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News: Shrek to switch on Eldon Square Xmas Lights

Shrek The Malls!
Shrek takes Ogre Christmas Lights Switch On at intu Eldon Square
Sunday 23 November at 1pm
Dean Chisnall (Shrek) and Faye Brookes (Princess Fiona). Photo: Helen Maybanks.
Beloved swamp-dwelling ogre, Shrek, will be VIP guest at the switch on of intu Eldon Square’s Christmas lights on Sunday 23 November, ahead of his arrival at Newcastle Theatre Royal in March 2015 as part of the first ever SHREK THE MUSICAL® tour of the UK and Ireland.

Coming direct from London, where it was seen live on stage by nearly a million people, the UK and Ireland tour of SHREK THE MUSICAL® stars Dean Chisnall as beloved swamp-dwelling ogre ‘Shrek’, the role he previously played in the West End, Faye Brookes as damsel in distress ‘Princess Fiona’, Idriss Kargbo as Shrek’s wisecracking sidekick ‘Donkey’ and Gerard Carey as pint-sized villain ‘Lord Farquaad’.

Shrek will be flicking the switch on a spectacular new scheme of Christmas lights at intu Eldon Square, featuring over 100,000 pea lights, and in excess of 25,000 baubles and ornaments; more than enough to illuminate Shrek’s Kingdom of Far Far Away and beyond! With twelve months of planning, design and creation, the new display has been developed around the theme of ‘The Gift of Christmas’ and has evolved as a celebration of the joy of giving. Giant gift boxes will be displayed in locations throughout the centre, each providing a setting for a dazzling display of light and colour, heralding the festive season.

Prior to the switch on children can take advantage of a Shrektastic arts and crafts workshop, featuring Shrek, Princess Fiona, and Donkey mask making and face painting.

Entertainment will start at 11.30 am with the Newcastle Temple Salvation Army Band, followed by hugely popular tribute show Re-Take That at 12.15 pm, before SHREK takes to the stage at 1pm for the lights switch on and Christmas sing-a-long, hosted by Steve Walls. Over the course of the event, the Shrek The Musical team will also be handing out Shrek ears to all members of the audience, so they can really immerse themselves in the action!

Joan Taylor, intu Eldon Square’s Marketing Manager, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that Shrek has taken time out from performing in his tour of the UK and Ireland in this hit musical to visit us in Newcastle prior to arriving at Newcastle ’s Theatre Royal next year. This year’s Christmas Lights Switch On will be very special indeed, with a brand new scheme of lights waiting for our Shrek-tacular guest to bring them to life. The lights switch on always signals the beginning of our very busy Christmas shopping period, so if Shrek needs some advice on gifts for Princess Fiona – we’re here to help!”

Philip Bernays, Chief Executive of the Theatre Royal, added:  “We literally cannot wait to have Shrek The Musical here in March – so much so that we jumped at the chance to bring our favourite ogre himself up early to get acquainted with his fans in the North East. The intu Eldon Square Christmas Lights Switch On is set to be one of the most spectacular light displays in the region and the perfect introduction to Newcastle for Shrek before his extended visit in the spring!”

Shrek said: “I am honoured to be invited to turn the Christmas lights on in intu Eldon Square. I have been told that this is usually a job for soap stars and boy or girl band members so I’m very pleased that the organisers recognise my own musical talent and boyish good looks! I will probably take the opportunity to do a bit of Christmas shopping while I’m here and also a bit of a recce so I can report back to the Fairytale Misfits about the sights and sounds of the city ahead of our arrival with Shrek The Musical next March.”

intu Eldon Square Christmas Lights Switch On
Sunday 23 November 2014
(Outside John Lewis & Boots)
Hosted by Steve Walls
11.30           Newcastle Temple Salvation Army Band
12.15           Re-Take That
1. 00            SHREK, from SHREK THE MUSICAL
1. 30            Ends

Shrek The Musical® appears at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Wednesday 11 March until Sunday 29 March 2015. Tickets are available from £16 (a booking fee of 95p - £1.95 will apply to most tickets) and can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 or select your own seat and book online at

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