Nikolai Foster‘s Christmas production of White Christmas is a bit like being given a giant hug and a massive bowl of chicken soup. You cannot possibly leave the auditorium feeling anything other than warmed and just slightly more content with the world (at least until you turn the news back on).
An incredibly simple storyline, White Christmas harks back to the golden days of Paramount Pictures, and tells the story of a group of actors who find themselves lumped together in a barn in Vermont to stage a production in a mere few days before Christmas Eve.
In a Much Ado About Nothing-esque storyline – girl meets boy, she immediately takes a dislike to him, they spend some time swapping snide comments and disparaging glances until inevitably realising they’re destined to end up in each other’s arms. It sounds painfully cliche, but it’s much more lovely than that. Danny Mac, Emma Williams, Monique Young and Dan Burton star as our fabulous four, and they bounce off each other beautifully, and are supported perfectly by a stellar ensemble.
While the songs in White Christmas might not be the most memorable from a musical (aside from the title song, of course), each of the lead’s vocals are just delicious and wash over you beautifully. I don’t often enjoy being encouraged to stand and join in for a sing-a-long at the end of a production, but it felt so fitting at the end. As fake snow fell over the audience, I was certainly not the only one shedding a tear (or two) as the audience joined in to sing ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas’.
Stephen Mear has won two Olivier Awards for his choreography for a reason, and it’s plain to see why in White Christmas. It really is breathtakingly flawless, and Strictly Come Dancing fans will be delighted to see Danny Mac dancing his heart out again. The tap sequence in Act II is especially phenomenal. White Christmas follows Nikolai Foster‘s hugely successful production of Scrooge last year, and I’ve been waiting excitedly to see what he’d pull out of the bag this year and I was not disappointed. He has a habit of making something truly magical, and audiences lucky enough to have a ticket to this year’s masterpiece will not be disappointed either, I’m sure.
Reviewed by Rosie Bambury
Photo: Catherine Ashmore
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