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Liam is all set for Shrek transformation

By Margaret Chrystall

THE final stages of Liam MacAskill’s transformation into green hero Shrek will be perfected in the run down to opening night for Starlight Musical Theatre at Eden Court tonight (Wednesday, August 21!!

Peter Kelly, executive director of Starlight Theatre Company, said: “This year demands prosthetics for the characters who wear ‘hoods’, specially-made in America.

“We are lucky to have students from the UHI fashion and make-up course involved as well as their lecturer, Madeleine Hewitt, along with local make-up artist Sam Whitby.”

The team will build up the character’s face with the prosthetics complementing the hood to create the final effect.

Peter said: “There are five main characters who are affected and there are pigs too. The mother, father and young Shrek all have prosthetics and Fiona has a quick change that has to be done in one and a half minutes.

“In that, she has to turn from Fiona into an ogre and that will include the make-up, her nose and a different costume in that short space of time – so that change is a real challenge.”

For the cast and backstage helpers, there is a a lot to work out before opening night.

Peter said: “We will be practising over the next few rehearsals. The costumes will be arriving on Thursday, so everyone will be excited by that. But until the costumes arrive we don’t know exactly what we are going to be doing next.

The tech rehearsal is on Monday and the dress rehearsal is on Tuesday. Opening night is on Wednesday. We are at the stage nowwhere we need to get the costumes and start performing! We are ready to go, we just need to getgood audience.”

The audience for the show were keen to see this one from the start.

“Starlight is one of only two amateur Scottish companies presenting the show this summer ahead of its general release in 2020,” Peter said. “It has been a bit of a challenge for me because it is the first one I have done on my own, since my company co-director retired.

“It’s the first time the company has only had one director, so it has been a lot of work through the year – specially on a brand-new show. But I think we have done the right thing in taking a chance with it."

UHI fashion and make-up lecturer Madeleine Hewitt (left) with make-up artist am Whitby wth Laim MacAskill, playing Shrek.
UHI fashion and make-up lecturer Madeleine Hewitt (left) with make-up artist am Whitby wth Laim MacAskill, playing Shrek.

But Peter can’t wait for the audiences to see a show he is very proud of.

“I think we have probably got one of the strongest casts seen by an amateur company.

“Every person in the fairy-tale characters is probably a principal in their own right.

“I’m just blown away sometimes at rehearsals by the quality of the acting and singing, it’s incredible. I hope the audience get it. It’s a fairy-tale story with lots of humour for adults.

“The camaraderie between everyone in the cast is brilliant. It’s a real family atmosphere and I think we are all going to be very sad to finish this show.”

The tale is based on the first Shrek story, where the ogre meets Donkey and heads off to rescue princess Fiona from Lord Farquaad. Matt Tyrer is Shrek’s sidekick Donkey. Princess Fiona is played by Amy Atkinson, who has returned to the stage after a break. Alasdair Davidson will play Lord Farquaad. And as well as fairy-tale characters, dance routines, new costumes and scenery – there’s a full-size dragon!

The show is on from tonight (Wednesday) to Saturday, August 21-24. Tickets: www.eden-court.co.uk/event/shrek-the-musical-amateur-production or at the box office.

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