Love Actually star and singer Martine McCutcheon and pop legend David Essex are to star in a supersized production of Elf, the West End and Broadway musical based on the Hollywood blockbuster movie starring Will Ferrell. The Christmas spectacular will tour the UK in December 2018, playing three major arenas at Christmas: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, Birmingham Genting Arena and Nottingham Motorpoint Arena.
Martine McCutcheon will play Buddy’s girlfriend, Jovie, while Essex will take on the role of Buddy the Elf’s father. Buddy the Elf will be played by comedy actor Tam Ryan and West End star Louise English will play Buddy’s stepmother. The cast also features Father Christmas and a line-up of 70 performers, including children from local Pauline Quirke Academy stage schools.
Actress, singer and former EastEnders star Martine McCutcheon, said:
“I’m absolutely delighted to be appearing in this wonderful show. Elf is without doubt one of the all-time great Christmas movies, so I hope audiences in Cardiff, Birmingham and Nottingham will love this production just as much as the film!”
As well as being a successful singer/songwriter, director, and best-selling author, David Essex has starred as the lead in many musicals from Evita to War of the Worlds and is particularly excited to be taking on the role of Buddy’s grumpy and unwitting dad. He said: “I’m really looking forward to taking Elf on tour. The big special effects that we have lined-up are incredible, including a giant sleigh which will fly across the arena, an indoor snow blizzard, and lots of skating which all adds to this perfect Christmas story.”
Tam Ryan, who will be stepping into the big floppy shoes of Will Ferrell, said: “It’s such an honour to play this hugely popular movie character. It feels like Christmas has come early, see you in December!”
This new Christmas Spectacular production will feature a book written by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, and Hairspray) and will be enhanced with giant screens, showing both computer graphic backdrops and live-action close-ups. The 5,000 seat arena layout will have a 70-foot wide stage and a 60-foot long thrust stage, with some scenes taking place around and above the audience.
Elf will be produced by WBP Ltd, the team behind last year’s Christmas spectacular Peter Pan, which played at Arena Birmingham and The SSE Arena, Wembley.