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Nottingham Post
Nottingham Post
Laycie Beck

Review: White Christmas the Musical at Nottingham Theatre Royal

Members of the White Christmas audience had a fantastic night right from the moment they stepped into Nottingham Theatre Royal - from the backdrop and red carpet for friends and families to take photos on near the entrance to the production programme, which was clearly designed carefully with a lot of love and attention, including behind the scenes photos. Stepping into the theatre itself also gave many audience members that wow moment, which the stage backdrop shining like a large Christmas card in a sparking indigo.

Cast members were wonderful throughout the whole performance, with The Wanted star Jay McGuiness stealing the hearts of the audience as the kind and caring Bob Wallace, the opposite of the hilarious and brilliant Dan Burton as Phil Davis. Despite being known for the boyband, this was not Jay's first time in a musical.

In 2016 in Dublin, he starred in the musical version of the Tom Hanks movie Big! playing the lead role of Josh Baskin, which he reprised in 2019 at the West End. In 2020, he undertook the lead role of Sam in Sleepless, and he has also starred in Rip It Up.

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Jay and Dan had the whole venue in stitches of laughter, and were perfectly complimented by Jessica Daley and Monique Young as Betty and Judy Haynes. Numerous classic songs were performed throughout the night, including 'Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep', 'Blue Skies' and 'The Best Things Happen When You're Dancing.'

The well-designed sets and stunning costumes were all perfect, with everything running smoothly and fully transporting the audience back in time, first to Christmas 1944 during the war and then to the 1950s. There was a chance for the entire cast to show off their vocals, yet one of the most impressive things about this performance was the number of dance routines, many quick and complex, but all performed flawlessly.

Lorna Luft did a superb job as Martha Watson, as did Michael Starke with his heart-warming performance as General Henry Waverly. However, Lucy Warway and Steve Fortune had the audience in fits of laughter with their hilarious performances of Susan Waverly and Ezekiel Foster.

Even when the audience was already in awe, the crowd was thrilled when it began to snow in the theatre, truly making it a white Christmas.


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