MOST people wouldn’t say a swamp is an ideal destination, but for audiences in Innerleithen, the swamp was the place to be this week.

Monday (March 27) was opening night for Innerleithen and District Amateur Operatic Society’s (IDAOS) performance of Shrek The Musical at the Memorial Hall and the amazing cast did not disappoint.

Despite some minor technical issues (to be expected on opening night), this show highlighted the impressive singing, dancing and designing talents to be found in the Borders.

The anti-social hero of this tale, Shrek (David Paterson), is faced with a crisis when his swampy haven is invaded by a gang of displaced fairytale creatures.

Leading the band of characters forced out of their homes by Lord Farquaad (Colin Tweedie) is Pinocchio (Stuart Johnstone) and one of the youngest members of the main cast, Neve Scott, as Gingy (the Gingerbread Man).

Pledging to save his swamp, and rid it of his new fairytale squatters, Shrek sets out for Farquaad’s ‘kingdom’ of Duloc.

On this journey Shrek crosses paths with his unlikely best friend and ‘noble steed’ Donkey (Douglas Russell).

Audiences may have been unsure how IDAOS were going to bring Farquaad’s famed short stature to the stage, but, armed with knee pads, excellent costuming, and short puppet legs, Tweedie had Monday’s crowd in stitches as he bounded on to stage.

Shrek and Donkey arrive in Duloc with a roar, and the pair are forced to go on a quest to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona (Nicola Watt) – being held in a dragon-guarded tower surrounded by a moat of lava.

Enter Aimee Gilhooley as Dragon, bringing the fire and incredible vocals to the stage.

Shrek and Donkey finally rescue Fiona and the trio begin their journey back to Duloc for Fiona to marry Lord Farquaad – her ‘one true love’.

But Fiona’s dreams of a fairytale ending start to unravel as she and Shrek, an unlikely pair on the surface, fall in love.

Transformations after sunset, revelations of a curse and an overheard conversation, however, lead to Farquaad and his entourage riding in astride a Hobby Horse to collect his bride-to-be.

A comical reversing sound plays as Fiona bids farewell to Shrek and rides off with Farquaad. Further proof that this cast has perfect comedy timing, Tweedie's Farquaad gave the audience plenty to laugh at as the character takes an unfortunate tumble at the stage edge – luckily this scripted fall meant no harm came to Tweedie.

Although Shrek and Fiona both got what they thought they wanted – a swamp and a wannabe king – the fairytale creatures forced on to Shrek’s land find themselves displaced once again.

Taking centre stage, Gingy rallies the troops to fight against Farquaad’s tyranny.

Fans will be familiar with the classic voices of Gingy and Pinocchio from the DreamWorks motion picture, and Scott and Johnstone prove they can keep in character and deliver a rousing ballad at the same time.

Scott’s performance leading into the self-acceptance anthem Let Your Freak Flag Fly proves that the youngster is one to watch, as her voice moved from the high pitched Gingerbread Man to a powerful and soulful singing voice.

Johnstone also shows range as he maintains Pinocchio’s squeaky vocals for his own solos.

After a heart-to-heart, Donkey and Shrek crash Fiona and Farquaad’s wedding with a gruesome end for the villain.

Anyone lucky enough to have tickets for this show, which ends on Saturday, April 1, you are in for a treat.

Very few tickets for tonight’s show (Thursday, March 30), tomorrow night (Friday), and Saturday, remain, and the matinee performance tomorrow afternoon is completely sold out.

Anyone hoping to see IDAOS's Shrek The Musical should call 01896 404908 to book a limited space.

Shows tonight, Friday and Saturday evening are at 7.30pm (doors open 7pm) and cost £15 or £14 concessions.

For more information, visit the IDAOS Facebook page.