Hands up who has the January Blues? Now that all the tinsel has been put away, everywhere looks a little less magical right? My family has a kind of tradition where we plan to do something all together for one of the first weekends in January, not because we haven’t spent enough time with each other over Christmas, but so we can finish the festive season in style. It’s kind of nice actually, because you have something to look forward to and it starts the New Year right. This year, my family went to see the UK Tour of Elf The Musical at the Lowry Theatre in Salford, and seeing as my review of Nativity The Musical went down really well, I thought I’d do another.
Elf The Movie
Is it even Christmas if you don’t watch Elf The Film? It blows my mind that this Christmas classic was released over 14 years ago in the UK, back in November 2003! I’m sure you’re all familiar with the story, but just in case you’re the Grinch, I’ll give a quick summary. The story follows Buddy who is bigger than your usual elf, and has a personality to match. After causing havoc in the North Pole, Buddy has an identity crisis when he realises he’s not actually an elf, but in fact a human. Determined to find his place in the World, he travels to New York to find his Dad. Unfortunately, his Dad isn’t the most festive of people, and the film follows Buddy trying to find where he belongs. Yes, its a predictable Christmas movie but it’s laugh-out-loud funny thanks to Will Ferrell, and is one of the all-time greats.
Because of its status, I was super excited to see Elf The Musical as it toured the UK. But like Nativity The Musical, I was a bit worried about how it’d be adapted. Would it live up to the hype? Would I LOL? Well this is what I thought.
Elf The Musical
Did you know Santa was scouse? Neither did I! After being very cleverly asked to turn of mobile phones and unwrap sweets, the musical starts in the North Pole, and follows the film’s story perfectly. There’s no changes to make the adaptation easier and the story is just as heartwarming as the movie. Ben Forster (Winner of 2012 TV Talent Show Superstar) makes a great Buddy and Liz McClarnon (of Atomic Kitten fame) was made to be Jovie. One big difference from the film is that Elf The Musical includes songs; who would have thought? Having not heard the soundtrack beforehand, I was pretty impressed with all of the musical numbers, with “The Story of Buddy” and “A Christmas Song” being the true top-tapping, head-bobbing highlights. I have to say the chorus lines would make the Rockettes proud and the tap dancing was amazing. The costumes and staging was beautifully done, with 3D effects bringing some sparkle. However, the true magic being saved for the end when all your childhood Christmas dreams will come true. I will say that Act One did feel slightly flat in comparison to Act Two and I didn’t LOL as much as I hoped, but hang on in there, because Act Two is enough to melt any Snowman (or Snowperson).
Overall I really enjoyed going to see the UK tour of Elf The Musical at The Lowry. Whilst diehard musical fans might be slightly disappointed, this is the perfect option for families at Christmas. Although I glad I’ve seen the show, it wouldn’t be on my list to see multiple times. But, with a true-to-film adaptation and magical special effects, it’s ideal for anyone looking for a festive fix.
Have you seen Elf The Musical? What musicals would you see again? Let me know in the comments below!