Xtra: Tell me about the role you play in the upcoming production of Shrek.
Andrew Soutter: In the upcoming production, I play Lord Farquaad. He is the villain of the story. He is short, and he is all about compensating in other ways to make up for his lack of height. Throughout the show, he is attempting to take over the kingdom. He’s a bit psychotic and bipolar and a total blast to play.
Any challenges with this particular role?
The entire role is played on your knees, which presents a lot of challenges. Farquaad’s father is Grumpy the Dwarf, which explains his lack of height. I’m six feet tall, so this is a definite challenge. I wear knee pads for the entire production, and a costume covers my legs. Doing some of the choreography is difficult because I am literally without knees. After a day of rehearsal, it can be painful, but the comedic payoff is great.
How did you become involved?
I was involved in Rent last year at the Lower Ossington Theatre. When they were doing Shrek auditions, I was really motivated to audition.
How is the show different than the beloved film?
The show is quite different. There are very few songs in the film. Through songs in the musical, it brings in new elements not found in the film. The show is actually kind of adult as well. It’s full of double entendres and material that appeals to adults as well as kids. The musical also references and celebrates other classic musicals, which is something that the film does not do.
Shrek is the biggest show yet to come from the LOT. How is this bigger than other productions?
There is a huge cast and a big set. We are performing the show at the Randolph Theatre because of its larger proscenium space. Most shows at LOT are smaller and intimate, for their Black Box space. This show demands a large space for tons of theatrics.
Why is the show a must-see?
The show is a blast for everyone. It’s campy, and the audience has to surrender to their imagination. It’s tremendously tongue-and-cheek and lots of fun for all audiences.