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REVIEW - WHITE CHRISTMAS | CRUCIBLE THEATRE SHEFFIELD | 14/12/2023


WHITE CHRISTMAS ARTWORK

ALL ABOUT EOUR STAR REVIEW


This festive season the Crucible in Sheffield is getting us in the Christmas spirit with their revival of Irving Berlin's White Christmas. I was really excited to see the show as I had only seen White Christmas once before way back in 2009 and so was interested to see this new revival. The musical is based on the 1954 Paramount Pictures movie White Christmas and features classic songs such as "White Christmas", "Sisters" and "Blue Skies".


George Blagden (Bob), Grace Mouat (Betty), Stuart Neal (Phil) and Natasha Mould (Judy) in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Photo by Johan Persson

This production is directed by Paul Foster and it tells the story of Friends Bob (George Blagden) and Phil (Stuart Neal), we first meet the duo on Christmas Eve 1944 they are soldiers in World War II under General Waverly (Ewen Cummins) and are entertaining the troops of the 151st division. We then jump forward 10 years to 1954 where the pair have hit the big time and are now headlining the Ed Sullivan show. The pair receive a letter supposedly from their old Mess sergeant Ben "Freckle Face£ Haynes asking them to view his sisters act. So, before they head off to Florida for their Christmas break, they view Judy (Natasha Mould) and Betty Haynes's (Grace Mouat) act. After the sisters perform Bob and Phil spend some time with the ladies and Phil becomes smitten by Judy however Bob and Betty don't get on so well.


Grace Mouat (Betty) and members of the Company in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Photo by Johan Persson

Judy tells Phil that she and her sister are booked for a winter gig in snowy Pinetree Vermont, Phil suggests that he and Bob should join the sisters in Vermont and secretly swaps his and Bobs train tickets for Florida to tickets for Vermont without telling Bob. When Bob arrives in Pinetree he is not happy and plans to get a train to Florida as soon as possible that is however until he meets the owner of the Inn where Betty and Judy are due to perform. The Inn owner is no other than General Wavery who Bob and Phil served under in the war. Waverly's Inn is having financial difficulties, and its future is in jeopardy, this isn't helped by an unusual heatwave which has resulted in a lack of snow causing many of the Inns guests to cancel their holiday bookings. Bob and Phil come up with an idea to try and help the inn by putting on a show. The show will be performed at the Inn and feature themselves along with Judy, Betty and a host of dancers and musicians. Whilst preparing for the show love blossoms between Bob and Betty and Judy and Phil that is until Betty misinterprets a message that was sent for Bob, and she begins to question Bob and Phils motives for helping the General.


Members of the Company in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Photo by Johan Persson.

The set designed by Janet Bird is simple but effective as we are seamlessly taken from a living room to a barn and to night club, there are some interesting set pieces including a swing which lowers in from the ceiling, there are trees which lift up from the floor and one of my favourite set pieces was the train carriage it was a really simple design but vas very effective. The costumes were also designed by Janet Bird and were gorgeous and reflected the time period in which the show is set, there were some really glamours outfits and one of my favourite costumers were Betty and Judy's performance costumes which were a lovely green lace outfit.



Grace Mouat (Betty) and Natasha Mould (Judy) in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Photo by Johan Persson

One of my favourite things about this show was the choreography by Alistair David and Victoria Hinde, the big tap numbers were just spectacular and made great use of the entire stage and were just visually stunning. There was also the more intimate ball room style dance between Judy and Phil which was just beautiful and a delight to watch.


Stuart Neal (Phil) and members of the Company in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Photo by Johan Persson.

The cast for this show was exceptional, Stuart Neal as Phil George Blagden as Bob made a perfect double act and the pair worked really well together creating some great moments on stage. The pair were hilarious in the reprise od "Sisters" and had great comic timing. Neal had charisma and charm and was a great dancer, Blagden gave a strong performance as Bob making the character relatable and was able to get the audience to root for his character, he also had an excellent voice.

Grace Mouat gave a believable performance as performer Betty Haynes, her vocals were stunning, and she commanded the stage in the number "You didn't do right by me/ How deep is the ocean. I thought Mouat worked really well with Natash Mould who played Judy Haynes Betty's sister and Mouat and Mould's performance of "sisters was one of my favourite numbers from the show. Sandra Marvin played inn concierge Martha and she was fantastic her comic timing was excellent, and her vocals in "Let me sing and I'm happy" were to die for. I've seen Sandra in a number of shows, and she never disappoints.



The Company of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Photo by Johan Persson.

White Christmas at the Crucible is a heartwarming show perfect for all the family and will leave you feeling full of Christmas joy. It has a fantastic cast with some great classic songs, and you even get to see some snow at the end, so grab a ticket whilst you can, you won't be disappointed.


White Christmas is running at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield until Saturday 13th January 2024 you can purchase tickets by clicking on the button below.





If you would like more information about the musical, you can find it by clicking on the button below.





Photo Credit - Johan Persson


*Our tickets for this show were kindly gifted in exchange for an honest review










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