Review: Is Elf The Musical Worth The High Price Tag?

Elf The Musical, Dominion Theatre ★★★☆☆

By Laura Dodge Last edited 22 months ago
Review: Is Elf The Musical Worth The High Price Tag? Elf The Musical, Dominion Theatre 3
Photo by Alastair Muir

Much has been made of the £240 top price tickets to Elf The Musical. Even if you don't have such lofty ambitions, you're still looking at £62.50 a ticket for the back few rows of the circle — that's £250 if two of you want to go with two children. But is it worth it?

Apart from the star female lead — Girls Aloud's Kimberley Walsh, who sings beautifully but doesn’t do a great deal — you'd be hard-pushed to justify shelling out that much.

As a jolly Christmas show, there’s plenty to enjoy, but the staging doesn’t seem any snazzier than other West End shows. Santa’s sleigh flies out in front of the stage for an impressive finale, but much of the rest of the setup uses projections rather than high-tech special effects.

However, if you love the 2003 film starring Will Ferrell enough to treat yourself, Elf The Musical is hilariously funny and has an all-singing, all-dancing feel-good charm.

We found ourselves repeatedly laughing out loud — for example when Buddy runs offstage screaming only to appear in the snow on the backdrop, and when Santa brings out his iPad. The leading role is also performed superbly by the boundlessly energetic and enthusiastic Ben Forster.

There are some unnecessary and forgettable songs, a Santa fight that descends into the pantomimic, and a serious lack of pace in the middle, but overall we quite enjoyed this thoroughly festive night out.

If you’re looking for something to put you in the Christmassy mood (and money is no object), Elf The Musical’s snowy scenes, tap dancing elves and even a song called Sparklejollytwinklejingley are sure to do it. But if you’d rather save your pennies, don’t worry that you’re missing anything truly exceptional.

Elf the Musical is at the Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 7AQ, until 2 January 2016. Click here to book. Londonist received a complimentary ticket.

Last Updated 12 November 2015