Elf the Musical, Norwich Playhouse: A toe-tapping tinsel-wrapped treat with all the trimmings

Norwich Playhouse new season - Elf The Musical.Photo: supplied by Norwich Playhouse

Norwich Playhouse new season - Elf The Musical.Photo: supplied by Norwich Playhouse - Credit: supplied by Norwich Playhouse

Living up to a much-beloved film on the stage is always likely to be a challenge - particularly one in which the lead actor is somebody as ostentatious as Will Ferrell.

As far as Christmas films go, few this side of the millennium have captured the hearts quite as much as 2003's Elf.

So when the locally-based Threshold Theatre Company took on the challenge of the modern classic's musical interpretation, they were always facing a fly or fall situation.

Hit all the right notes and fans of the Hollywood picture latch on - but fail to hit its lofty standards and you're left wishing you had taken on something with lower weight of expectation.

However, on opening night at Norwich Playhouse, the cast deliver with all the festive efficiency of Chris Cringle himself on Christmas Eve.


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From start to finish, the two-hour performance is a tinsel-wrapped, toe-tapping, tingly treat with all the trimmings.

For those unfamiliar with the film, it tells the tale of Buddy the Elf, a supposedly orphaned human who haphazardly ends up at the North Pole after crawling into Santa's sack as he visited his orphanage home.

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A family of elves take it him, but 30 years later and it becomes apparent he does not belong, after being way off the toy-making pace - 85 Etch A Sketches in a day is just too slow.

It is then up to Buddy to travel to New York City in search of his biological father - a Grinchy grouch with an important job who is completely oblivious of his eldest son's existence.

Here, Buddy is faced with an uphill battle to win over his new family and restore festive cheer and rescue Christmas - and may even find romance.

Kicking off a two-week run at the Playhouse, the cast show no signs of nerves, with beaming smiles and festive cheer in abundance.

The songs are catchy, the choreography is magnetic and the multi-layered comedy ensures there is something for all the family to enjoy.

For the 20-strong cast, living up to the film is no problem, as they prove once and for all that the best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.

Elf the Musical continues at the Playhouse until December 22 - with all shows completely sold out.

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