2-6 December 2014
Reviewed by Lee-Anne McCarthy
As a self-confessed Christmasaholic being asked to review White Christmas at the New Theatre in Cardiff was the highlight of my year. After putting up my tree with the family and donning my best Christmas jumper I was ready for a night of Christmas escapism at the New Theatre courtesy of the Orbit Theatre Company.
Despite having heard a lot about White Christmas from family members particularly my grandparents who were great fans of Bing Crosby I’d not once had the opportunity to see the big screen production so I went to this stage production with fresh eyes and no expectations of what was to come. The story itself is a tale of two ex-army buddies Bob and Phil who have successfully transitioned from army comrades to glittering stars of the Broadway stage. However for both of them something, or should I say someone, was still missing. Womanising Phil is yet to settle down while the career minded Bob has just one focus and it’s not the love of a good lady. In the meantime two sisters, Betty and Judy, enlist the help of Bob and Phil to begin their own career on the stage. What comes next is a fun filled plan to distract Bob from the binds of work in the beautiful Vermont where just so coincidently Judy and Betty happen to be. The story is one of love, camaraderie and good old fashioned Christmas cheer. What struck me during the show was that this was a young and incredibly vibrant cast. Bob Wallace was played by Nicky Taliesin. He was an amazing lead with a voice that would carry you away. His rendition of White Christmas would warm even the frostiest of hearts. When we were asked to join in the final scenes he certainly didn’t have to ask the audience a second time. Phil Davies his side kick and mastermind of the Vermont trip was wonderful to watch. He was funny and provided some light hearted fun because of his womanising ways. Sisters Judy and Betty were played by Giaccolina Crothers and Hannah Rix respectively. These young ladies not only had the most beautiful voices but they both really brought their characters to life. As an audience member I found myself willing them to have the happy ending they were so obviously looking for. All the supporting cast members made this show a real success. From the humorous moments shared between Phil Bond and Deryn Grigg to the Uh ha from Patrick Coffey. Everyone brought a little piece of the show to life in their characters.
It would be wrong of me not to mention the fantastic dancers whose dancing was outstanding. Their numerous routines showed off their obvious hard work and determination for perfection. I’ve saved my last mention for a fantastic young lady who really shone in her performance as Susan Waverly. Ffion Elin Griffith had beautiful comic timing. She played the sweetest Susan and her performance of let me sing and I’m happy was delightful the entire audience was mesmerised. With such talent at just 12 years old it’s clear that Ffion will be lighting up many a stage in the future.
Rob Thorne Jnr (musical director) and Nicola Boyd-Anderson (choreographer) clearly make a formidable team and their production this year showed real professionalism. Its producers and cast would give a West end professional team a run for their money. This is a lovely show that really warms the heart at Christmas time. We give this show a fantastic 4/5.
Tickets cost from £9 to £20.50 (plus £2.95 Ticket Servicing Charge).
White Christmas is at the New Theatre, Cardiff until 6 December 2014. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 029 2087 8889.
New Theatre, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3LN | 029 2087 8889