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A Christmas Story, The Musical at Waterloo East Theatre

A Christmas Story, The Musical
A Christmas Story, The Musical

Burrowed in-between the side streets of a busy Waterloo lies the intimate Waterloo East Theatre, where you have the chance to see a ‘West End’ show for off West End prices.

Set in Indiana, we are transported back to a Christmas in Ralphie Parker’s youth, played by Felix Hepburn who gracefully sings his only wish of getting a Red Ryder Carbine Action Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and a thing that tells the time for Christmas.

Nostalgically and comically narrated by Garry Freer we are thrilled and delighted by the many twists and turns that take place as the countdown ensues leading up to Christmas.

Accompanied by a live band throughout the whole show, the vocals of Lucyelle Cliffe who plays Ralphie’s mother elegantly brings to life the music by Pasek and Paul, who have also had their music feature in ‘La La Land’ and ‘The Greatest Showman’. As the Christmas spirit spreads through the whole family, we are moved by her devotion to her sons as she tries to create the perfect evening.

This is truly a show for the whole family to enjoy, as it brings both the stresses and the joys of Christmas to life with a whimsical and witty score, relatable and charming characters for the young and inside jokes for the adults. Catchy songs and the magic of Christmas is shared between audience and cast and I can’t help but find myself eagerly counting down the days to Christmas myself.

The highlight of the evening was a glittering performance by Jenny Gayner who plays Miss Shields and is able to show off her many talents. With a sultry voice, great characterisation, dance moves to dream about and acting as a wonderful comic relief for the serious moments, she helps tie the whole piece together. Bring the kids and get in the Christmas spirit together.

4 stars

Review by Olivia Jannesson

From the songwriting team behind the smash-hit Tony Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen and the Academy Award-winning films La La Land and The Greatest Showman, – A Christmas Story, The Musical brings the classic perennial 1983 holiday movie to hilarious life on stage!

A Christmas Story, The Musical with book by Joseph Robinette and music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, is based on the movie classic that runs round-the-clock on US television every Christmas. Set in the 1940s in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana, we follow young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way toward the Christmas gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Rebuffed at every turn, Ralphie plots numerous schemes to achieve his desperate desire for the coveted BB gun.

Playing the parts of Mr & Mrs Parker are Simon Willmont (Mamma Mia, Blood Brothers, The Hired Man) and Lucyelle Cliffe (Legally Blonde, Les Miserables, Wicked). Playing the part of Miss Shields is Jenny Gayner (The Girls, Chicago, Spamalot) and the narrator Jean Shepherd – Garry Freer (Me and My Girl, Little Shop of Horrors, Ballroom).

Cast
Jean Shepherd & Narrator – Garry Freer
Mother – Lucyelle Cliffe
Old Man – Simon Willmont
Miss Shields – Jenny Gayner
Ralphie – Felix Hepburn/Rufus Kampa
Randy – Ethan Manwaring/Harry Irving
Schwartz – Ethan Quinn/Flynn Timberlake
Flick – Daniel Osei/Evan Huntley-Robertson
Esther Jane – Alice Bonney/Sofia – Elena Tait
Mary Beth – Amelia Ioannou/Chloe Weir
Scut Farkus – Bradley Riches
Grover Dill – Alfie Turnbull/Edward Flynn Haddon
Mrs Schwartz/Dance Captain – Katy Stephens

Creatives
Director Gerald Armin
Musical Director Inga Davis-Rutter
Choreographer Rhainne Stubbs
Set Designer Oliver Harman
Costume Design Becky Livermore
Lighting Design Lauren Flynn
Tech Operator/Stage Manger Caitlin Hargreaves

Waterloo East Theatre presents The European Premier of
A Christmas Story, The Musical
book by Joseph Robinette and music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Nov 28 – Dec 22 2018
https://www.waterlooeast.co.uk/

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