There were flyers and posters everywhere advertising the play coming to our city. It was exciting but I couldn’t imagine taking a two year old to the theatre and live to tell the tale! A lot of our friends encouraged us to take her as it was totally acceptable to take a screaming, crying toddler and no one would even bat an eyelid. It was oddly satisfying to know there would be other parents and children but I was still sceptic. I didn’t think she would last the entire show and demand to go home halfway.
Anyway my husband purchased the tickets as I reluctantly agreed to go. The good thing was it was playing in our neighbourhood so we didn’t have to drive very far. A whole new construction is taking place here in Doha called education city. It already looks impressive! We followed the signs for the QNCC theatre. It was a bit of a walk from the car park but with Jana asleep it made it slightly easier and gave us the opportunity to admire the place. The entire rail system is being built and they have an impressive station for the stop at education city.
Arriving at the theatre I could see mostly children! We swiftly collected our tickets, purchased some snacks and sat down at our designated seats. Jana still asleep at this point. We woke her up so she wouldn’t be startled by the loud noises and be grumpy for the show. She seemed to be just as excited as us.
A loud speakerphone announcement welcomed us to Shrek in Doha and the play began. It started off with a back story of the ogre and princess Fiona – very cleverly alternating between the two. They showed three different stages of princess Fiona as she was growing up. The artist who played the young Fiona, Olivia Fanders, was brilliant. Such a young talent and so full of confidence and pzaz. She made you feel sad for the plight of Fiona.
The fairy tale creatures were very colourful and full of energy. I wasn’t so sure about shrek himself. The actor Kyle Timson wasn’t so engaging in his character. There was a fantastic musical number of Shrek and Fiona where they discover just how ‘nasty’ the other is with a fart/burp competition! It definitely gave us a right laugh.
Again with donkey, I wasn’t so convinced Jared Howelton did it justice. He was funny and loud and an annoying nobel stead for sure but I was hoping for a little more creativity in bringing his character to better light by the directors I suppose.
My favorite character by far, was Lord Farquaad and I’m sure a lot of the viewers will agree to this. Tyler Huckstep had us in stitches! He was brilliant in his execution to such a challenging character. Since Lord Farquaad is lacking height, the creatives had Tyler on his knees to portray this, which added a wonderful bounce to his walk. He made me laugh so hard I almost cried! His musical number was fantastic. Just watching him own the stage as he pranced and jumped across made me move along with the music. The best part was how he interacted with the audience, it was beyond hilarious.
There were some amazing theatrics and digital backdrops that added such character to the scene. It almost draws you inside. I could probably do with cutting the second musical number of the fairy tale creatures as I thought it was more just to add time to the show. The rest of it very cleverly executed with great attention to detail. A brilliant musical that needs to be experienced!
We ended up with a teary Jana not wanting to leave shrek and donkey behind! She wanted them to keep going. In that, I felt a great accomplishment in having brought her to the theatre. A good theatre always leaves you wanting more!