The Prince isn’t charming. The Princess isn’t sleeping. The sidekick isn’t helping. The ogre is the hero. Fairy tales will never be the same again.

Viva Youth Theatre are absolutely thrilled to bring you Shrek the Musical this spring. This will be the first time Shrek is performed in the area as the licence has only recently been made available to local groups following its run on Broadway and London’s West End.

Aaron Lord as Donkey and Dylan Cardwell as Shrek – in rehearsal February 2020

The show will be performed by Viva’s vibrant Youth division. The cast of 40 young stars have been in rehearsal since October 2019 following a rigorous audition process. The show is based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film and is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure. Shrek brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage, and proves there’s more to the story than meets the ears. Shrek is an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Throw in a short tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude, and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. The role of Shrek will be played by Dylan Cardwell who first joined Viva in 2011 to play an ensemble role in West Side Story at Ely Cathedral when he was 11 years old. He says, ‘I am loving playing Shrek so far and am so glad to have the opportunity to play him! It is definitely a challenge figuring out little mannerisms since he is an ogre- which isn’t something I thought I’d ever play before this show! I do really enjoy singing Shrek’s songs.’

The Three Fionas – Emma Gilbey, Zara Minns & Bethany Geach

Bringing Shrek the Musical to life is no easy task.  The show is produced and directed by Viva’s Founder Daniel Schumann who says ‘The cast have also been busy raising funds to support the show and it’s many features. From volunteering in the Viva Charity Shop to holding bake sales at rehearsals – everyone has worked tirelessly to ensure the performance is as professional and iconic as possible.’ Volunteer Stage Manager; James Wood says that ‘this show is absolutely bonkers- it’s not every day one has to co-ordinate so many elements and illusions, but it’s all fantastic fun.’ Aaron Lord (Donkey) is ‘slightly apprehensive’ about swapping his hands for hooves but says ‘it will be a fun challenge for me and the audience to experience (!)’

The cast will be joined by a 12 piece orchestra under the Musical Direction of Richard Hayward (East of England Musical Theatre Orchestra).  Audience members will also be invited to have their photos taken with Shrek and his friends in a specially set up area of the foyer after the show each night.

Shrek the Musical takes place at The Maltings, Ship Lane, Ely, CB7 4BB on Tuesday 3rd – Saturday 7th March at 7.30pm. There is also a matinee performance on Saturday 7th March at 3pm. Refreshments will be available in the interval. Tuesday 3rd March is preview night and all tickets are £12. Wednesday 4th – Saturday 7th March tickets are £14 adult and £12 concessions (Under 12s and Over 60s).

Tickets are available via Ticketsource

Tel: 01353 722228

Viva also have two upcoming audition events. Auditions for Viva’s upcoming production of Disney’s Aladdin Jr will take place on Sunday 16 February at the Performing Arts Centre, Soham Village College CB7 5AA. This production is for children aged 6-12 years and will be performed in May 2020 at Fordham Victoria Hall.

Viva are also looking for more ensemble members for their big production of Andrew Lloyds Webber’s epic musical Jesus Christ Superstar which will take place at St Andrew’s Church, Soham this summer. Having largely cast the show before Christmas the creative team are now looking for some more people to join their ensemble- this is a great opportunity for people who enjoy singing and would like to take part in a big production. Simply come along to Lodeside Hall, Soham Village College, CB7 5HP on Sunday 23 February at 11am.

For more information on either audition event please contact Rachael at the Viva Office on 01353 722228 or

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