by Julie Wallis twitter.com/nicenic63
Miracle on 34th Street at New Alexandra Theatre
Miracle on 34th Street is at New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham until Saturday 18th November.
Performed by Birmingham favourites BMOS, Miracle on 34th Street tells the tale of Doris Walker and her daughter Susan who live New York. Doris works at Macy’s department store and inadvertently hires the real Father Christmas Kris Kringle to be in the Christmas parade and work in Macy’s over the festive period. Doris is a hard working single parent to Susan and Doris is under no illusions, men are not to be trusted. Doris teaches Susan that in life there are no happy endings, no Prince Charming, no magic, and no Father Christmas!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and after watching one of my favourite Christmas movies as a live stage play and musical I’m certainly beginning to feel Christmassy too. This heartwarming story is fantastic film and I really enjoyed seeing it as a musical.
Jo Smith as Doris Walker is a talented actor with a great singing voice and perfect as the hard working mother to Susan.
In this performance, Susan Walker was played by Willow Heath. At 7 years old Willow is a phenomenal young actress, undoubtedly the star of the show. Cute as a button throughout, this young lady is a great talent and a joy to watch. Matthew Collins as Fred Gaily was a convincing ex marine and love lorn neighbour. Matthew and Willow worked so very well together on stage as Fred and Susan too.
BMOS committee member Stewart Keiller immediately looks the part of Kris Kringle, with his white beard. John Spencer plays R.H.Macy, owner of the store where Kris Kringle lands a job. I thought he was great, he has a lovely speaking voice too. Roy Cotterill plays Judge M Group and once again looks every inch the part of a courtroom judge.
Finally Mark Shaun Walsh as Shellhammer, a slightly inept, nervous wreck of a man who is trying really hard to do a great job at Macy’s. Mark plays this comic character with gusto.
As you would expect from an amateur production the cast is large, and if I took time to namecheck everyone this review would be even longer. But I must mention Suzi Budd who as well as being director was also choreographer and I loved the dancing. As well as some high kicking Mother Christmas’ there is also a beautiful ballet scene.
I must also mention just how lovely the costumes are. This production starts with the big parade and crowds lining the streets, crowds wearing just enough red or tartan to let us know it’s Christmas. The costumes throughout are beautifully put together but look particularly good in the big crowd scenes, and there are some very big crowds too.
As I said, the parade has clowns, marching bands, soldiers and Santa on his sleigh pulled by six dancing ‘Mrs Christmas’ , and of course a huge crowd watching the parade all dressed beautifully in long coats, suits and fancy hats. Jennifer Eglinton as costume designer has done a splendid job.
This is a colourful, joyful production and is bound to fill you with festive cheer.
Miracle on 34th Street is at New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham until Saturday 18th November. atgtickets.com/shows/bmos-miracle-on-34th-street/new-alexandra-theatre-birmingham
Julie was invited for #BrumHour via Brum Bloggers and New Alexandra Theatre to this BMOS production. This isn’t a sponsored post.