Actor Steffan Harri transformed in to loveable ogre Shrek for hit musical coming to Sheffield
Everyone's favourite ogre, Shrek, will be brought to life later this month when Shrek the Musical comes to Sheffield - and for actor Steffan Harri who plays him, the role is a dream come true.
Steffan, who was previously an understudy in the role of Shrek’s nemesis Lord Farquaad in the first ever UK tour of Shrek the Musical in 2014, said he was overjoyed to take on the leading role.
“I’m absolutely over the moon to be playing Shrek. It is a dream role for me. When I was an understudy for Lord Farquaad I was lucky enough to go on stage over 60 times but I told myself if it ever came back I’d audition for Shrek. It was this time last year that I got the call to say I’d got the part and I couldn’t stop smiling.
“I was ten-years-old when the first Shrek film came out and I can remember going to see it with my dad. I never imagined that I would be playing him in a musical now; if someone could have told me I would have laughed at them.”
Steffan has to arrive at the theatre at least two and a half hours before his cast members so that his transformation in to the friendly ogre can begin.
“I’m in make-up for an hour and a quarter and it take me 20 minutes to put the costume on,” he said.
“I’m the first one in the theatre and the last one to leave because of the time it takes to turn me in to Shrek. The costume weighs 35 pounds and in the summer it can get up to 37 degrees inside it.”
For Steffan, who at the age of 26 is the youngest person to play Shrek in the UK, the best part about taking on the lead role is watching the joy of the audience members when the lights first go up.
He said: “In the first scene I jump out of a story book; I can see the faces of the people who are sitting on the first few rooms and I love to see their faces light up, especially the children. But, it’s not just the children.
“One thing I love about this show is that it appeals to people of all ages; from children to adults, there’s something to everyone. There’s so many layers of humour and I love to se people clapping along and enjoying themselves.
“The messages are great too. It’s all about being proud to be different, being true to who are, acceptance and the value of friendship.”
He added that lovers of the film will see all the characters and the story that they love - with a little extra.
“One thing that makes the musical a bit different is that you find out a bit more about Shrek and his backstory, but I love it because I can make the character my own.”