Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s Review Elf The Musical 2015 West End Dominion Theatre London….
The London premiere of ELF Starring Ben Forster, Kimberley Walsh, Joe McGann and Jessica Martin has a limited 10-week season at the Dominion Theatre until January 2nd 2016.
Based on the much hyped and loved 2003 movie starring Will Ferrell, ELF tells the story of Buddy, a young orphan who travels to New York to find his father.
This show has glitz, clever visuals, triumphant Yuletide decoration and overall polish as well as a delightful orchestra & cheery score.
Elf offers remarkable choreography and a 5* energising performance from Forster. It really is a one man show. It is unthinkable that he can maintain this level of energy & vocal prowess without the intervention of elf & safety before the end of the run!
Sadly though the overall script and feel is laboured. With dodgy gags that fell flat and the audience seemingly appearing unaware when to laugh, clap or adjust their Elf hats – (yes, some did come in full costume) – it just fell a bit flat.
Also the premise of the entire first half of an unloved, penniless orphan begging for love from a mega-rich egotist left me cold this Winter season.
Overall this show has the festive glee of a Christmas Eve at Harrods & Oxford Street and the overall take away is lovely, however, with some tickets costing the most in West End history – I was hoping for a little more substance.
Enjoy our Exclusive review via YouTube:
ELF features a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone), with songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer).
In truth you can see nods to The Producers and Hairspray in the first half with some of the staging and choreography – no bad thing. Unfortunately in Elf, the transitions between scenes were not comparable to the above theatrical masterpiece’s.
Kimberley Walsh clearly has a nice voice although doesn’t get to shine until the second half. She barely appears in the first act.
My biggest concern with this show is that it was too wordy for kids and not clever enough adults. Oh dear, I’ve turned into Scrooge.
Shows like Aladdin and Shrek have mastered this art. It’s so important, especially during performances like tonight which was 99% grown-ups. The script is key.
Ben is a Broadway standard Star who adopts a Jim Carey-esk persona matched with a loveable & charming vulnerability and rightly steals the show.
His physicality is inspired and his vocals are in places astonishing.
His power & effortless ease with this wordy & pacey script, not to mention the concentration & discipline required throughout for this energetic role is hugely commendable.
The production features direction and choreography by Morgan Young (Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) who did a wonderful job.
Kudos also to set design and costumes by Olivier Award winner Tim Goodchild.
Overall Elf was a 3* production with a 5* performance by Ben Forster.
This show has Christmas by the bucket load but with cheapest tickets starting at just under £60 and going up to a ludicrous £180 – I couldn’t justify taking my family and I could not argue that his show offers overall value for money.
Elf performs through 2 January 2016 at Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7AQ.
Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 3rd November 2015.