Shrek’s the name when you’re asked about a famous and hilarious ogre of our generation, and joining us in Macau this Summer are the lovable characters from the Animation film that started it all with the adventure that we’re all so familiar with and more! Young Post Junior Reporter Angie Chan sat down with Shrek (Kyle Timson) and Lord Farquaad (Christian Marriner) to get to know more about the show and themselves!
Your performances were incredible! Tell us how you prepared for the show.
Christian Marriner: We spent a month rehearsing and made sure that we were perfect because there are a lot of parts to the musical. Unlike TV actors that get to redo as many times as they want and choose the best take, we get only one take and it must be the best.
What about your costumes? They looked like they took a lot of work.
CM: I’m over 1.9 metres-tall but Lord Farquaad is just 1.2 metres-tall, so I have these knee pads similar to those of baseball players and I’m kneeling while walking and at the same time I move Farquaad’s legs with the straps across my shoulders so they look realistic while moving.
Kyle Timson: To imitate Shrek’s height, I have to wear an extra 10 centimetres in my heels despite already being very tall. I also wear a fat suit and a lot of make-up to look like Shrek. The fat suit itself is made out of pillow material so it’s really hot. Donkey and I both have huge fans backstage to [help us] cool off in between stage appearances.
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From your performance earlier we see that you improvise, can you tell us interesting things that have happened because of that?
CM: I like improvising because it ups the interactions of the audience. In some cultures, they tend to be more reserved and only clap at the end of an act or such but Lord Farquaad likes the attention and asks for more applause and such. But that also makes it special because every show is different, it’s never the exact same.
How do you feel about the word “Freak” being used in the show?
KT: We have this huge song called Freak Flag performed by all the fairytale creatures. It’s about being yourself and I think that applies to anybody who’s different from what society sees as normal. That’s not limited to just kids or teenagers, but everybody. I think the main idea of the whole show is that it’s okay to be different and there will always be people who accept you for who you are.
What do you think or like about your character?
KT: I’ve loved Shrek since I was a little kid and I really sympathise with him because I was considered bigger and looked different from others when I was in middle school so I was bullied a little bit for that and also I was a theatre kid which isn’t the most popular choice but that has also allowed me to really connect with Shrek.
CM: Lord Farquaad is the bad guy, but he’s the bad guy that you loved to hate because bad guys aren’t always bad, you have to find the good in them to make him bad. Lord Farquaad believes that he’s creating the perfect world where everybody who’s like him is safe, he just doesn’t realize he was doing it the wrong way.
Any advice for young actors out there?
CM: Never censor yourself. Always allow yourself to try new things, never go “oh no I can’t do that”, try. I mean in the aspect of, “I’m not light on my feet so I’ll never be able to dance”. No! Try dancing! And also being an actor or a performer you need to have a good work ethic, it’s going to take time, it’s not going to happen overnight, but just go for it! The only person holding you back is yourself.
KT: The thing about acting and doing theatre is that if you want to do it, you have to love it. It has to be the only thing you can think about first thing you wake up in the morning. I’m not saying you can’t have other interests but it has to be the main thing you think about because you’ll lack the drive and commitment otherwise. You have to love it because it takes so much extra time than a normal job. And you have to remember that you’re never perfect, you’re never done learning, so take classes, go see other theatre shows to see what others are doing and see what you can take from it.