The Lowry Theatre, Manchester
30 November 2012 – 5 January 2013
Reviewed by Debbie Tasker
Starring: Steven Houghton, Ken Kercheval, Wendi Peters and Claire Sweeney
Running Time: 155 minutes (approx.)
My all-time favourite Christmas film is White Christmas, I was very excited to be asked to review this stage adaptation based on the 1954 Irving Berlin film showing at the Lowry Theatre until 5th January 2013.
From the very first scene I thought this is going to be some show and I can honestly say it was. It follows the original plot with the show opening somewhere in Europe Christmas Eve 1944. Steven Houghton plays Bob Wallace with Paul Robinson as Phil Davies (originally played by Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye), army pals who fall for the Haynes sisters, Claire Sweeney is Betty and Louise Bowden Judy. The all-star cast also has Ken Kercheval as General Henry Waverley and Wendi Peters taking the role of Martha "the foghorn" Watson.
The whole show oozes glitz and glamour with lavish sets and fantastic scenery this production is old time Hollywood through and through.
Belting out the classics including Happy Holidays, Sisters, Blue Skies, Let me Sing and I'm happy and of course White Christmas, the harmonies are brilliant and all the cast give flawless performances throughout. Wendi Peter (Cilla from Coronation Street) shines and shows what a versatile actresses she is with her rendition of Let Me Sing and I'm Happy, and comic timing. Ken Kercheval’s speech to his unseen soldiers was very moving and emotional you could have heard a pin drop, I don't mind admitting it brought a tear to me eye. The opening scene of the second act "I love Piano" was exceptionally good, showcasing a very talented, strong, full of energy chorus line, and I particularly enjoyed the train scene where the cast sing snow, the vibrant costumes and excellent set made it feel extra special.
The whole show made us smile and the spectacular ending gave it the wow factor.
I really cannot fault this show, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. We left feeling the Christmas spirit and with as they say a warm feeling in our hearts.
Don't miss it!
Tickets cost from £24 – £45.
For more information or to book tickets visit www.thelowry.com/event/white-christmas1