Taking the reins as the big green ogre is none other than stage and theatre veteran, Ben Mingay, who is joined by Lucy Durack, who plays the co-lead role of Princess Fiona.
Theatre producer John Frost said he fell in love with Shrek after seeing it on Broadway, and upon deciding to bring the musical Down Under, he immediately thought of Ben and Lucy.
“When the opportunity to produce Shrek The Musical arose, I instantly thought of Ben and Lucy as ideal casting for Shrek and Princess Fiona, and I’m thrilled they have both agreed to join the production,” John said earlier this year.
Speaking during an interview on 3AW at the time, Ben told Denis Walter he was looking forward to playing Shrek, but admitted he has never worn so much makeup before.
“I’ve played Phantom where I had to put on a fair amount of prosthetics, but nowhere near as much as what Shrek involves – it’s two hours in makeup,” Ben said.
Lucy, who gave birth to her second child, a son called Theodore, in October, said the show is a feel-good musical the whole family can enjoy.
“It’s such a feel-good show… you come out feeling on such a high. It’s got such a good message and it’s so uplifting – everybody’s accepted,” Lucy said.
Joining Ben and Lucy on stage is a stellar cast, including Marcia Hines, who plays The Dragon, Todd McKenney as Lord Farquaad, and Nat Jobe in his first lead role of Donkey.
“I’m thrilled with the superb cast we have assembled for Shrek The Musical, led by Ben, Lucy, Todd and Marcia,” John said.
With music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, the producer said the adapted musical version of the hit film will no doubt appeal to people of all ages.
“I was bowled over by the way audiences responded to the social issues it covers, themes like friendship, acceptance, discrimination, inclusiveness and ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,’
“I know Australia is going to fall in love with Shrek The Musical as much as I did,” he said.
Shrek is playing at Sydney Lyric Theatre until February 9, followed by seasons in Melbourne and Brisbane.