PODS’ production of Elf The Musical (which opened at The Cresset last night) is the perfect way to start the festive season and would warm even the coldest of hearts.
The show, adapted from the hit children’s film starring Will Ferrel, tells the story of Buddy the elf. An orphan who grew up in the North Pole raised by elves, only to discover he is human and then goes on the search for belonging and to know his true family, all while spreading Christmas cheer.
Buddy, who is played by Scott Topping, filled the Cresset auditorium, with energy in his performance. He hit all the right notes in musical numbers such as World’s Greatest Dad, Sparklejollytinklejingley and A Christmas Song. Likewise Jessica Carter who plays Jovie executed each song, including a solo of Never Fall In Love, with ease.
No attention to detail was spared in the choreography by Katharine Wooton, as each sequence bettered the last, from the ‘ice-skating’ scene to tap-dancing talent from the cast. The cast kept up with every energetic beat with smiles on their faces.
With a number of complex scene changes, the pace of the changes was frantic but this was met with a buzz from the cast - it doesn’t deter from the wonderful use of the stage with some impressive set designs. And despite some opening night technical difficulties this didn’t take away from the performance or the audience’s enthusiasm.
The first act, which lasted for an hour and a half before an interval, may not be suitable for much younger audience members who may become restless but the second act only lasts an hour. Despite the length of the acts, with so much energy from the cast it’s impossible not to completely immerse yourself in the story.
A special mention should go to the actresses playing Emily (Georgia Evans) and Katie. The pair’s performance truly captured the mother-daughter relationship. Katie replaces the film character Michael in this adaptation; this and other small changes land every time and don’t go amiss with the audience. The finale musical number left audiences on their feet, as the cast were rewarded with a cheering, standing ovation for their show-stopping, snow-topping end to the show.
This is one elf that shouldn’t be left on the shelf this year, so don’t miss out on this toe-tapping, hand-clapping Christmas elf-stravaganza.
Elf The Musical is running at The Cresset until Saturday, November 27. Tickets at www.cresset.co.uk