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Published 6 November 2015

What’s it all about?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

This, as if you didn’t know, is the story of Buddy the Elf, made famous by the Will Ferrell modern classic Christmas film.

But Buddy is not an elf, he’s a human who snuck into Santa’s bag as a baby and has been raised by the North Pole’s miniature workforce. When the truth is exposed, he sets off on a musical journey to find his father – a regular on the naughty list – in New York City.

Who’s in it?

Ben Forster’s Buddy is as sweet as the sugar plum fairy and as charming as Cinderella’s Prince. He has the necessary innocent heart of a child and it is as impossible to be not warmed by him as it would be a roaring log fire on a chilly winter day.

Kimberley Walsh finds all the disappointment and cynicism in love interest Jovie and Joe McGann, whose distinctive gravelly voice is one of a man who has gargled 700 or so festive whiskeys too many, is perfect as the grinchy father ready to be saved.

But, for my money, it’s actually Buddy’s new-found stepbrother Michael – played perfectly on press night by Ilan Galkoff – who provides even more heart that Buddy hims-elf, as the child who just wants time and love from his father.

What should I look out for?

I’ll Believe In You, the heartstring tugging duet between Michael and his mother, in which he lays down his games console-free Christmas wish for Santa.

Morgan Young’s sack-swinging choreography for angry diatribe Nobody Cares About Santa.

The magic moment created when everyone sings out loud for all to hear. If it doesn’t return you immediately to child-like wonder you’re probably named Ebenezer.

What will I be humming tomorrow?

“Just sing a Christmas song and keep on singing all season long…” That’s what we’re doing.

Who was in the press night crowd?

The whooping from a secluded box as Walsh made her entrance gave away the presence of fellow Girls Alouders Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Nicola Roberts. Also getting their festive on were Mr Christmas, Aled Jones, and Mr West End Press Night, Christopher Biggins.

In a nutshell?

Elf is more festive fun than bobbing for mince pies in a vat of eggnog. It’s sparklejollytwinklejingley-icious.

What’s being said on Twitter?

Will I like it?

Don’t be a cotton-headed ninnymuggins; check your cynicism, bathe in the schmaltz and let the inner child leap with glee at this joyful slice of festive family fun.

Elf plays at the Dominion Theatre until 2 January. You can book tickets through us here.


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