REVIEW | White Christmas, Curve Theatre


White Christmas
Curve Theatre, Leicester 
★★

The 1954 film White Christmas will most definitely be shown sometime this Christmas and it's one of those traditional Hollywood type musicals that is a firm favourite with many. Curve Theatre armed themselves with the tasks of recreating the production 18 years after the first stage musical. 

The plot for me was quite loose, there wasn't much to it but enough to be an enjoyable night at the theatre. The story begins in 1941where America enters the Second World War and where army friends Bob Wallace (Danny Mac) and Phil Davis (Dan Burton) entertain their fellow comrades and adored General Henry Waverly (Garry Robson) with a downbeat show. 

It's not long before we hot-foot it to Christmas 1954. Bob and Phil are now a successful double act and as they prepare to travel to Florida they encounter performers and sisters Judy and Betty Haynes who are travelling to Vermont. Phil and Judy quickly hit it off but Phil's womanising ways will mean that their plans are changed. However, Bob and Betty are more of a slow burner but we all know where they'll end up. Judy (Monique Young) and Betty's (Emma Williams) performing gig just so happens to be at a venue run by the now-retired General Waverly. Things aren't going well for the venue despite the best efforts of his concierge Martha Watson (Mae Brown). Thanks to Phil and Bob they gather cast and crew for an unforgettable special show that will save the day on Christmas Eve.

There's a subtle use of drama within the plot too that enables the plot to develop.



What Curve has created with this production is a festive masterpiece. The female leads are astonishing and equally wonderful to watch. Emma Williams is stellar as Betty Haynes, she is such a joy to watch. Particularly when she expresses the songs in the way she does that is unlike any other performance I've seen. Betty's sister Judy stands out for me when performing 'The Best Things Happen When You're Dancing' recreating one of the most iconic scenes from the show. It gives a real wow factor in the theatre and really combines gorgeous lyrical movement, dream-like set settings, costume and lighting to create something unforgettable. 

The numerous ensemble numbers in White Christmas enables the Choreographer Stephen Mear to really show off the best of his creative juices. He went to town showcasing some gorgeous dynamics and a ballet-jazz style that suited every performer on the stage. 'Let Yourself Go' is really quite something alone, it's sharp and energetic with not a beat missed by the enthusiastic cast. 'I Love A Piano' really opens up Act Two immensely and enables us to see the best of Mear's work with a spectacular tap sequence. 

Collectively, there was something so distinctly wonderful about this production. The casting and re-imagining of this musical will be one of Nikolai Foster's best work yet for Leicester's theatre. 

I loved every moment of this production! If you're looking for something that the grown-ups will enjoy this festive season then White Christmas at the Curve is just the ticket. 

White Christmas is performing at Curve Theatre, Leicester until 13 January. You can book your tickets here.

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