15 June 2011
~~I am probably over-reacting but I was pretty ashamed to watch last night's opening of SHREK. What is happening to British theatre? Once again we were forced to watch unqualified 'stars' attempt to entertain us without any of the necessary talent, skill or charisma. And in Drury Lane of all places! I am sorry to get personal but Amanda Holden seemed a very strange choice for the role of Fiona. Amanda is an attractive, sexy woman who can sing well, act a little and with a lot of concentration can just about move around a stage. Witnessing her routine was like watching the Queen Mother on the dance floor. More worryingly, it appears that she is no longer able to smile, which is not useful for the leading love interest. Richard Blackwood looked understandably terrified. What on earth was anyone thinking when they offered him the role of the donkey? - a gift of a role, utterly squandered by someone who has absolutely no idea about characterisation. It is not his fault that he was offered this challenge - once again the cynicism of the producers was laid bare. The two Nigel's were great. They are actors, not 'stars'. They know what they're doing - and it showed. The music was deeply average, the sets uninspiring, the choreography woeful. How did one of the greatest stories in film history become such a mediocre production? As a producer who shares this responsibility every time we start a new production, the message was loud and clear: when you take a well known title you have to deliver. There must be no compromise. If you fail, at least fail honourably. Last night came across as a cynical exericise by people who demonstrated small disregard for their audience. There was no love on that stage.
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