REVIEW | Swamplesque

Swamplesque

Laugh Out Loud with Swamplesque, Where Shrek Gets a Sassy Makeover!

Reviewed by Brendan Daynes

In the murky depths of the theatre world, where creativity meets comedy and Shrek meets burlesque, lies the hilarious production of Swamplesque. As the disclaimer hilariously reminds us, this isn’t your typical DreamWorks affair, but rather a raucous parody that’ll have you laughing until your sides ache and your cheeks hurt from grinning.

The production takes the beloved story of Shrek and flips it on its head, adding a generous dose of sass, sparkle, and skin. We follow the adventures of the anti-social ogre Shrek (played by the aptly named Trigger Happy), his lovably chatty sidekick Donkey (portrayed with gusto by Henny Spaghetti), and the feisty Princess Fiona (brought to life by the fabulous Tash York). Along the way, we encounter a motley crew of characters, including the diminutive Lord Farquaad (played with campy charm by Rainbow), the sultry Dragon (the fierce Bebe Gunn), the mischievous Gingerbread Man (embodied by the delightful Tugboat Taffy), and the enigmatic Magic Mirror (skilfully portrayed by the mesmerising Barron Von Envy), each adding their own flair to the twisted tale.

As patrons step into the theatre, they’re greeted by the warm and loving embrace of melodious tunes, wrapping around them like a playful dance partner, inviting them into the whimsical  fairy tale world. The lights dimmed, casting a hush over the space, as if the stage itself held its breath in anticipation of what was to come. And then, like a bolt of lightning, the show burst forth with its electrifying choreography and powerhouse performances, igniting the stage with its infectious energy and charm.

Each member of the cast brings their A-game, seamlessly blending burlesque with Broadway as they strut, shimmy, and serenade their way through the swamp. Whether it’s Trigger Happy’s commanding presence as Shrek, Tash York’s powerhouse vocals as Fiona, or the comedic genius of Henny Spaghetti’s Donkey, every performer shines in their own right, leaving the audience in stitches one moment and awe-inspired the next.

While the plot may be loose and the attire scanty, don’t be fooled—the production boasts many elements that are nothing short of spectacular. The lighting, staging, and costumes work in perfect harmony to transport the audience from the comfort of their seats to the fantastical world of Far Far Away. Despite the occasional purposeful wardrobe malfunction (hey, it’s burlesque!), the attention to detail is impeccable, with each costume change adding to the whimsical charm.

One of the highlights is the productions infectious energy and palpable sense of fun. The performers feed off the audience’s enthusiasm, seamlessly weaving in moments of interaction. Whether it’s a sassy retort from Donkey or a flirtatious glance from Fiona, the fourth wall is broken with gleeful abandon, inviting the audience to become part of the spectacle in the most delightful way possible.

Swamplesque is a riotous romp through the swamps of parody, where laughter reigns supreme and inhibitions are left at the door. With its clever blend of humour, heart, and hedonism, it’s a production that appeals to the mischievous child in all of us—the one who still believes in fairy tales but isn’t afraid to poke fun at them along the way.

Swamplesque is currently enchanting audiences as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival before heading to Perth Comedy Festival in April, Sydney Comedy Festival in May and then to Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. Don’t miss your chance to join in the fun and see local talent at its finest! For more information on the show or to purchase tickets please visit https://www.swamplesque.com/

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