The show must go on - even when a giant dragon's bottom is too big to fit inside the theatre.

The biggest show ever produced by the Levin Little Theatre - Shrek - was so big that even some of the props couldn't fit inside the building.

But in the true spirit of showbiz, cast and crew worked to remake at least half of the set - including half a dragon - and adapt some of the stage so it was fit for purpose and ready for opening night last week.

Director Linda Buckley said it was an incredible effort from those involved to pitch in and ensure the show was a success. The fact the show was receiving strong reviews was a reflection of their efforts.

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William Gilbert as Lord Farquaad.
William Gilbert as Lord Farquaad.

Buckley said while the size of the stage at Levin Little Theatre was good, the wings were not roomy enough to house some of the set when it arrived from Tauranga.

"We could get the dragon's bottom through our doors," she said.

"It was panic stations and we have been pushing to get it finished. It's been hard, but it's been rewarding.

"It was about working together and coming together to get things done and that's what community theatre is all about, and we've come up with this fantastic show. They showed their love for it and they wanted it to work. It's a pride thing."

"The cast has been fabulous and I can't say enough how proud we are. It's been a hard slog, but we've got there."

That effort was typified by musical director Christine Lockwood-Archer, who travelled from her home in Palmerston North each week for rehearsals for months.

On with the show. And what a show it was, raising the bar for small community theatre. It was visually stunning and entertaining from the curtain call with sharp singing and well-timed dialogue.

The closing act of Shrek - The Musical, on show now at Levin Theatre.
The closing act of Shrek - The Musical, on show now at Levin Theatre.

It was just the second time Shrek - The Musical was produced by a theatre in New Zealand, and it was ambitious for the Levin Little Theatre to take it on. Auditions were held late last year and the cast had rehearsed ever since.

It was an adaptation of a classic family movie that centred around an ogre named Shrek and whether or not he would find true love's kiss with a beautiful princess, who naturally assumed she would grow up and marry a handsome prince.

The casting was bang on. Tua Fa'avale was brilliant as the main character - a green ogre named Shrek. With a strong voice, he commanded presence on the stage and from the opening line hit it out of the park.

Sera Devcich was sublime as Donkey with her theatrics, while William Gilbert was funny as Lord Farquaad (William Gilbert), and Jennie Ferguson shone as the beautiful princess, Fiona.

Sera Devcich as Donkey meets the dragon at the opening night of Levin Little Theatre's musical Shrek last week.
Sera Devcich as Donkey meets the dragon at the opening night of Levin Little Theatre's musical Shrek last week.

Besides the main characters there were many involved who had multiple roles, including Andy Van der Heyden who changed character for minor roles no less than five times, while Amber Rollinson typified the effort of the cast with three roles.

There was good song and humour through the show, just enough to get a giggle and remain family friendly, including a classic fart scene and the odd smelly burp.

The show continues until June 1, with the theatre also offering meals and a licensed bar.