After 18 months of setbacks, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School finally brought the “Big Bright Beautiful” world of Shrek the Musical to life this week in a fun and colourful opening night performance to a packed out crowd of friends and family. Weathering a lengthy rehearsal period — reduced in size due to pandemic restrictions — a venue change, many cast substitutions and some weather-induced technical issues at this particular performance, the cast and crew is to be commended for ensuring the show would indeed go on, presenting a product that was both funny and poignant. Based on the popular DreamWorks film of the same name, a huge cast rounds out a fairy tale realm complete with all your favourite characters. Thomas Talbot brings to life the titular ogre, with an impressive and unwavering Scottish accent, a solid leading man who carries the show with sincere emotion. Shrek’s sassy sidekick donkey is a crowd-pleaser in Bel Dabic, whose energy fills the stage in every scene. Sara Keys portrays the sweet yet spunky Princess Fiona with a heartfelt sincerity that shows off her passion for performing. Featuring both primary and secondary students, props must go to some of the cast’s younger principals who soak up their moments in the spotlight. Annabel Reid is hilariously animated as Gingy but it is the small but mighty Eden Coffey who steals the scene as Pinocchio — her voice and energy commanding the room to lead larger ensemble numbers including Story of My Life and Freak Flag. Of course the tale of Shrek wouldn’t be complete without Lord Farquaad, Henry McGregor giving a perfectly pompous portrayal and is to be commended for enduring the whole show on his knees. Special mention must also go to Olivia Kavanaugh as the dragon whose vocals are a highlight of the show, her costume also one to be envied thanks to the spectacular design by Nikki van Rhyn. Music is clean under the direction of Lynette Fahie, culminating in an energetic crowd sing-along of The Monkees hit I’m a Believer, while multi-talented director Rachel Homes also shows off her musical chops in the orchestra. A heart-warming story about embracing your differences and celebrating your true self, I congratulate the cast and crew on their efforts and wish them best of luck for the remainder of the season.