Sheffield panto season: Elf: The Musical wows the crowds at the Lyceum Theatre
Everyone is desperate for a joyous Christmas after last year's Covid lockdown and what better way to launch into the festive season than the colourful Elf: The Musical.
It's a faithful theatre adaptation of the popular film so if you're the type of person who puts their tree up in November and has already eaten a box of mince pies, this is the show for you.
While it's billed as a musical, it would actually be better without the forgettable songs which all sound the same and don't progress the plot. The cast sings them very well but they don't add anything.
This isn't a jukebox musical, there's nothing familiar to get you singing along or on your feet at the end.
It's the dance routines which make this an energetic musical, reminding us how much enthusiasm actors pour into live theatre and how much it has been missed.
The sets are simple but do a good job of transporting us to New Year with some nice touches to create ice skating at Central Park. There's also a chance to see Santa take flight in his sleigh which will delight children.
The danger with Elf is it would be very easy to tip over into being a pantomime but this stays
warmhearted and comical without the cast being tempted into exaggerated performances.
It's worth remembering that this is an amature production by SOTS but this is a very talented cast. Kudos to those singing, dancing and performing every night after their day jobs.
This is a show for all the family with humour, warmth and a message about keeping the Christmas spirit. It's also a safe bet for Elf fans, remaining loyal to the film.
The company took the precaution of casting two sets of lead characters, who will share performances on alternate nights and minimise any Covid risks.
Buddy is played by Richard Granger and Damien Ross and sharing the role of Jovie will be Katie Granger and Ellie Hudson.