Leading Australian theatre producer John Frost announced today that Todd McKenney will play Lord Farquaad in the lavish and fun multi-million dollar musical comedy SHREK THE MUSICAL in the Brisbane season up until 24 May. The Broadway smash hit will play at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC from 9 May, following the Sydney season which closes today and the Melbourne season at Her Majesty’s Theatre from 16 February.
“I’m thrilled that Todd was able to move some of his Channel 7 commitments to remain performing with the brilliant cast of SHREK THE MUSICAL in Brisbane,” said John Frost. “Todd has received amazing reviews for his scene-stealing role in Sydney, and I’m so glad Brisbane audiences will be able to see him as the vertically challenged Lord Farquaad.
“I fell in love with the show when I saw it on Broadway and 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’. It’s a genuine Broadway smash hit and so funny as well as touching, appealing to everyone from 5 to 105,” added Frost. “The overwhelmingly positive audience and critical response in Sydney is testament to this.”
Todd McKenney plays Lord Farquaad opposite Ben Mingay as Shrek, Lucy Durack as Princess Fiona, Nat Jobe as Donkey and Marcia Hines as the Dragon. Taking on a multitude of roles within the fairy-tale realm are Ross Chisari (as Little Pig), Annie Chiswell (Ugly Duckling), Benjamin Colley (Pied Piper), Andy Conaghan (Wolf), Denise Devlin (Mama Bear), Mackenzie Dunn (Swing), Blake Erickson (Papa Bear), Manon Gunderson-Briggs (Gingy), Hollie James (Swing), Rubin Matters (Peter Pan), Sarah Murr (Fairy Godmother), Joshua Robson (Little Pig), Monique Sallé (Red Riding Hood), Tom Sharah (Little Pig), Leigh Sleightholme (Swing), Suzanne Steele (Wicked Witch), Rhys Velasquez (Swing), Caleb Vines (Pinocchio) and Sascha Wykes (Baby Bear).
Like all the cast, Todd received stellar reviews from audiences and critics alike:
“McKenney is a glorious pantomime villain and virtuoso knee-dancer” – Sydney Morning Herald
“Mingay has superb vocal dexterity from big and bad to the powerfully touching” – Reviews by Judith
“Durack flounces and pouts and bounces off Shrek with assured comic timing and sassy charm” – Sydney Morning Herald
“Nat Jobe as Donkey was a brilliant sidekick to Shrek” – Daily Telegraph
“The show-stopper was Marcia Hines as the Dragon” – Stage Whispers
“The ensemble was razor sharp” – Stage Whispers
“Fairytale roars to life. A HIT!” – Sydney Morning Herald
“★★★★★” – Limelight Magazine
With music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, SHREK THE MUSICAL is based on the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks film Shrek and William Steig’s 1990 book Shrek!. When it was launched, the film Shrek was the first Academy Award winner for the Best Animated Feature, was the #1 highest grossing animated film and the #3 highest grossing film. Still today, three of the Shrek films are in the Top 20 Highest Grossing Animated Films of all time.
SHREK THE MUSICAL brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favourite ogre to life on the stage. In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre – not a handsome prince – shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a bad guy with a SHORT temper, a cookie with attitude, and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there’s one on hand … and his name is Shrek.
Featuring a terrific score of 19 songs, big laughs, great dancing and breathtaking scenery, the New York Times has proclaimed SHREK THE MUSICAL as “True Happiness!”. The show has been lauded by critics and audiences alike, receiving 8 Tony Award nominations, 12 Drama Desk nominations, 10 Outer Critics Circle nominations, 3 Drama League nominations and a Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Show Album.
SHREK THE MUSICAL is part romance, part twisted fairy tale and all irreverent fun for everyone!