Full of glitz, glamour and plenty of sparkle Elf the Musical is a fun night out for the whole family. Leaving the cold British weather outside and entering a magical world inside, whilst of course tucking into a mulled wine and mince pie.
As well as appealing and engaging for children of all ages, getting them ready for Christmas day, Elf also makes an effort to appeal to a more adult-like audience. Allowing everyone to unleash their inner playful side. The piece of course starts with the lead protagonist Buddy the Elf at the North Pole. Created by huge candy cane structures, a sort of toy factory set up and lots of cast members running around the space on their knees dressed as elves, funny considering their size.
The piece then teleports you to New York City as Buddy is desperately searching for his father after finding out from Santa that he was adopted. He succeeds in finding him, however his father, being a busy working businessman, does not buy into his story and has him removed. Still, Buddy does not take no for an answer and continues to pursue his dad throughout the whole performance. The way in which Ben Forster plays Buddy makes him seem jolly, cute and extremely clueless of the real world around him. Although the punchline is in fact that the New Yorkers are the clueless ones, and as a result don’t believe in Santa Klaus and consider Buddy a freak and a liar.
Nonetheless, as the piece continues to catapult you on through the story you begin to see all the problems fly away. Buddy gets the girl of his dreams, after a somewhat crazy relationship throughout the piece, his dad accepts him, and New York discovers the true meaning of Christmas and starts to believe once more. Grasping the audience’s imagination and establishing a dream-like atmosphere for families to engage with.
The set is another spectacular triumph, from huge icebergs to the construction of the Empire State Building. As well as the detail put into the lighting and Christmas trees, mostly common in the scene set in Macy’s shopping mall, paints a colourful and radiant picture on stage. However, just when you think it ends there, the whole theatre erupts with snow and Santa’s sleigh is cleverly manoeuvred out from the stage, elevating freely and definitely sending the children’s jaws dropping (and in that respect some adults).
Overall, an energetic, fun and extremely cheesy musical, differing from that of the film, but still capturing the comedic nature of the season. Worth seeing, but be prepared for lots of laughs, plenty of jazz hands and above all else a whole heap of Christmas cheer! Bubbly, Bizarre and Bloomin Brilliant! 3.5/5
Review written by Luke Redhead.
Elf the Musical is currently showing at the Dominion Theatre until Saturday 2nd January. For more information on the production, visit here…