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Swamplesque, formerly a sold-out show at the Fringe, is a burlesque twist on the epic adventure of Shrek, Donkey, Princess Fiona, and Lord Farquaad. Unlike some tribute-style shows, Swamplesque does not rely solely on the audience’s affection for the source material; rather, it delivers a high-energy performance with a soundtrack that perfectly complements the show’s energy.

The performance features the main characters and supporting cast of the original movie, notably the Gingerbread Man complete with gumdrop nipple covers. Swamplesque covers all the classic parts of burlesque, including strip tease, bump and grind, tassels, and assels, and executes them brilliantly with on-point choreography and exceptional costumes.

Each cast member has their chance to shine, and the show follows the narrative of Shrek while pausing on moments like the Magic Mirror struggling with that existential question of ‘who am I’ while disco-style dancing to Michael Jackson‘s Man in the Mirror. The coupling of classic pop bangers to dynamic dancing is a crowd pleaser, with many audience members singing along and creating a burlesque sing-a-long atmosphere.

The only drawback of the show is the seating arrangement at the Flamingo, which makes it difficult to see all the floor work from the middle of the crowd. However, future performances could encourage the audience to get up and rock the concert-style atmosphere of the show. Swamplesque is an exceptional show with talented performers and deserves to be experienced in a fully immersive way.

Tamara Haines

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