Last Updated on 28th November 2022
We take a look at what the reviewers thought of Elf the Musical starring Simon Lipkin, Georgina Castle and Tom Chambers which is now playing at the Dominion Theatre, London.
Elf the Musical is now playing at The Dominion Theatre, London until 7 January 2023. Here’s what critics thought of this production which stars Simon Lipkin as Buddy the Elf.
The stage adaptation of the beloved Will Ferrell film bounds joyously back into town
‘Elf the Musical’ rolls back into the West End with the same blunt-force charm as Buddy, its star. The last time this production was at the Dominion Theatre, in 2015, it was the venue’s fastest-selling show in nearly a century. It’d be a huuuge surprise if it’s not a success this time either.
This show lives or dies depending on its Buddy. Thankfully, Simon Lipkin knocks it out of the park.
Tom Wicker – Time Out
Pure feel-good joy with just enough Christmas schmaltz!
what keeps Philip McKinley’s New York production – which first arrived on this very stage in 2015 as fresh as newly fallen snow – is British star Lipkin.
This well-known yet underrated musical theatre regular (also the star of the most recent Nativity movie) is just terrific in the decidedly un-elfin title role. Well supported by Georgina Castle’s New York ice queen Jovie, who somewhat inexplicably falls for this lummox’s guileless charm, the immensely likeable Lipkin moves with a grace and agility that belies his size.
He is so good in fact, you don’t miss Ferrell at all.
John Nathan – Metro
Who needs Will Ferrell? This show is a real cracker!
The 2003 film Elf is an established seasonal favourite and, inevitably, audiences will have Will Ferrell lodged in their heads when they think of Santa’s hapless ‘little’ helper Buddy.
Thankfully, Simon Lipkin in Elf The Musical overcomes any comparisons (and a dreadful wig) to make a convincing lead.
Philip McKinley’s classy revival — the scenes in Macy’s look particularly gorgeous in Tim Goodchild’s design — has some rousing song-and-dance numbers (the book is by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin, with songs by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, choreography by Liam Steel).
Veronica Lee – Daily Mail
This musical adaptation of the Will Ferrell movie is infectiously upbeat and a riot of colour, comedy and Christmas magic.
Paul Vale – The Stage
Buddy’s back with some syrupy showtunes.
Despite some appealing performances and a tight candy-cane-twirling ensemble, it comes close to the blandly corporate Christmas experience it sets out to satirise and doesn’t muster a lot more joy than the kind of department store grotto in its story.
Chris Wiegand – The Guardian
This is an Elf warning: Elf the Musical isn’t very good. It jettisons most of what is sly and subtle about the sublime 2003 Christmas film on which it’s based, in favour of sappy sentiment and bland songs.
Nick Curtis – Evening Standard