Holy Farquaad – Shrek is Coming

Shrek the Musical will be staged at the Townsville Entertainment & Convention Centre from 18-27 January 2019. IMAGE: WikiCommons

Following a stellar two-week run of Les Misérables, the Townsville Choral Society will bring the Tony Award-winning Shrek the Musical to the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre in January next year, and audition information is available now. We caught up with Shrek‘s director Lindsay Nobile to find out what to expect from the Townsville musical.

What made you put your name forward to direct Shrek?
After being assistant director on a couple of shows I felt I was ready to step up and take on my own show and the Choral Society offered me Shrek! Of course it was a little daunting when they first asked me but when I found out the calibre of the production team I would be working alongside, I was ready to take the plunge!

For those who have seen the movie, what differences and similarities should they expect?
As soon as I read the script I went looking for all of those iconic Shrek moments… and thankfully all my favourites are there!! It is really just the music that has changed and if you ask me the change is for the better!  The songs are catchy and funny and play heavily on those multi-levelled jokes that make Shrek so amazing!

This musical had an enormous budget on Broadway; how have initial plans been going for the Choral Society to bring the same level of magic?
We will absolutely be playing to the strengths of the venue and the production team to bring the magic! We are lucky enough to have the supremely talented Luke Ede [NIDA graduate] on board as our set designer and after just one meeting I knew he was the right choice.  He has great vision for how to bring the set to life… but I don’t want to give away all of his secrets just yet!  Daks Plozza has also been incredible in allowing us to utilise the venue to its full potential.  I really am just surrounded by the most talented people and it is those people who will help me bring the magic to Townsville!

What will you and the production team be looking for in auditions?
The production team is brimming with talent and I am looking forward to working with all of them! I think the most exciting part is the mixture of wisdom, talent and newness!  At auditions we will be looking for those people who understand the character and have the comedic timing that is so essential to Shrek.  Comedic timing is not something that is easily taught so we want to see people bring it to auditions!

What songs in the show are you most excited for?
Definitely Don’t Let Me Go which is Donkey’s song – I am already singing along to it in my car! To me it is quintessentially donkey; cheeky, overly dramatic and a whole lot of fun!

Is it daunting to be staging another show at the Entertainment Centre – will there be many changes from We Will Rock You?
It is so daunting to follow on from such a massive success! The team on We Will Rock You did such an amazing job and we will absolutely be following their lead.  WWRY was great because we got to learn the venue and in many ways we will be building on that knowledge; but Shrek is an entirely different show with an entirely different feel, so now we get to tailor the venue to a more traditional musical and with Wild Gravity on board, the opportunities are endless and I can’t wait to see what magic we can create.

Do you have an audience in mind?
Shrek is one for all ages; I can remember sitting and watching the movie when it first came out and my whole family enjoyed it!  Parents, grandparents, teenagers, young children and even babies, Shrek is for everyone!  We will definitely be setting the musical to achieve the same for our audience – we want a show for all ages!

HUXLEY FAQ-uaad – We set out to debunk some questions you might have about Shrek the Musical.

  • You don’t have to be short to play Lord Farquaad – the actor actually spends the entire show on his knees!
  • You do have to know how to tapdance to play Princess Fiona – and hit a note high enough to make a bird explode!
  • There are two songs from the movie featured in the musical – one of them is a certain original song about shining shoes and wiping somewhere else!
  • Be prepared for quick changes – spoiler alert! The Elphaba makeup might have to be whipped out again!
  • Want more ideas on what to expect? Check out a preview of the professional UK tour below!

Catch Townsville Choral Society’s Shrek the Musical at the Townsville Entertainment & Convention Centre from 18-27 January, with audition information here and audition request forms here.

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