“The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear!” Everyone knows Elf, the movie with Will Ferrell playing the hilarious elf Buddy who finds out he is human and travels to New York to find his real dad where he also meets Jovie, played by the always awesome Zooey Deschanel. According to buddy the four main food groups are candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup. It’s a family favourite Christmas movie and adorably funny.
The movie was turned into a musical and hits London’s West End every festive season. All in all I think it starts a little too early. You’re not quite in the Christmas spirit in mid-October, so it may be a little harder to enjoy a super-christmassy musical. However, overall it’s a Santa’s bag full of fun and laughs.
The musical sticks mostly to the same story as the movie along with the most memorable lines, although some lines are amended and that’s where it falls short. With a movie that is so popular you can’t just change the favourite lines because it will take people’s attention away from what is happening on stage as they sit there thinking “but isn’t it XYZ in the movie?”. Moreover, the American accents of the cast, except Buddy’s, are horrendous. They are so bad that you wish they’d just kept the English accents. I mean people move to other countries, it would have been totally fine for Jovie to have a British accent. Also, mom and dad have an American (-ish) accent but the brother doesn’t. Like I said, the accents are off and it makes it slightly incoherent. Lastly, the screen at the back of the stage just made the set look odd every now and again.
On the up side, I loved Buddy. Loved him! Ben Forster brings the cheerfulness and innocence of Buddy straight from the movie to the stage, while giving hom his own touch. In general the characters were very lovable and well played. The props on stage were also fabulous! It’s overall a very colourful and happy musical. Definitely one for the family, closer to Christmas.
I won’t spoil the surprise but there are some really cool special effects at the end that make you leave the musical all happy and cheerful. Plus, the entry to the Dominion Theatre is decorated very christmassy with Christmas trees and garlands and lights.