More rumours about Shrek, which looks like a shoo-in for the Theatre Royal Drury Lane now that Oliver! has posted closing notices there for January. According to today’s Daily Mail, the screen-to-stage musical is likely to start performances there in May and Amanda Holden – last seen in the West End in the 2003 Broadway transfer of Thoroughly Modern Millie - has auditioned for the part of Princess Fiona, voiced by Cameron Diaz in the animated films (though Baz stresses “absolutely no negotiations are going on yet”). Other wish-list names being touted on the Whatsonstage.com Discussion Forum include Sheridan Smith, Julie Atherton, Summer Strallen, Emma Williams, Lorna Want, Kimberley Walsh, Rebecca Thornhill and Broadway’s Sutton Foster for Fiona, Clive Rowe for Shrek, Giles Terera for Donkey and Joseph Connor for Pinocchio.
The stage adaptation of the animated films, about a lonely green ogre who finds happiness with the help of a wise-cracking donkey and a tough-talking princess, is produced by Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions and, in the company’s theatrical debut, the Hollywood studio Dreamworks. It has a score by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire. It’s directed by Jason Moore and Rob Ashford.
Shrek – The Musical premiered in December 2008 on Broadway, where it ran for just over a year. The West End offering will be based on the revamped US touring production, which launches from Chicago next month. Director Rob Ashford told the Daily Mail changes since Broadway include “a new opening, new songs, improved illusions, a newly styled dragon” and a “bigger heart”.