It’s Elf… actually: Martine McCutcheon & David Essex star in musical arena tour

06 Mar
Posted in: Theatre News
Author: Staff

Love Actually star and singer Martine McCutcheon, last seen on the musical stage in Trevor Nunn's 2001 revival of My Fair Lady at the National Theatre, and pop legend David Essex headline a supersized production of ELF, touring arenas in December 2018. 

Based on the blockbuster movie starring Will Ferrell, this Christmas spectacular will tour the UK, playing three major arenas at Christmas: Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena (14to 16 December), Birmingham’s Genting Arena (20 to 24 December) and Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena (28 to 30 December).

Martine McCutcheon will play Buddy’s girlfriend, Jovie, while David 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 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, 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.