Review: Elf the Musical at The Lowry

  • Elf the Musical at Salford’s The Lowry
  • Northern Quota reporter Jess Stoddard reviews the brand new musical

Sequins, snow, the North Pole and a whole lot of singing, what more do you want from a musical?

Based on the wonderful 2003 hit film starring Will Ferrell, Elf is the sweet tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

The gorgeous tap routines, creating the perfect ice rink date and the ingenious screen projections, taking us from the North Pole all the way to New York City, was all directed and choreographed beautifully by Morgan Young, and the audience were with Buddy on every step of his journey.

Obviously the big part of the North Pole are the elves, and with a clever design that reminded me of Lord Farquaad’s costume in Shrek the Musical, the cast were shrunk to become the elves. With comic running with their short legs, the elves were a wonderful opening to the show. 

Ben Forster makes the perfect Buddy, with his excitable and down right joyous heart that just wants to please everyone, you can’t help but fall in love with him! Forster’s voice was simply wonderful, and even brought a tears to my eyes, especially at the end of Act 1, when Buddy sings World’s Greatest Dad reprise after thinking that his dad doesn’t love him.

The stand out performer who shone on stage was the young Michael Hobbs, played by Riley White. His voice was so strong and clear, shining like the stars in roles beyond his years. He had great comic timing, and pulled at the audience’s heart strings during I Believe in You.

As the musical states, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear!”. Well, the music and orchestration were beautiful, directed by Jeremy Wootton. The vocals were simply perfect, and you couldn’t fault the lead singers at all.

With an incredible, and still confusing as to how it flew, flying sleigh and a lot of Christmas spirit, this is the perfect end to the incredible show. 

With magic, sparkling costumes and very catchy songs, make sure you see this Christmas spectacle! 


Elf the Musical is running at the Lowry until 14 January, tickets and information can be found here.