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Sunday, 9 December 2018

REVIEW: A Christmas Story at the Waterloo East Theatre

Pasek and Paul are best known for the Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen and the smash hit film the Greatest Showman but the retelling of the 1983 film A Christmas Story is a show lesser known. With book by Joseph Robinson, the show focuses on Ralphie and his quest to getting the "best Christmas present" in the lead up to the big day, told by Radio DJ and narrator Jean Shepherd.

The show is nostalgic in feel and tries very hard to get that quint essential Christmas spirit. The music itself is quite catchy with a highlight being "When You're A Wimp" performed by the ensemble of children that alternate with another group throughout the run. The night I watched the part of Ralphie was played by Felix Hepburn, who gave a wonderful performance as the 9-year-old leading role. The narrator of the piece was played by Garry Freer, who made me feel as if I really was in 1980's Manhattan listening to a radio broadcast. The roles of 'Mother' and 'Old man', Ralphie's parents where played very much within the style of piece by Lucyelle Cliffe (Legally Blonde) and Simon Wilmont (Mamma Mia). Cliffe's solo song What A Mother Does in act one, was another highlight of the show, giving a different tone to the comedy and light heartedness that had been played from the start.
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