Thursday, 5 March 2015

Manchester's Young Fiona's!

Here is the latest Shrek the Musical UK Tour 'Princess Diary' video where Faye introduces the talented stars of the future who played young Fiona in Manchester:

Monday, 2 March 2015

A Well Earned Break For Faye!

After a very tiring 6 weeks - 3 in Aberdeen, 3 in Canterbury - and a run of nearly 50 shows, Faye finally gets a well earned rest because today is the start of a 9 day break for the Shrek Tour.

Whether she's going away or staying at home, I hope she has an enjoyable and relaxing time before she returns to the stage at Newcastle next Wednesday.

I'm still finishing off the 'Rollercoaster' post I mentioned last week so I thought this was a good opportunity to look back on Faye's time at the Marlowe Theatre.

"It is some of the individual performances which shine so brightly. Faye Brookes as Princess Fiona is faultless. What’s more, without the extensive make-up which Dean Chisnall (Shrek) requires, she injects life and emotion everytime she takes to the stage."

"Playing opposite Chisnall was Faye Brookes as Princess Fiona, who was sassy and very funny as the Princess."

"Faye Brookes as Fiona, delights in portraying the Princess’s frequent mood fluctuations between feisty and delicate."

"Princess Fiona is not your usual insipid fairytale princess. She’s feisty, highly strung and slightly nutty and Faye Brookes plays her perfectly."

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Feisty, Highly Strung & Slightly Nutty!

Almost every Shrek review I've read since the show started last July comment on Faye's perfect portrayal of the slightly bi-polar Princess. She is everything you want from a Fiona, witty, feisty and extremely funny.

Words can only go some way to describing just how wonderful Faye's performance is. Make sure you book tickets to see her in Shrek because it's the only way you'll truly understand just how special she is.

I'm currently working on a new blog post called 'The Faye Brookes Rollercoaster" which I intend to publish during Shrek Tour's 10 day break between Canterbury and Newcastle.

Intrigued? Well I'll give you a clue, it's not a new ride at Alton Towers :)

I'm afraid you'll have to wait until next week to find out more.

With Faye about to start her final week at the Marlowe Theatre tonight there's just enough time for another glowing review.

This one was written by a 'Kent Online' reporter who saw the show on 15th February:

Shrek The Musical at the Marlowe Theatre

Winter blues were banished far, far away when the cast of Shrek the Musical took to the stage for the first time at the Marlowe Theatre in an explosion of colour, music and fun.

From the start expectations were high.

Grouchy ogre Shrek and his odd-bod gang of fairytale pals are familiar characters in our house.

We’ve watched all four animated films many times and these are a hard act to follow. But we were not disappointed as this show delivers in big and colourful bucket loads.

In every scene we’re treated to a big belter song and dance numbers that keep the story moving along at a good pace.

David Lindsay-Abaire’s lyrics are clever and witty and are set to an uplifting score that often captures the sound of Motown.

Choreography is camp and funny - the tap dancing rats got a good laugh – and add to the energetic feel of the whole production.

The stage setting and costumes are excellent.

The characters literally step out of a large book of fairytales, Lord Farquaad’s tall tower certainly does show he’s compensating for something, and the dragon’s lair for just a second does feel a bit creepy.

Costumes are loud and proud, particularly for Farquaad and his men, and the massive amorous dragon is fabulous with the smooth voice of a soul diva to match.

Dean Chisnall plays Shrek as we want to see him - green and Scottish of course and with a fearsome roar that makes the seats shake, but as the story unfolds so does the ogre’s kind and vulnerable side. Loyal steed Donkey is great fun and actor Idriss Kargbo gives a lively and full on performance.

Princess Fiona is not your usual insipid fairytale princess. She’s feisty, highly strung and slightly nutty and Faye Brookes plays her perfectly.

Lord Farquaad was a favourite for me. The brilliantly flawed character is hilarious.

Mincing about the stage with his tiny prop legs – actor Steffan Harri did the whole show on his knees – and high kicking to some big numbers, the vertically challenged Farquaad is a scene stealer.

Climaxing with the song I’m A Believer, Shrek the Musical is an uplifting show which can really put a smile on your face, but at its heart this show does more than entertain.

The heart-warming moral of the story is that it’s okay to be different, that we should love ourselves for who we are, warts and all, and as Shrek says to Fiona you don’t have to be pretty to be beautiful. All say ahhh now!

Littered with laugh-out-loud moments and the odd fart joke or two (well, they are ogres) this show is a must-see.

Great for families, the children will love it almost as much as their parents. Don’t miss it!

Shrek The Musical is at Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre until Sunday, March 1. Tickets cost from £24. Visit

Friday, 20 February 2015

A Special Friday 13th in Canterbury!

As you'll probably know if you follow the blog, I made my 10th visit to the swamp to see Shrek the Musical UK Tour last Friday.

I'm actually still buzzing from my lovely chat with Faye and Gareth after the show but I suppose I should probably start at the beginning.

It's nearly 200 miles from my house near Bristol to Canterbury, so I set off in what I thought was plenty of time. However, awful weather and horrendous rush hour / afternoon traffic on the M25, meant a journey that should take about 4 hours, ended up being closer to 6.

Thankfully though that proved to be the extent of my bad luck on Friday 13th. The rest of the day really couldn't have gone any better.

Although my journey had taken rather longer than expected, I still arrived at the theatre with about 45 minutes to spare.

I've travelled all over England watching Faye perform but I love the Marlowe and it was great to be back. Even in the mist it looked particularly impressive glowing Shrek green.

After a quick cup of tea I took my seat in Row H of the stalls and waited for Showtime.

As you'll probably remember, the penultimate performance in Aberdeen was cancelled due to cast sickness and there were still a few absentees for last Fridays show. However all the stand-ins were superb and those who didn't know, would certainly not realise they were watching understudies; such is the talent of this incredible cast.

Faye herself has not been well and has also had to contend with a few injuries but that didn't stop her from giving another stellar performance as Princess Fiona.

It's a fantastic musical with a fabulous cast but Faye is unquestionably the star of the show. Her powerhouse vocals, coupled with her sensational comedic acting and immense stage presence make her one of the finest young actresses in the industry today.

If I haven't lost count, I've now seen Faye perform 32 times in 5 different shows over the past 4 years and every time I come away completely astounded by her talent.

There is nothing I can say about the show that hasn't already been said. It's 150 minutes of musical theatre magic. Non stop fun from start to finish for viewers of all ages. Take your kids along, take your grandparents along or just go along yourself, I guarantee you'll have an amazing time. I cannot recommend this spectacular show highly enough.

It was a horrible wet and windy night in Canterbury but luckily I'd prearranged to meet Faye in the foyer after the show, which enabled me to wait in comfort instead of standing in the rain outside the stage door.

A priceless picture of me with my favourite couple!

When she arrived she brought with her a little surprise. Gareth was in tow carrying their bags because although she had been commuting each day from their apartment in London, they'd decided to spend Valentine's weekend together in Canterbury.

He hadn't actually seen the show but had driven down that evening especially to be with his Princess.

The picture above may be the first since his visit to what he called a 'very dodgy barbers' last week but as you can see, he needn't have worried.

I'm sure there are probably a few Gareth fans reading this and I just want to say what a genuinely nice guy he is. I last met him at the Marlowe 2 years ago and it was great to have another opportunity to speak to Faye's lucky man.

He didn't come empty handed either, I'm sure I noticed a few Valentine's treats for his special lady with their luggage :)

I didn't get chance to ask him about his music but he has said in a recent interview that he hopes to have a new album out by the end of the year. Unfortunately I expect a duet with Faye maybe too much to hope for, but I can dream :)

He and Faye seem so well suited and obviously very much in love. A perfect match, a perfect couple and I really hope they have a lifetime of happiness together. I have a feeling they will :)

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Gareth for being so patient while I had a lovely chat with his girl.

Faye as always looked absolutely stunning. A remarkable transformation from the green ogre that left the stage just 30 minutes before.

There really is no beauty in the world that compares to Faye's smile. Breathtakingly beautiful, and I mean that quite literally. Another 10 minutes in her company and I'd have probably required CPR :)

We talked about what she'd been up to since I last saw her in Manchester, her holiday in Germany and the 3 weeks at Her Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen.

I was able to tell her how much I enjoyed the show and that - as always - I was completely blown away by her amazing performance. Every time I see her as Fiona I notice something new and exciting. She is such an incredible and captivating actress.

Although not normally a superstitious person she said she might have to reconsider after a very taxing Friday 13th. I won't go into details but I've had a similar thing happen to me and it's extremely stressfull. It makes her performance that night even more remarkable.

She told me how she's delighted to be back at the Marlowe Theatre. It's not only a fantastic new state of the art venue in a wonderful historic city, but it's also where she and Gareth first met. Prior to him joining Faye in Legally Blonde, they were at the Marlowe doing promotional work for the Sleeping Beauty pantomime; so Canterbury obviously holds many happy memories for them both.

Before I let them head off to their hotel - which was just a stones throw from the theatre - I was able to give Faye a few chocolates and let her know to expect some flowers the following day.

She is such a lovely person who regularly favourites and / or retweets fans messages on twitter. She's always happy to chat at stage door and was even kind enough to give me her personal email so as I can contact her with any blog related queries. I feel lucky to be a fan of someone so special and I really can't thank her enough.

It means the world to me that Faye always takes the time to meet up when I go to see her in a show, and chatting with her and Gareth on Friday topped off the perfect day.

I'm already looking forward to my 11th Shrek adventure next month. It involves a 650 mile round trip to Newcastle but worth every second on the road to see Faye Perform.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Princess Fiona's Top Tips for Dating!

I've nearly finished the write up about my latest trip to see Shrek Tour at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury and my lovely after show chat with Faye and Gareth.

In fact, it's currently being checked by my special proofreader :)

While we wait I thought I'd feature 'Princess Fiona's Top Tips for Dating'.

Five simple steps to help you find your Prince!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Princess Fiona is Faultless!

I'm just about to set off for Canterbury for tonight's show but before I hit the road I wanted to feature this latest Shrek review written by Chris Britcher for Kent News.

As you'll see he loved the show and was particularly impressed with a certain Princess.

Shrek the Musical - Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

Take a no-questions-asked animated movie success story, hurl a significant budget at it, mix in plenty of song and dance and plonk it on the stage, and the result? Well, in short, it’s Shrek The Musical.

After a hugely successful run in London’s West End, the show is now on the road and hitting the bigger theatres in the provinces.

And after the Marlowe Theatre’s transformation a little over three years ago into major modern venue, it now delivers the capacity and facilities which make it ideal for such a high profile production.

So this week Shrek moved in, and, like trying to get an ogre out of his swamp, it is refusing to budge for a month.

Taking up residency until March 1, the show is perfect to attract people back to the live theatre environment. It has characters which everyone knows, a storyline familiar to all and more colour than a Dulux catalogue.

And judging by the make-up of the crowd, it’s not a million miles away from those who would normally flock to enjoy the theatre’s excellent festive pantomimes - everything from pensioners to five-year-olds and plenty inbetween.

The question is, after being trumpeted by the theatre for more than a year, is it worth the ticket money?

The answer is a resounding yes.

The songs are catchy, the script sharp and witty, and the costumes fabulous.

You’ll know the story - ogre Shrek is tasked with saving a princess in a tower, guarded by a dragon, in order to stop his swamp being over-run by persecuted fairytale characters. He’s joined by the ever-jabbering Donkey who decides Shrek is his new best friend, Just that Princess Fiona’s fantasy of being save by Prince Charming is rudely awoken by Shrek’s arrival. Cue some key revelations and the positive message of celebrating what you are.

It is some of the individual performances which shine so brightly. Faye Brookes as Princess Fiona is faultless. What’s more, without the extensive make-up which Dean Chisnall (Shrek) requires, she injects life and emotion everytime she takes to the stage.

She, however, only shares the limelight with Lord Farquaad, played by Steffan Harri. Without wishing to spoil some quite glorious visuals, Farquaad’s portrayal is worth the entrance fee alone, and his set-pieces are laugh-out-loud entertainment.

Yet it would be unfair to identify just the pair of them;. the ensemble work so well together and the characters are just so vibrant.

The second half in particular is just a glorious romp from start to finish.

If you’re pondering whether to go, just do it. You will not be disappointed.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Beautiful Windows at the Marlowe!

I just had to feature this picture which Faye tweeted & added to Facebook last night.

I think it's safe to say that this window at the Marlowe Theatre has never looked better.

I'll be able to see it for myself tomorrow as I'm making the 5 hour drive to Canterbury to watch the show. Unfortunately I think they'd probably notice if it went missing ;)

Of course you can't beat the real thing & I'm hoping to catch up with Faye for a quick chat at the Stage Door before or after the show.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Faye Returns to the Marlowe Theatre!

Later today Shrek the Musical UK Tour kicks off it's three week stay in Canterbury.

If you've been following Faye's career and reading the blog you'll know that this will be her third visit to the recently rebuilt Marlowe Theatre.

The old theatre closed in March 2009 for redevelopment and a was replaced with a stunning new state of the art building which holds 1200 people on 3 levels. It was officially opened opened to great celebration by HRH The Earl of Wessex in October 2011.

The estimated cost of the build was £25.6 million and it included a landscaped riverside walk which connects the Marlowe directly to the banks of the River Stour.

It's a truly spectacular venue in a very beautiful and historic City.

Faye first arrived at the Marlowe Theatre in June 2012 during her first tour of the UK playing Elle Woods in what is probably my all time favourite musical, Legally Blonde.

Although I saw that incredible show 14 times at various venues, it was actually 6 month's later in December 2012 that I made my first trip to Canterbury, to see her play Princess Aurora in the Sleeping Beauty pantomime.

Her main reason for taking the role might well have been the opportunity to once again share a stage and spend the festive season alongside her new boyfriend Gareth Gates, but it really was a fantastic show. In fact I enjoyed it so much I overcame blizzard conditions to go back and see it for a second time in January.

This is Kent
Gareth's soulful pop voice is complemented by the polished musical voice of Faye Brookes who stars as Beauty. She has the youthful looks and mellifluous tones of a young princess.

Public Reviews
Faye Brookes is every inch the leading lady in the title role as she returns to Canterbury fresh from her recent success in the Legally Blonde tour.

I actually had to phone the theatre last week and I spoke to a very helpful employee who remembered Faye from her previous visits. He was very much looking forward to welcoming her back to the Marlowe and seeing her play Princess Fiona in Shrek.

Although it's nearly 200 miles from my home in Bristol, the Marlowe is one of my favourite theatres and I'll be heading up the M4, M25, M20 & M2 to see the show on Friday; hoping to catch up with Faye for a brief chat after the show.

Shrek The Musical is at The Marlowe Theatre from 11th Feb to 1st Mar *BOOK NOW*

Faye no doubt has many happy memories from her previous visits to Canterbury and I hope her current stay is every bit as enjoyable.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Sickness Hits the Shrek Tour Cast

Get well soon guys!

You may have already heard on Twitter or Facebook that todays 11am Shrek Tour performance at Her Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen was cancelled due to cast sickness.

There have been more viruses around this year than I can ever remember and with an incredibly tiring schedule and sub zero temperatures in Aberdeen for the past 3 weeks, it's maybe a miracle this hasn't happened before.

Shrek the Musical is a spectacular high energy show in which the cast have to sing, dance and act for over two and a half hours live on stage, making it impossible to perform if you're feeling under the weather.

It's not like an office job where you're sitting in a comfy chair and can cough and sneeze your way through the day, writing notes instead of speaking if you've lost your voice.

Massive credit to the cast, who with the help of modern medicine have somehow managed to make sure todays 3pm show went ahead as planned.

I'm not sure whether Faye is one of those struck down with the winter virus but I'd like to wish any cast member affected a very speedy recovery.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Shrek Delights Scottish Audiences

Tweet of the week goes to Chelsea Munro who saw the show yesterday and fell in love with the Shrek's beautiful and super talented Princess, Faye Brookes.

I think there must be a shortage of entertainment journalists in Northern Scotland because I haven't found too many reviews of Shrek the Musical since it landed at Her Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen.

However, those I have found loved the show and I thought I should feature at least one more and a few fans tweets before the swamp heads to Canterbury next week.

There are only 4 days left for Faye and the fairytale gang in Aberdeen but incredibly there are still 7 shows, with matinee performances on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

That means you've still got time to grab yourself a ticket before it leaves town.

Don't miss your opportunity to see the UK's most talented actress in this years must see show. *BOOK TICKETS FOR SHREK IN ABERDEEN*

Below is the review I mentioned above, it was written on opening night by Leanna MacLarty for the Aberdeen Daily Record.

The magical world’s most feared, and loved, ogre is terrifying and delighting audiences at Aberdeen, writes Leanna MacLarty

Shrek the Musical made its Scotland debut at Her Majesty’s Theatre, in Aberdeen, this week delighting audience members young and old.

The stage show is based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks animated film about a fearsome ogre who becomes an unlikely hero when his swamp is overrun with fairytale characters exiled from their homes by the evil Lord Farquaad.

To win his swamp back, Shrek is tasked with rescuing the fair Princess Fiona from a tower guarded by a fire-breathing dragon. Setting out on the quest with best friend Donkey, Shrek finds adventure, new friends and maybe even love along the way.

The Shrek film is much loved by children but is also packed with enough humour, innuendo and suggestion to keep the adults amused all the way through. The musical takes that ability to appeal to all kinds of audiences and builds on it, creating a show which will keep children laughing all the way through but gives frequent cheeky winks to the older audience members.

The magic of Shrek’s fairytale world is impressively recreated for theatre, transforming the stage into a colourful land of magical creatures and beautiful backdrops.

A wide array of stage techniques are used to bring the story to life, including digital images projected onto the stage and particularly the clever use of puppetry and costuming to realise the kingdom’s band of magical misfits.

One of the most impressive sights to reach the stage was the fearsome dragon guarding Princess Fiona, brought to life at full, terrifying scale. The enormous puppet, mastered by three almost unseen puppeteers, takes up nearly the entire stage but glides around as if she actually were flying.

The clever techniques which transform actor Gerard Carey into pint-sized evil ruler Lord Farquaad kept the audience delighted for the whole show. Playing a character half his size, Carey’s brilliant movement, comedy lines and facial expressions make Farquaad one of the funniest and most risqué characters on stage.

Dean Chisnall brings Shrek to life and dominates the stage as the huge ogre, convinced his role in life it to be alone and unloved. Chisnall steps into Shrek’s mammoth shoes with style and humour, bringing large personality to the character, within an even larger costume.

The talented cast make up a host of recognisable fairytale beings, including Pinocchio with his extendable nose, Peter Pan, the Fairy Godmother and the Wicked Witch. When not playing children’s favourites, the cast hop in and out of multiple roles including witless soldiers and merry residents of Farquaad’s “perfect” Duloc.

As a movie adaptation, the musical does not have a host of already well-known songs to draw on, but has created some brilliant new songs and powerful duets. Ending on the classic Shrek high note of The Monkees “I’m a Believer” leaves the audience dancing out of the theatre.

Twenty-five years since Shrek was brought to life by American children’s author William Steig, the family favourite is now bringing joy to theatre audiences in Scotland.

The show is an absolute delight and will run in Aberdeen until February 8.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

It's Snowing Outside The Swamp!

Her Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen looks magnificent but maybe a little spooky glowing Shrek green in the picture above.

It's a large, recently refurbished Edwardian theatre that seats over 1400 people and it's been packed to bursting point since Shrek, Fiona and the fairytale gang came to town.

It's the end of week two in Aberdeen but Faye and her co stars will be back on stage Tuesday night for the extra performance squeezed in to cope with the overwhelming demand for tickets.

That of course means only one day off for Faye and a final week consisting of 9 shows. An incredible effort from all the cast, makes me tired just thinking about it.

As you can see from Faye's tweet above, snow has arrived in Aberdeen and there is more forecast over the next few days. Hopefully though, not so much that the eight lorries that will transfer the swamp to Canterbury in a weeks time aren't able to travel because I'm due to see the show at the Marlowe Theatre on Friday 13th Feb.

I hope booking for Friday 13th doesn't come back to haunt me!

There are still a few tickets available for performances at Her Majesty's Theatre this week, so if you live anywhere near Aberdeen make sure you book to see this fantastic show and it's special Princess before it's too late.


 If you've already seen it, why not go again, you know you want to ;)

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

It's Week 2 in Aberdeen!

There are 2 weeks and 17 performances left for Faye and the Shrek tour at Her Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen.

Tickets are still available for every show but they're selling fast, so be quick and beat those January blues by treating yourself to a trip to the Swamp.


I guarantee you'll have a fantastic time when you visit Shrek's big bright beautiful world and want to go again as soon as the curtain falls.

Unfortunately I can't make it to Aberdeen myself, so if you are lucky enough to go please give the incredibly talented Princess Fiona a particularly big cheer.

I don't know whether the cast will have had time to enjoy it but Scotland is actually a very beautiful country with some spectacular scenery.

Hopefully Faye has had chance to do a little sightseeing on her days off.

If you look closely you might just be able to spot Shrek at the top of the mounatin below, he's making his way to the dragon guarded tower to rescue Princess Fiona.

Aberdeen is the furthest Shrek tour destination from Faye's home in London and her first trip north of the border.

With that in mind I brought her a Scottish highland cow named Truffles to keep her company. Similar but ever so slightly smaller than those in the picture below.

Gareth is flying up to Aberdeen today to spend some time with his Princess, so if you're going to the show tonight you might even bump into Mr Gates.

I wonder if Faye or Gareth have or will be brave enough to try Scotlands infamous national dish, Haggis, neeps and tatties!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

If you go down to the Swamp today....

If you go down to the swamp today - or any day there's a performance - you can be sure of two and a half hours of fantastic entertainment and the chance to see one of the UK's very best actresses live on stage.

As you can see from the tweets below the Scots recognise talent when they see it and are loving Faye's brilliant portrayal of Princess Fiona.

If you live anywhere near Aberdeen make sure you don't miss your chance to see this spectacular musical at Her Majesty's Theatre. BOOK TICKETS

The show is going down a strom in it's first foray north of the border, with an extra date being added to the schedule to cope with the overwhelming demand for tickets.

Check out the latest glowing review below written by Victoria Pease for STV ABERDEEN:

Dumping a swamp, two castles, a forest and a cathedral into His Majesty’s Theatre, Shrek the Musical has well and truly turned Aberdeen green.

With Thursday's bold and brash Scottish premiere kicking-off the show's UK tour, the stage version of the animated movie proved popular with an packed audience ready to to join the unlikely hero on his journey from lonely ogre to loveable hero.

For those who have loved the Scottish ogre since the original 2001 blockbuster, the musical is a faithful adaptation of the film with a large proportion of the dialogue and jokes word-perfect, which may disappoint some fans looking for a different perspective on the story.

Perhaps aimed more towards the children in the audience than the film's original overall appeal for all ages, the silly gags and slapstick evoked plenty of giggles from the younger members of the audience.

However adults aren't left out with some inspired set design, puppeteering and costumes to marvel at, all of which draw the audience into the fairytale town of Duloch, overseen by the villainous Lord Farquaard.

The story sees our hero Shrek trekking to the town unwillingly accompanied by Idriss Kargbo’s annoying talking Donkey in a bid to reclaim a swamp overrun with evicted fairytale characters.

He soon finds himself involved a quest to rescue a princess from a tower guarded by a dragon and return her to Farquaard, an act which offers the conniving Lord his only chance of becoming King.

But with a curse afflicting the radiant yet challenging Princess Fiona, a lovelorn dragon, and an ogre struggling to share his feelings, the road to a happy ending for the characters is a rocky one.

Dean Chisnall’s Shrek is a quieter, more reserved version of the brash hero and shared his softer side early on in the action, and although his Scottish accent wavered at times, he achieved a good balance between some impressive vocals alongside a twang of Scots during the songs, especially in act one’s concluding number Who I’d Be.

Princess Fiona is hammed up rather well by Faye Brookes, who brings a kookier side to the girl trapped in a curse, offering the audience an understanding of a character who has been locked away for years with only the ideology of a traditional happy ending for company.

This is perhaps most apparent in the performance of I Know It’s Today, using three actresses to depict Fiona’s optimism of her fairytale coming true fading with time.

However Gerard Carey completely stole the show as Lord Farquaad in what must be the most challenging stage role in the business, as he expertly commanded the stage despite his tiny stature with an almost pantomime-esque performance in numerous songs and dance numbers.

Perhaps the only character to really step outside the movie and into musical mode, the role is ramped up for laughs which came aplenty from a delighted audience and perhaps earned Carey the biggest cheers of the evening for every look of derision, feigned shock and scurry across the stage.

And as the musical’s multiple messages of not judging a book by its cover and being unafraid to show your true self comes to its emboldened conclusion, the cry that fairytales should be rewritten seems never more apparent as the three pigs dance alongside a cross dressing wolf, a fiery dragon and two lovestruck ogres in the finale performance of I’m a Believer.

For those who believe in fairytales, Shrek is a good old fashioned fun tale with a few twists but plenty of fire from the original film.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Building the Swamp!

We all know Faye is super talented and can turn her hand to almost anything, but does she get actively involved in building the swamp at each new venue?

Er. . . . . . no. That's no job for a Princess!

However I still thought it was worth featuring this great video showing the stage being assembled - in record time - at Her Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Faye's off to Bonnie Scotland!

After a well earned break Faye will be off to Bonnie Scotland tomorrow for the next stop on Shrek the Musical's UK Tour.

Hopefully she's had a relaxing week off and has managed recharge her batteries before she makes the long trip north to Aberdeen.

Thankfully she and Gareth managed to get away for a few days to a beautiful and idyllic setting overlooking the German Alps.

As you can see the view was simply breathtaking. There really are some incredibly beautiful places on this planet and that would definitely be one of them.

However, they have to holiday in some pretty special locations just to beat the spectacular panoramic view they get at home.

The picture below was taken last Saturday from their London apartment.

In the highest room, In the tallest tower, You'll find. . . . .

It's now back to work for our favourite Princess and a return to his homeland for our friendly ogre. Dean's Scottish accent will be put to the test as the show ventures north of the border for the first time.

Faye and her wonderful Shrek co stars will be entertaining audiences at Her Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen between Wednesday, 21st January and Sunday, 8th February.

Due to the overwhelming demand for tickets they've had to squeeze in an extra performance on Tuesday 3rd February. The Scots clearly don't want to miss their opportunity to see the UK's finest actress on stage. 

I visited Aberdeen during my own tour of the Scottish Highlands about 7 years ago. However, that was in mid summer and surprisingly for Scotland most days were sunny and hot.

Unfortunately for Faye I don't think they'll be any need for sun cream during her stay in the granite city. She'll need to pack her winter woolies because temperatures rarely get above freezing there in January and there is regular snowfall and strong coastal winds.

Looks like she's preparing well though because she and Gareth were at the health clinic today for a pre Aberdeen vitamin boost.

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, Who's the fairest of them all. . . . . . 
If there ever was a perfect couple, this one qualifies. . . . . . .

Hopefully it helps keep them both fit and well through these cold winter month's.

Have to say, they're looking super stylish in the picture above and I think I'm in love with Faye's coat. Probably wouldn't look as good on me though :) 

I'm not sure whether they'll be there this time of year but I was lucky enough to watch a group of Dolphins playing near the harbour during my holiday in Aberdeen. Apparently it's one of the best places to see Dolphins in Europe.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Two Princess Fiona's!

Massive thanks to Lucy for letting us feature this lovely picture of her & Faye which was taken during the special Shrek tour meet and greet event - Storytime with Princess Fiona - at Manchester's Selfridges store in December.

Lucy was one of three wonderful, extremely talented girls who played the role of Young Fiona while Shrek the Musical was at the Palace theatre in Manchester.

I was lucky enough to see Lucy on both my visits to the Palace & she really was superb. I think she's destined to follow in Faye's footsteps & is a star of the future for sure.