I know it’s January and Christmas is over, but that doesn’t mean I’m all out of festive cheer. Why do we jump into 2018 so sad that our long breaks are over and anxious that real life begins once again? Well, I’ve found the best cure for the January blues. Elf The Musical!
Now I’ll admit I’ve never felt like seeing a Panto after New Years. Maybe there’s too much cheese and tradition, it’s a little overwhelming. But Elf is a completely different experience! Yes it is still completely Christmasified, but it has quality and comedy far outdoing a regular Panto.
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You all know the story. Buddy the Elf was mistakenly transported to the North Pole as a baby and soon learned he was actually human. He travelled to New York to meet his real dad, a serious businessman who *shock horror* was on the naughty list. Buddy tried to restore the Christmas Spirit to not only his family but the Big Apple itself.
It was originally a hit film starring funny man, Will Ferrell, so no pressure… Thankfully this Musical lived up to the hype. Phew!
Comedy was at the heart of this show, and rightly so! Of course many of the laughs came thanks to Buddy himself. The showing I caught was played by understudy Colin Burnicle because Ben Forster suffered an unfortunate injury during the Matinee. I wish him the speediest recovery. But boy did Burnicle come in and rock the role. He embodied a lovable, huggable elf with such child like innocence and joy. He played Buddy with the heart of an animated Disney character. The moment he threw shredded ‘snow’ into his father’s face had me in stitches. Seriously.
And of course the cast add even more humour from hurrying across stage on their knees as elves, to their over the top reactions in the office scenes. Even the conductor got involved at one point, in a very iconic way. I won’t spoil the surprise, but if you know the film, you’ll appreciate the reference. I found Leanne Garretty a little flat on the funny as Jovie but her stunning vocals really lifted the show. It’s a shame her voice didn’t feature more.
Even though this Musical was as sweet as Buddy’s sugar addiction, I wouldn’t say the songs were anything special. They kind of merged into one bouncy tune. However, ‘The Story of Buddy the Elf’ did leave me humming and ‘Nobody Cares about Santa’ stood out because it was musically very different to the rest.
The quality oozed out of the performance like thick chocolate in a pudding. The big choreographed sequences really stole the show as colour and energy lit up the stage. Big smiles matched with big moves and a whole load of tap brought the class, glitz and glamour. So now I want to learn to tap. I’m not joking when I say I went home and googled lessons in my local area…
Throughout the whole show I was waiting. What for you ask? Snow! The set screamed Christmas with huge candy canes, a gigantic Christmas tree and twinkly lights. There was no expense spared on the production design. They even used digital projections to transport the audience to different settings. But it seriously lacked snow. Until the perfect moment. At the end. I could have burst with joy as the auditorium became a snow globe and Santa flew on his sleigh. The five year old in me nearly melted with happiness.
Elf the Musical is fantastically funny and frankly fizzing with festive cheer.
This humdinger of a show made my list of 10 quirky Christmas events in Manchester and they’re running it until Sunday 14th January. That’s bags of time to put a smile on your face and kick start 2018 with a glittery bang.
Have you seen this Musical? Let me know what you think below!
Image Credit: James Everett