ELF - the musical

Date 4th November 2021
Society Llandudno Musical Productions
Venue Theatre Colwyn, Colwyn Bay
Type of Production Musical
Director Anne Davenport
Musical Director Ben Payne

Report

Author: Ian Wilson [on behalf of Lyn Emmerson]

What a joy it was to be back in the theatre watching a live performance, interacting with the performers as they delivered this festive production. ELF is the story of Buddy, a human who is brought up by elves at the North Pole, finds out he is human, doesn’t fit in and goes in search of his real Dad who lives in New York.

After being made famous by the film starring Will Ferrell, Elf is now a big stage musical with catchy songs, and big production numbers.

Anne Davenport directs this joyous, happy, feel good musical, just right to get you in the mood for Christmas. She captured the spirit of this uplifting show and brought it to life on stage. A full capacity audience of both adults and children on the first night Thursday 4th November certainly enjoyed it and the talented cast did not disappoint.

Simple but effective staging and lighting took us from the North Pole to the Empire State building and the Hobb’s apartment in New York.

The show starts with Santa (David Crawford) and Mrs Santa (Judith Williams) telling us the story of how Buddy the Elf came to live at the North Pole. From then we head into Santa’s workshop where the elves are preparing for Christmas. Well done to ten year old Sam Baldwin who played head elf Charlie, keeping the other elves in check.

We then move to New York where we meet Walter Hobbs, (Buddy’s real dad). A natural and thoughtful performance played by Richard Williams. His secretary Deb, played by Naomi Hughes was particularly noticeable for her comic timing. Malc Anglesea as Chadwick and Sam Highcock as Mathews completes the office line up and worked well together.

I must mention the duet (There is a Santa Claus) between Michael Hobbs and his mother, Emily Hobbs, played by Ben Thomas and Lara Crawford respectively. This was definitely one of the highlights and very well received by the audience. Eleven year old Ben has an amazing singing voice and a good little actor too. He should go far. Lara as Emily gave us a confident and professional performance. It is always a joy to watch Lara in any role that she takes on.

Buddy the Elf was played by Jamie Toffrey with just the right amount of over the top, energy and enthusiasm that demands from the role, he certainly revelled in it. He hardly ever leaves the stage. Well done.

Jovie, Buddy’s girlfriend was confidently played by Alysia Dyke.  Her rendition of Never Fall In Love (With an elf) was just right.

Carole Lauren as the evil boss Ms Greenway and Landon Sweeney as Macy’s brow beaten store manager and Eleven year old Daniel Needham as the boy in Macy’s completed the line-up.

Music was provided on a backing track and cued by musical director Ben Payne. My only niggle was the backing track was a little loud so you missed the actors words sometimes when they were singing.

Costumes were in the capable hands of Marion Griffiths and the company and all gave that Christmassy feeling. Well done to backstage crew, sound and lighting

All in all it was an excellent night out, despite the usual first night glitches. The audience was buzzing and was just right to get you in the mood for Christmas, but most of all it was lovely to see people back in the theatre having a great time. Long may this continue.    Well done LMP and thank you for a most enjoyable evening.