The Elf Who Was Scared of Christmas by Gina Beck & Neil McDermott. Charing Cross Theatre, Villiers Street, London WC2N to 23 December 2020. 4****. William Russell

Pantomimes can be too long for younger children but this hour long tale about Cupcake (Gina Beck) whose fear of Christmas is cured by Figgy (Neil McDermott), the elf who has lost his magic powers should do very nicely. The three year old two rows in front of me had to be restrained by Mummy and Daddy from going on stage and joining in the fun so the pair were clearly doing something right. It lasts an hour, there are lots of songs, many familiar, video projections into which the pair disappear and inevitably a sing along song. Beck and McDermott are season musical leads in the West End and on tour and deal with this unusual audience beautifully. She has a fine singing voice and he proves to be a rather dashing, strapping elf comforter. Naturally when Cupcake finds her Mojo Figgy rediscovers his magic powers and both are able to go off and help Santa Claus after getting the audience to join in that song – and several others.
The length is right and the timings are also family friendly. It is performed Tues to Friday at 11.30 and 1.30 and on Saturday and Sunday at 10.30 and 12.30 So get out your sledge, jingle the bells and head for Villiers Street to enter a winter wonderland.
Cupcake: Gina Beck.
Figgy: Neil McDermott.
Movement Direction. Michelle Edwards.
Videography and Photography: Al Bourne Productions.
Lighting Design: Howard Hudson.
Sound Design:Oscar Cotran.
The song – The Elf who is scared of Christmas by Beck, McDermott and Steven Luke Walker.

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