Shrek the Musical is set to wow audiences at HMT in Aberdeen.
The show sees former Strictly star Joanne Clifton take on the role of Fiona and Antony Lawrence as Shrek, while north-east actor Scotty Armstrong is also in the line-up.
“Shrek is an incredible musical. I’ve loved it for a long time,” says Scotty, who returns to Aberdeen as part of the Shrek the Musical ensemble this week.
‘The score is fantastic’
“The score is fantastic, I’m a massive fan of Jeanine Tesori. She was also part of the composer/lyricist team for Thoroughly Modern Millie, which is another favourite musical of mine.
“The big message that comes from Shrek is accepting everyone for who they are,” he continues.
“The ensemble have two amazing numbers, we do one near the opening called Story of My Life, which always goes down very well with the audience, then towards the end, another fantastic number called Freak Flag is all about celebrating your uniqueness.
“Who wants to be normal? What is normal and what makes it so special? You want to celebrate all the things that make you a little bit different from everybody else. I don’t think anyone can possibly leave this show without having had a good time.”
‘It’s going to be amazing’
For Scotty, this is a very special leg of the tour. Born and bred in Ellon, he once worked between acting jobs as a dresser at His Majesty’s Theatre.
This will be his first time on the theatre’s stage in a large-scale, professional production, having played there with Scottish Youth Theatre in 2000 and understudying for the Flying Pigs last year (“I was a dead body and a Deliveroo driver”).
Not only that, but Thursday’s performances will see him take the lead role of Shrek, with the agreement of regular actor Antony Lawrence.
“When I auditioned and got the offer, I asked very nicely if it was possible to get some guaranteed dates (as Shrek) in Aberdeen,” says Scotty. “The producers were incredibly supportive, they said absolutely.
“I’m very lucky to get two shows, it’s going to be amazing, and Antony is absolutely fantastic, the most incredible leading man to work with. In the fifteen years since I graduated, a lot of my family and friends haven’t had the chance to come down to London and see me do something as big as this, so it’s really exciting.”
First show Scotty saw was at HMT
Scotty’s teacher at Ellon Academy suggested he try drama, and after a few year at MAD at Robert Gordon University, he set up his own youth theatre in Ellon.
After training at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London, he’s appeared in national and international tours of Spamalot, The Producers and Motown: The Musical, in popular kids shows The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, and in summer repertory at Pitlochry Festival Theatre.
“The very first show I saw was at HMT in, I think, 1994, it was the national tour of Me and My Girl,” he recalls.
“Then all the shows I saw growing up were at HMT; Blood Brothers, Joseph, the Rocky Horror Show, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Grease was a big one.
“I didn’t see my first West End show until 1999, when my mum and dad took me down to audition for the National Youth Theatre, so HMT is where I fell in love with my passion – and now I’ll be performing on that stage.”
Shrek the Musical is at His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen, from Tuesday, September 12 to 16. For more information go to aberdeenperformingarts.com