Walking into the New Alexandra Theatre you'd think it was Christmas Eve. A freezing chill had everyone wrapped in scarves and wooly hats and families were piling through the doors. When it's done right, theatre is something for the whole family and more often than not it's Christmas time when it happens most - it's wonderful to see.
Miracle On 34th Street The Musical is a tough one to conquer... the 1947 and 1994 film versions are universally loved and presenting anything so popular in a different format is always going to face challenges. The musical with book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson is full of heart. The songs are hardly rememberable and some scenes are weighted with heavy dialogue but throughout it all the Christmas spirit is well and truly present.
Full Cast (Photo by Darren Bell)
The cast are highly motivated and carry the story incredibly well. Not only are they acting, singing and dancing but changing the set as they go. The set, by David Shields is a simplistic one, three blocks that rotate to reveal various locations. It is beautifully detailed and the finale of snow is pure delight.
Genevieve Nicole is a powerhouse as Doris, presented with the best vocal part she manages to showcase some real talent as does Poppy Carter who plays daughter Susan. Although petite, Carter nor any adult could ever portray a 6 year old girl convincingly, but it works artistically, just as it does in Blood Brothers and you can looks past that. James Murphy makes the perfect Kris Kringle, full of merriment his portrayal is captivating.
James Murphy as Kris Kringle (Photo by Darren Bell)
For an evening of fabulously festive fun after a trip to the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market head to the New Alexandra Theatre before Saturday 7 December. Book tickets for Miracle On 34th Street online here.
Cast List: Genevieve Nicole, Poppy Carter, Daniel Fletcher, James Murphy, Paul Cleveland, David Kristopher-Brown, Charlotte Jeffery, Caroline Bateson, Lorraine Graham, Inez Mackenzie, Stuart Matthews, Brett Shiels, Gary Roe, Shaun McCourt, Ellen Verenieks.