HUNSTANTON: ‘Elf saves Christmas for town’ hope
The closure of the Princess Theatre was a big blow for trade in Hunstanton but now The Elf That Saved Christmas hopes to do some good for the town as well as it opens.
This is a Christmas show, not a pantomime, which actually makes the story easier to follow for children and does not rely on outlandish cross-dressing for its humour.
Instead, a professional cast provides entertainment for the whole family. Justin Thyme (Barry Levy) has been the official jester at Warwick Castle and has appeared as one of Ken Dodd’s Diddy Men. His partner in mirth, Trevor Layte (Craig Ransford) plays the fool with equal conviction.
Father Christmas (James Barclay) has a rich singing voice, which would not be out of place in opera and for a big man he is incredibly light on his toes when it comes to the dance routines.
It is hard to believe that James was once turned down by an agency recruiting Santa Claus lookalikes to work in department stores – their loss!
Mother Christmas (Jo Manning) is an equally talented all-rounder. The music is carefully selected to include up-dated versions of traditional songs, such as Boogie Woogie Santa Claus and the Glee version of Jingle Bells, and well as Wings – a really modern song – which fits perfectly into the story when performed by fairies!
Yes, there are fairies as well as elves, with Merry Sugar Plum, the fairy on the Christmas tree (Annie Larkin) actually making her entrance from the upper branches of a tree standing 16ft above the stage.
She is well supported by other fairies and elves, including two teams from the Jane Ashley-Emile School of Dance. Bob Pickle (Josh Fish) soon wins over the audience with his portrayal of the heroic Elf.
Although this is not panto, there is a baddie, the formidable Jacqueline Frost (Michele Larkin) who can freeze opponents with her icy breath.
Michele not only gives an outstanding performance, she also devised, directed and choreographed the entire show. Along with Sue Loch she designed the costumes – used to particularly good effect by her own character, who has a look of Elizabeth Taylor and sings like Dolly Parton, especially in her rendition of “I’m gettin’ nuttin’ for Christmas!”
Of course, there is a happy ending, even for Miss Frost and her hapless sidekick, the Creature (Tom Fox) who thought he was applying for a job as an elf, but ended up working for the opposition.
As always with these shows, the unseen members of the production team deserve credit for the set realisation (Alex Low & Craig Tolley) sound (Jess Smith) and lighting (Tim Goodchild). The Elf That Saved Christmas runs until December 27.
Tickets are available on 01485 532252 or www.princess hunstanton.co.uk
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Weather for King's Lynn
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
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Wind direction: North west