Theatre: Festive Favourites

The festive season is absolutely my favourite time of year, and I love seeing what London has to offer, particularly when it comes to theatrical events! Whether it’s a play, musical or ballet!

This month ELF: The Musical began its previews at The Dominon Theatre, London as the start of its limited 10 week run. Based on the now classic Christmas film starring Will Ferrell as Buddy The Elf, this musical is a winter treat for all. Buddy notices he’s rather different than his elf friends, significantly taller in fact, and in a quest to find who he really is, the intrepid protagonist makes his way to New York City just before Christmas. With a little luck, love and Christmas cheer, can Buddy discover where he came from, and who he wants to be? The London production stars Kimberley Walsh who you may know from Girls Aloud alongside Ben Forster, Joe McGann and Jessica Martin. With music from Matthew Sklar, ELF: The Musical is full of classical Broadway style tunes with the seasonal addition of jingle bells and candy canes. Be warned, prices for ELF are particularly high for London, so if you’re keen to see the show prepare yourselves for an expensive night out! Back of the Circle starts at £30 and back of the Stalls at £62.50.

Elf The Musical Theatre Theater London Christmas Winter Festive Activities Musical Musicals Elves
2014 Cast of ELF photographed by Alastair Muir (From http://www.elfthemusical.co.uk)

A classic almost every winter in London is The Snowman which this year will be performed at The Peacock Theatre. This production, featuring music from Howard Blake, including the now classic Walking In The Air,  tells the heartwarming yet heartbreaking story of a young boy’s friendship with his magical snowman. Suitable for all ages, The Snowman is truly one of the most magical things I have ever seen on stage, leaving many parents with a tear in their eye whilst the children soaked up the mystical atmosphere. This show, along with the Channel 4 short film, strike me as particularly British Christmas perennials, despite there being no clear dialogue. So if you’re travelling to London from abroad this festive period, don’t overlook The Snowman as a beautiful way to enjoy winter in the capital.

If something a little more farcical and fun is up your street then Peter Pan Goes Wrong, from Mischief Theatre who devised the hit slapstick comedy The Play That Goes Wrong, comes to London this Christmas. The members of Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society attempt to put on a traditional Christmas Vignette with their rendition of J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan. However, with collapsing sets, injured cast members and any number of disgruntled crew members things don’t go to plan. This is an hysterical show which has recently toured the country. You can read my review of the tour here. Laugh out loud and the perfect pantomime for adults, head along to The Apollo Theatre, London to see the show!

Unsurprisingly, The Royal Opera House presents The Nutcracker performed by The Royal Ballet this Christmas period. If the idea of the ROH or ballet sounds intimidating to you, don’t let it put you off. The Nutcracker is one of the most accessible and family friendly tales in ballet and is an absolute treat every December. A young girl’s magical present takes her on a stunning journey, set to Tchaikovsky’s intricate and festive score. Suitable for children aged 5 and over, and with tickets starting at just £5 there is really no excuse to not soak in the majesty of ballet this Christmas!

Ballet Christmas Dance Dancing The Nutcracker Royal Ballet Royal Opera House London Theatre Festive December
Yuhui Choe as the Rose Fairy and artists of The Royal Ballet in The Nutcracker ROH, Royal Ballet, Tristram Kenton (2013)

I am an enormous fan of a show which is unlikely to ever make the journey across the pond, A Christmas Story: The Musical. If you’ve ever seen the 80s classic Christmas film A Christmas Story then you’ll know exactly why this musical is sure to be the most bizarre yet brilliant evening of the festive period. This year it is playing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania so unfortunately, unless I win the lottery (unlikely given I haven’t bought a ticket) I won’t be able to see the show. However, I am determined to witness the inevitable glory of A Christmas Story: The Musical at some point soon, and in the mean time I will enjoy listening to the soundtrack!

 

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