Holy Shrek! Brisbane to host first 100% capacity musical in Australia

QPAC-Shrek-John-Kotzas-Shrek-Leanne-EnochShrek, Princess Fiona and Donkey are coming to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) in the first major musical to open to a 100% capacity audience in Australia, without a special exemption required, since the onset of COVID-19.

Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said Shrek The Musical would boost tourism, local small business and jobs in the arts sector. “There was lots of disappointment after its postponement earlier this year, so it’s great to be able to welcome Shrek The Musical,” said Minister Enoch.

“It is because of the great work of Queenslanders in responding to COVID-19 that we’ve been able to open up our borders and now Queensland is good to go. This is an acclaimed blockbuster Broadway musical which will provide more jobs for artists, arts workers and venue workers while providing an economic boost to Queensland.”

Shrek the Musical’s season at QPAC will deliver 38 performances, and an estimated 3000 shifts for artists and arts workers, it will also mean that audiences of around 50,000 can once again enjoy musical theatre in a full house.”

“The arts sector has been severely impacted by the pandemic, so to be the first state in Australia to host the first major musical performance at 100% capacity, without a special exemption, is really rewarding.”

“Since the start of COVID-19 the Palaszczuk Government has committed nearly $60 million worth of initiatives to support the arts and cultural sector, this includes the $22.5 million Arts and Cultural Recovery Package,” said Ms Enoch.

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.

QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said the Centre was delighted to partner with esteemed production company Gordon Frost Organisation (GFO) to present this uplifting hit musical to Queensland for the first time, particularly after the year that has been.

“As soon as 100 percent audience capacity was announced, QPAC was determined to revisit the possibility of staging the much-anticipated Shrek the Musical, as our first large scale musical in 2021,” said Mr Kotzas.

“The production was set to come to QPAC in May this year and we know how disappointed fans were when the season was cancelled, so we pulled out all stops to bring this much-loved story to our audiences.”

“Large touring musicals are normally planned years in advance, so to pull this off so quickly is testament to the desire of our partners, the artists and crews to get back on stage.”

“Musicals have such broad appeal and this Broadway production with its all-star cast is the type of international standard show that our audiences have come to expect from QPAC.”

“In consideration of the year that it has been, the season will include family-friendly pricing to make experiencing Shrek the Musical as accessible for as many families as possible.”

“We do see it as a privilege to return to 100 percent capacity in our theatres as so many of our colleagues in other states and around the world are still working under restrictions. We thank our community and patrons for their support of our industry as they have returned to live performance”

“The cast for the QPAC season of Shrek The Musical QPAC season is soon to be announced,” Mr Kotzas said.

“This production is blessed with a top-line cast who manage to find the humanity, as well as the humour, in roles which could so easily have simply been pantomime characters, so that the underlying messages of inclusiveness, and being satisfied with who you are, are allowed to land gently.” – Bill Stephens OAM, Australian Arts Review

QPAC will present Shrek The Musical from Saturday 9 January 2021 in association with Gordon Frost Organisation. Tickets go on sale at 9.00am – Thursday 3 December 2020. For more information, visit: www.qpac.com.au for details.

Image: QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas, Shrek (courtesy of Dreamworld) and Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch – courtesy of QPAC