume design by Tim Hatley.
Join the unlikely hero Shrek and his loyal steed Donkey as they embark on a quest to rescue the beautiful (if slightly temperamental) Princess Fiona from a fire-breathing, love-sick dragon. Add the diminutive Lord Farquaad, a gang of fairytale misfits and a biscuit with attitude, and you’ve got the biggest, brightest musical comedy around! Featuring all new songs as well as cult Shrek anthem I’m a Believer, Shrek the Musical brings over 100 much-loved fairytale characters, plus a 14 foot dragon, to life in an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza.
Shrek the Musical was seen by nearly 800,000 people on its first highly acclaimed UK and Ireland tour in 2014, visiting 25 major venues over 20 months. The production was first staged in the UK at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 2011. Since opening on Broadway in 2008 Shrek the Musical has toured to nearly 150 cities in the USA and Canada, with productions having also played in Spain, Poland, France, Malaysia, China, Brazil, Italy, Denmark, The Netherlands, Estonia, Israel and Turkey.
The UK and Ireland tour of the original DreamWorks Production will be presented by Neal Street Productions, Playful Productions, Ron Kastner, Saracen Films, Tulchin/Bartner Productions, Gavin Kalin, Glass Half Full Productions/Just For Laughs Theatricals, Lee Menzies and Mark Cartwright.
Casting information will be announced in due course.