STANDING ovations became a frequent treat for cast members of Shrek the Musical.

The show came to an end on Saturday after a week of sell-out performances by Abbey Musical Society at The Forum in Barrow.

Shrek and a whole host of fairy-tale creatures were brought to life on the stage after years in the making. Rehearsals first began in September 2019 but the show had to be put on pause due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Nick Collinge, chairman of the society and producer of the show, said the ‘buzz’ backstage was the biggest of any show yet.

He said: “I have done shows for over 30 years and this is the biggest buzz I’ve experienced. Up until now the biggest buzz we got was when we did Cats a couple of years ago.

“Everyone is happy with what they have done with it and there’s also the relief that we have actually done it. Covid cases are going up locally quite fast and you worry something is going to happen again.”

And it wasn’t just cast members feeling the buzz of theatre life, crowds gave standing ovations after each performance and gave plenty of positive feedback.

Nick said: “When people are leaving you hear ‘oh it’s brilliant’, ‘it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen’, ‘it’s so lively’, ‘it’s so funny’, ‘the costumes are amazing’. It’s everything and more that people wanted it to be.

The musical is based on the DreamWorks animated movie Shrek, released in 2001.

Shrek’s swamp becomes overrun with fairy-tale creatures who have been made homeless by Lord Farquaad, leading Shrek to make a deal with the vertically challenged man in a bid to get his peaceful swamp back.

The show includes fun and comedic tunes such as Freak Flag, Story of my Life, Donkey Pot Pie, The Ballad of Farquaad and What’s Up Duloc?

Audiences particularly loved the finale song, I’m A Believer.

Nick said: “The entire auditorium was up on their feet, jumping up and down and clapping their hands.”

Next for the musical society will be Little Shop of Horrors in July, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame in March 2023.