Posts with the label theatre
Showing posts with label theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label theatre. Show all posts

Thursday, 2 February 2023

Full Tour Cast of Annie Revealed with Craig Revel Horwood, Paul O'Grady and Jodie Prenger and More



Michael Harrison and David Ian are delighted to announce full casting for the forthcoming UK and Ireland tour of their smash hit production of the musical ANNIE opening at Curve, Leicester on Saturday 25 February 2023. Joining the previously announced Craig Revel Horwood and Paul O’Grady, will be Scottish BAFTA winner Elaine C Smith and Jodie Prenger, all starring as ‘Miss Hannigan’ at various venues. Alongside them will be Alex Bourne as Oliver Warbucks, Paul French as Rooster, Amelia Adams as Grace Farrell, and Billie-Kay as Lily St. Regis. The title role of Annie is shared by Zoe Akinyosade, Harlie Barthram and Poppy Cunningham. They are joined by three teams of young performers who play the residents of Miss Hannigan’s orphanage.
 
Completing the cast will be Emily Barnett-Salter, Alistair Beattie, David BurrowsSergi Ibanez, Rosalind James, Belle Kizzy Green, Ellie May-Wilson, Martin McCarthy, Phoebe Roberts, Lukin Simmonds, Matthew Sweet, Dawn Williams, and Tommy Wade-Smith.
 
*Full tour dates, including details of at which venues Craig Revel Horwood, Paul O’Grady, Elaine C Smith and Jodie Prenger star, are in the listings below. www.anniethemusicaltour.uk
 
Craig Revel Horwood is probably best known as a judge on all 20 series of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing. He returns to the part of Miss Hannigan having played the role to critical acclaim in this production in both the West End and on tour. His other West End Theatre credits include Munkustrap in Cats, Miss Saigon at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and Harry in Crazy for You at the Prince Edward Theatre. Craig directed and choreographed Strictly Ballroom the Musical which is currently touring the UK and Ireland, and the 2016/17 tour of Sister Act the Musical, as well as the Strictly Come Dancing Live tour. He also choreographed the film Paddington 2.
 
BAFTA Award winning television, radio and stage star Paul O’Grady returns to Annie having first played the role of Miss Hannigan at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1998. His other theatre credits include playing the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium and many pantomimes including Cinderella and Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the London Palladium. On television he is best known as the host of ITV’s Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs, Paul O’Grady’s Great British Escape, The Paul O’Grady Show, Channel 4’s Blind Date and BBC One’s Blankety Blank. He is also a highly celebrated writer, having written both autobiographical and fictional books and recently completed a 14 year run as a presenter on BBC Radio 2.
 
Elaine C Smith is perhaps best known for playing Mary Doll in the BBC comedy Rab C Nesbitt, as well as her role as Christine in the BBC sitcom Two Doors Down, for which she won a Scottish BAFTA for Best Actress in 2018. On stage she consistently headlines major pantomimes, having just finished her 13th year at Glasgow King’s Theatre. She played Cora in the original UK Tour and West End run of Calendar Girls as well as playing Susan Boyle in the UK tour of I Dreamed A Dream which she co-write with Alan McHugh.
 
Jodie Prenger recently joined ITV’s Coronation Street as Glenda Shuttleworth. Her West End credits include A Taste of Honey at the Trafalgar Studios. Oliver! at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, One Man Two Guvnors at Theatre Royal Haymarket and Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre. On tour she has appeared in Abigail’s Party, Shirley Valentine, Annie, Fat Friends, Tell Me on A Sunday and Calamity Jane. On television she has appeared in the BBC’s Shakespeare & Hathaway, Years and Years, Casualty and Waterloo Road.
 
Alex Bourne returns to Annie as Oliver Warbucks, having played the role both in the West End, Toronto and the UK Tour. His other theatre credits include Edna Turnblad in the UK Tour of Hairspray, Sam Carmichael in the UK Tour of Mamma Mia!, Khashoggi in We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre, Billy Flynn in Chicago at the Adelphi Theatre and Lex Hogan in Eugenius! at The Other Palace. On film he can be seen in Sony Pictures’ Cinderella.
 
Paul French was most recently seen as TinMan/Hickory in The Wizard of Oz at Curve, Leicester. His other theatre credits include Kenickie in Grease at the Dominion Theatre and in the production’s UK Tour and Double J in Saturday Night Fever at the Peacock Theatre. On film he can be seen in Visualize Films’ Tomorrow Morning.
 
Amelia Adams has most recently been seen in the UK Tour of Friends! The Musical Parody. Her previous theatre credits include Lois Lane/Bianca in Kiss Me, Kate for Welsh National Opera, Mary Delgado in Jersey Boys at the Piccadilly Theatre and on tour, Martha Burelli in The Rat Pack at the Haymarket Theatre and on tour. She has also appeared in the UK Tour of Hairspray and Spamalot both in the West End and on tour.
 
Billie-Kay recently appeared as Angel in Anything Goes at the Barbican and its UK and Ireland tour. She has also appeared as Dale Tremont in Top Hat at The Mill at Sonning and in 42nd Street at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. On film she has appeared in Disney’s Dis-Enchanted and Beauty and the Beast, and Sony Pictures’ Cinderella.
 
Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Determined to find her real parents, her luck changes when she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search…
 
With its award-winning book and score, this stunning production includes the unforgettable songs ‘It’s the Hard Knock Life’, ‘Easy Street’, ‘I Don’t Need Anything But You’ and ‘Tomorrow’.
 
ANNIE has Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin and a Book by Thomas Meehan. It is directed by Curve’s Artistic Director Nikolai Foster with set and costume design by Colin Richmond, choreography by Nick Winston, lighting by Ben Cracknell and sound design by Richard Brooker.
 
The producers of Annie cannot guarantee the appearance of any particular artist, which is always subject to illness and holidays.

photo credit: Matt Crockett

Full Tour Cast of Annie Revealed with Craig Revel Horwood, Paul O'Grady and Jodie Prenger and More

Thursday, 2 February 2023

Thursday, 26 January 2023

The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review


The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 25th January 2023 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

One of the most moving and stunning pieces of theatre, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is currently making its way around the UK on a tour that is truly a must see. Based on Neil Gaiman's book with the same name, the play is a complex story which deals with the concept of memories and how we carry them with us, as well as forgetting them. A visual and emotional masterpiece, it's an intriguing tale which has many magical realism elements that are transferred to stage so well by Joel Harwood's adaptation and Katy Rudd's expert direction.

The show was originally staged at the National Theatre and many of their trademark features and overall aesthetic are completely woven through. From the start you are immersed in a world which is dark but enticing. Fly Davis' stunning set really embodies those childhood memories of imagining what spookiness lies just out of sight. A minimalistic moss covered design provides the backdrop for some moments of pure magic, where chiffon becomes an ocean and clever stagecraft movement (Steven Hoggett) is transformed into out of this world beings. There's also great contrast between the father's home which never truly feels complete since his wife passed and the nightmare world which is dark and loud.

The fantastical elements of the show feel strangely natural while still being awe-inspiring. Jamie Harrison's illusions are so well pulled off and are authentically magical and the balance of magic and genuine heartfelt moments is perfect.

Perpetually moving, the play perfectly captures grief and the painful fear that your lost loved one is being replaced and erased. These emotions are intensely portrayed not only through the action on stage, but via Jherek Bischoff's imposing and enchanting music which is utterly cinematic and combined with Ian Dickinson's sound design- so powerful. Alongside Paule Constable's lighting design, the whole thing is a masterclass is storytelling and theatricality.

As well as all of this, the cast of outstanding performers imbue every moment with sincerity and vulnerability. Keir Ogilvy really taps into the innocence of childhood whilst bringing to life the Boy who is struggling with the pain of losing his mother. As his Sis Laurie Ogden is fantastic at portraying her need to be loved and noticed through her's, and her families pain. Charlie Brooks fulfils that need as the chilling, omnipresent Ursula who is really what nightmares are made of. Trevor Fox as Dad has some really emotionally challenging scenes which are brought to life incredibly well. Finty Williams, Millie Hikasa and Kemi-Bo Jacobs have excellent chemistry as the Hempstock trio, and individually give wonderfully strong performances as well as coming together to provide some humourous moments. The rest of the ensemble work as one entity to bring the whole world to life with complete fluidity and power.

A spectacle of a show in the most quiet and beautiful way, The Ocean at the End of the Lane embodies everything that makes theatre so magical and is moving in all the best ways.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Tour), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Thursday, 26 January 2023

Friday, 13 January 2023

Kurios, Cirque du Soleil, Royal Albert Hall | Review


Kurios, Cirque de Soleil 
Royal Albert Hall 
Reviewed on Thursday 12th January 2023 by Olivia Mitchell
★★★★

Since its creation forty years ago, Cirque du Soleil, the Quebec based circus, has performed a number of shows with a variety of themes, always including their spectacular aerial and acrobatic routines. Currently playing at the Royal Albert Hall, Kurios is more of a traditional circus show, mixed with a whole heap of steampunk elements.

The storyline is incredibly loose and doesn't really matter, but it basically follows a 19th century inventor who creates a machine that opens the doors to a mystical new world. The cabinet of curiosities reveals a number of oddities that truly amaze and have you on the edge of your seat.

Thanks to Stéphane Roy's set design, The Royal Albert Hall has been transformed in to a vintage wonderland, with old-school lightbulbs and suitcases adorning the stage, while music is poured out of record players; all creating a transformative atmosphere that sets the tone without overpowering the performances. There's also some excellent lighting (Martin Labrecque) which helps to further the esoteric vibes of the whole thing.

Performance wise you couldn't really ask for more in terms of skill and energy, and I can only imagine what the physio and insurance bills must be for such an über talented cast. From trampoline somersaults to otherworldly contortion, there are tricks which have you holding your breath and hoping for the best. The precision with which the cast perform is impeccable to watch and the sheer amount of acts is quite impressive. At the start of the show, it's such a maelstrom of action that you need a hundred eyes to not miss anything.

It's hard to discuss the show's contents much more because a lot of the magic comes from being surprised so I don't want to give too much away. What I will say is that this show is a steampunk extravaganza, with some incredible wow moments, and Kurios is absolutely worth a visit for an evening like no other.

Tickets for Kurios are available at https://www.londonboxoffice.co.uk/

Kurios, Cirque du Soleil, Royal Albert Hall | Review

Friday, 13 January 2023

Wednesday, 11 January 2023

Six the Musical, Vaudeville Theatre | Review


Six the Musical
Vaudeville Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 10th January 2022 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★★

Entering the Vaudeville theatre last night there was a bustling energy, not just because everyone was excited to see Six but because the cast of the highly addictive tv show, the Traitors were in the audience. Murmurs of “traitor” and “faithful” filled the air and the buzz was certainly something, who knew we’d all be so starstruck!? However, once the curtain was drawn it was all eyes on the Queens and a glorious 75 minutes followed.


Going into a new year it’s great to see that Six the Musical is as vibrant and wonderful as ever. The current queens of the castle do an outstanding job of keeping the energy of the show fresh and truly engaging so that both first time audiences audiences and longtime Six fans can feel like they’re experiencing something special. 


The cast, made up of Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky, Baylie Carson, Claudia Kariuki, Dionne Ward-Anderson, Koko Basigara and Roxanne Couch are a complete group of powerhouses who give stellar solo performances as well as backing up and complementing each other brilliantly. The camaraderie on stage is clear to see and really adds to the overall message of empowerment and support which is at the heart of the show. Special mention must go to Baylie Carson who is an absolute dream to watch as they bring something completely fresh and charming to the role of Anne Boleyn; I cannot wait to see all their future theatrical endeavours (Fangirls UK please!)


Having been playing at the Vaudeville theatre since 2021 the show feels completely settled and has perfectly upgraded from its first long term home, the Arts, to now filling the space on the Strand. The bigger space allows more to witness to wonder of the musical but the clever, cosy set design means none of the intimacy is lost. Emma Bailey's design is the ideal backdrop for this concert style musical. The simplistic framework really allows the performances to shine but there are also some really clever elements such as the throne which rises up grandly. Paired with Tim Deiling's lighting, you really do get the fully visceral concert experience.


A Tudor tale like no other Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss' show continues to get better and better and there's no end in sight for its reign of brilliance. Six the Musical will have you bowing down to the queens and then on your feet to dance along with them- go see this show.


photo credit: Pamela Raith

Six the Musical, Vaudeville Theatre | Review

Wednesday, 11 January 2023

Monday, 12 December 2022

Rebecca to get its English Language Premiere


Following 12 hugely successful foreign language productions, critically acclaimed musical Rebecca by Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay is to get its English language premiere in a new production at London’s Charing Cross Theatre in an English translation by Christopher Hampton
The hugely successful musical production by the Austrian musical producer VBW (Vereinigte Bühnen Wien) based on Daphne Du Maurier’s 1938 novel ‘Rebecca’ that has captivated more than 2 million people worldwide in 12 countries and 10 languages is to get its English language premiere in a new production at London’s Charing Cross Theatre.

Rebecca, by Michael Kunze and Sylvester Levay, two of the most successful German-language musical theatre composers, had its world premiere at the VBW-theatre Raimund Theater in Vienna, Austria, in September 2006, where it went on to play to sold-out houses in three seasons, and where it is currently enjoying a successful revival.

Rebecca will run at Charing Cross Theatre from 4 September - 18 November, 2023.

Press night is Monday 18 September, 2023 at 7.30pm.

Rebecca, with an orchestra of 18, will be directed by Alejandro Bonatto (director of the critically acclaimed production of Donizetti’s ‘Rita’ and the upcoming production of Francis Poulanc and Jean Cocteau’s ‘The Human Voice’ at Charing Cross Theatre later this month).

It has a new English translation by Christopher Hampton (two-time Tony Award winner Best Score & Best Book for ‘Sunset Boulevard’ and Oscar winner for Best Adapted Screenplay ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ & ‘The Father’) and Michael Kunze.

Cast to be announced.

Rebecca to get its English Language Premiere

Monday, 12 December 2022

Wednesday, 7 December 2022

Cinderella (Panto), New Victoria Theatre | Review


Cinderella (Pantomime)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 6th December 2022 
★★★★

It's that time of year again (oh yes it is) where audiences flock to their local theatres to see the seasonal panto, and this year the New Victoria Theatre, Woking are providing the glitziest of night's out with their version of Cinderella.

Getting the show off to a magical start, is Jenny Gayner as the Fairy Godmother, flying out into the audience and getting the children (and let's be fair the adults too) on the edge of their seats, ready for a fantastically festive night out. From then it's full-on, non-stop action, audience participation and slapstick humour. A complete maelstrom of energy, you wonder how the cast can consistently do two shows a week until December 31st!

With panto veteran Kathryn Rooney at the helm as Director, this is a show which has something for everyone including some great comedic, as well as theatrical moments. The best comedy comes from Brian Conley as Buttons who completely knows how to work the crowd, with just the right amount of audience participation and a great number of references to his own work as well as to the local area. The wonderful step sisters Claudia (Neal Wright) and Tess (Ben Stock) not only have an astounding wardrobe of over the top, ridiculous gowns, but they also have great chemistry with one another and are thoroughly entertaining throughout their time on stage.

What works so well with this production is that it truly feels luxurious and there is a whole lot of spectacle sprinkled in with the silliness. Aesthetically, the costumes are glorious; an array of sparkle and massive head pieces that look really great. Sarah Vaughan goes to the ball in dazzling glitz and even the Prince (Samuel Wilson-Freeman) gets some cracking costumes.  

Other "wow" moments also include the end of Act One snow (always a winner at Christmas) and the real life horses which are just adorable. Pyrotechnics and confetti also add to the drama and festivity of it all and the great vocals and choreography from the cast help make it more than just a laugh a minute, no substance show. 

Of course, like with any Panto, there are aspects which might not hit personally for every audience member, but you can't deny that there's at least a moment for everyone and hearing the children of the audience in fits of laughter is enough to make you feel the festive spirit. Cinderella provides exactly what you'd expect with a Christmas pantomime and you can't really ask for much more!

Cinderella (Panto), New Victoria Theatre | Review

Wednesday, 7 December 2022

First Ever Relaxed Performance For Back to the Future The Musical


Lead producer Colin Ingram, together with Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, the creators of the Back To The Future film trilogy, are delighted to announce that Back To the Future The Musical will play its first ever relaxed performance at the Adelphi Theatre on Sunday 12 March 2023. Please click here to book.
 
Relaxed performances are open to everyone, but may benefit those who normally find it challenging to access and enjoy theatre. The performance will include reduced volume and lighting states with a laid-back approach to audience movement permitting and encouraging everyone to relax and respond naturally.
 
The critically acclaimed Olivier, WhatsOnStage and Broadway World Award-winning Best New Musical had its opening night in London on Monday 13 September 2021. The musical recently broke box office records at the Adelphi Theatre for the highest gross sales in one week.
 
Back To the Future The Musical currently stars Cory English and Ben Joyce as ‘Dr Emmett Brown’ (until 3 January 2023) and ‘Marty McFly’ respectively, with Amber Davies as ‘Lorraine Baines’, Oliver Nicholas as ‘George McFly’, Jordan Benjamin as ‘Goldie Wilson’, Harry Jobson as ‘Biff Tannen’, Sophie Naglik as ‘Jennifer Parker’, Gary Trainor as ‘Strickland’, Will Haswell as alternate ‘Marty McFly’ and ‘Dave McFly’ and Emma Lloyd as ‘Linda McFly’.
 
Tony Award winner, Roger Bart, will return to the show on 5 January 2023. His final performance in London will be 20 March 2023 after which he will lead the cast of the Broadway production, which begins performances at Winter Garden Theatre (1634 Broadway) on 30 June 2023 with an official opening on 3 August 2023.
 
Also in the cast are Amy Barker, Simeon Beckett, Sia Dauda, Tyler Davis, Glen Facey, Dylan Gordon-Jones, Adam Margilewski, Cameron McAllister, Alessia McDermott, Bryan Mottram, Laura Mullowney, Anna Murray, Jon Reynolds, Melissa Rose, Georgia Tapp, Justin Thomas, Charley Warburton and Tavio Wright.
 
The Original Cast Recording, released on Sony Music’s Masterworks Broadway label, is now available on all formats, including vinyl, and has had over 3 million streams. It features the new music by multi-Grammy Award-winners Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard alongside classic songs from the movie including The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode
 
Back To the Future The Musical won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical, four WhatsOnStage Awards, including Best New Musical, and the Broadway World Award for Best New Musical. The productions in London and Manchester have so far been seen by half a million people and the musical has broken box office records at the Adelphi Theatre.
 
Based on the Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment film, 
Back To the Future The Musical has a book by Bob Gale and new music and lyrics by Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Alan Silvestri and six-time Grammy Award-winning Glen Ballard, with additional songs from the film including The Power of Love and Johnny B. Goode.
 
Marty McFly is a rock ‘n’ roll teenager who is accidentally transported back to 1955 in a time-travelling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr Emmett Brown.  But before he can return to 1985, Marty must make sure his high school-aged parents fall in love in order to save his own existence.
 
Back To the Future The Musical is directed by Tony Award-winning director John Rando (UrinetownOn The Town), alongside the multi Tony and Olivier Award-winning design team of Tim Hatley (set and costume design), Tim Lutkin (lighting), Hugh Vanstone (lighting consultant), Gareth Owen (sound) and Finn Ross (video), with choreography by Chris Bailey, musical supervision and arrangements by Nick Finlow and Illusions by Chris Fisher. Orchestrations are by Ethan Popp and Bryan Crook, with dance arrangements by David Chase. Casting is by David Grindrod Associates.
 
Back to the Future the movie was released in 1985, starring Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Dr Emmett Brown. The film grossed $360.6 million (£279 million) at the box office worldwide and the total box office for all three films in the Back to the Future franchise was $936.6 million (over $1.8 billion in today’s money).
 
Back To the Future The Musical is produced by Colin Ingram, Donovan Mannato, Frankel/Viertel/Baruch/Routh Group, Hunter Arnold, Gavin Kalin Productions, Playing Field, Crush Music, CJ ENM, Teresa Tsai, Ivy Herman/Hallee Adelman, Robert L. Hutt, Universal Theatrical Group, Ricardo Marques, Augury, Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, in association with Kimberly Magarro, Stage Entertainment, Glass Half Full Productions/ Neil Gooding Productions.
 
photo credit: Matt Crockett

First Ever Relaxed Performance For Back to the Future The Musical

Monday, 5 December 2022

Orlando, Garrick Theatre | Review


Orlando
Garrick Theatre
Reviewed on Monday 5th December 2022
★★★★

Thought to be inspired by Virginia Woolf's romance with Vita Sackville-West, Orlando depicts a boisterous protagonist whose journey spans five centuries and two genders. Its awareness of gender politics and expectations as well as the way is defies them is really something special, and it's astounding that Woolf wrote such a groundbreaking piece of work in 1928 and that it remains so relevant now.

Tilda Swinton famously took on the role in the 1992 film adaptation but it's the superb Emma Corrin who plays the title character in Neil Bartlett's production. As a non-binary performer, Corrin feels like the perfect fit for this gender fluid role and they do an outstanding job of bringing Orlando to life with wit and momentum. At 90 minutes, it's impressive how much range Corrin is able to show and as a whole, the production manages to really pack a punch.

Michael Grandage's intelligent direction gives the show a real buoyancy. The ensemble help to create the story as it goes and the narration is spread around to give a continual movement. This adaptation also sees Corrin's Orlando assisted by Deborah Findlay's Mrs Grimsditch who maintains the pace whilst adding comical insights on the predicaments faced throughout. Much of the script is mischievous and sharp, and there are also some really brilliant homages to other literary and theatrical moments, including a particularly witty nod to Cabaret. Despite not being full of content, Bartlett's adaptation does a good job of keeping the audience engaged and showcasing what's there to its fullest extent. The overall idea of personal identity and growth is key throughout.

Peter McKintosh's set design is superbly effective in demonstrating the various eras of Orlando's life, without being at all over the top or gimmicky. The use of banners, beds and boats is extremely well done and cleverly combined lighting choices (Howard Hudson) and projections not only help emphasise the plot and script, but also add an almost fairy-tale like feel to the whole piece.

That line between childlike dreams and theatrical astonishment is truly the heart of this play and it allows the audience to ponder some pretty deep topics, whilst also feeling swept along in the magic and mystery of it all. It may not be quite as groundbreaking as in 1928 but this is definitely a show that's been revived at the right time, with a stellar cast to boot!

photo credit: Marc Brenner

Orlando, Garrick Theatre | Review

Monday, 5 December 2022

Friday, 25 November 2022

Elf The Musical, Dominion Theatre | Review


Elf The Musical
Dominion Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 24th November 2022 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

If you're looking for some festive magic this year, look no further than the Dominion Theatre for their gloriously Christmassy, sparkly production of Elf The Musical. Based on the cult classic film, it tells the story of Buddy the Elf who finds out he's really a human, so makes the journey from the North Pole to New York City to meet his biological father and experience the world. This musical adaptation has all the most iconic parts of the film plus a heap of theatrical magic that makes it the perfect festive treat.

This version of the show does a superb job of being laugh out loud funny and completely joyous without overstepping into pantomime territory; it's entertaining for all the family but not in a way that has you cringing at the jokes. Of course it's saccharine and over the top but isn't that what Christmas is all about?! At the heart of the story and its success is Simon Lipkin as Buddy, who takes on the role with complete joy and authenticity. Having previously given a starring performance in Nativity The Musical,  Lipkin clearly has the Christmas magic which makes him such a dream to watch.  From shredding paper to create snow to joyfully rollerskating, Buddy is an exuberant and endearing character who you can't help but love. 

Alongside the humour, Lipkin also plays Buddy with a lovely vulnerability which comes across at various points, especially during his encounters with Jovie (played brilliantly by Georgina Castle) when he is completely overwhelmed by her "miraculous" self. His naivety comes across in an authentic and touching way, that doesn't stray into slapstick and gives a real depth to the plot. 

The rest of the cast are incredibly strong throughout. Rebecca Lock is treat as Buddy's step-mum who's heart is slowly opened to Christmas; her duet in Act Two with Buddy's brother (Logan Clark) is absolutely outstanding. Tom Chambers is good as the businessman, absent father whilst Kim Ismay has some really witty moments as his secretary and the pair are great together. Another stand out performance comes from Dermot Canavan who is hilariously entertaining as the Macy's Manager. The ensemble give a really punchy performance, especially when performing Liam Steel's choreography. There's great variety in the show from jaded Santa's giving an impassioned, Newsies-esque display to a full company tap number which is marvellous.

Philip WM. McKinley's direction brings abundant joy to the stage as well as a healthy dose of magic. Tim Goodchild's set is suitably whimsical and there are some certified wow moments through a recreation of the Rockefeller Centre ice rink and some real life snow.

As a whole Elf The Musical is a perfectly packaged Christmas show, which has commercial elements to appeal to the masses as well as some theatrical gems for regular theatre goers. It's a wonderfully enjoyable show that's well worth a visit. Take a trip to the Dominion Theatre, have your elf a very Merry Christmas and feel the festive spirit from your head to your mistletoes!

photo credit: Mark Senior

Elf The Musical, Dominion Theatre | Review

Friday, 25 November 2022