The Christmasaurus – Live on Stage: Hammersmith Apollo, London
Reviewed 22nd December 2017
Featuring all new songs The Christmasaurus – Live On Stage is based on Tom Fletcher’s hit book. It is a full scale family affair with Tom appearing alongside his wife Giovanna Fletcher, sister Carrie Hope Fletcher and ex-McFly bandmates Harry Judd and Matt Willis. Directed by Derek Bond with stage adaption by Miranda Larson, this magical show is about adventure, family, friendship and discovering that the impossible might just be possible.
If you’re looking at an alternative to a pantomime this year then this is the show for you! The effects on stage were visually stunning, an amazing live orchestra played on stage throughout the show and the heart-warming story will keep any children entertained (and adults too).
All of the cast members performed brilliantly through the hilarious show. The show itself follows the plot of the book but does deviate away from it slightly as the cast help Tom to put on the show, along with help from Santa himself! The comic timing throughout the show went down well with both the children and the adults in the huge auditorium. Having large screens also displaying the on-stage action really helped, especially for the younger members of the audience who may struggle to see.
The score, written by Tom Fletcher, was fantastic with some catchy songs and interesting lyrics. Every performer gave it their all and the vocals from the leads were very impressive. Carrie Hope Fletcher, recently seen in The Addams Family, excelled as the mean Brenda and her song ‘I’ve Been a Good Girl’ really showed off her tremendous vocal ability.
Tom Fletcher’s voice was superb throughout the show. His comic timing though made the show, his delivery of the show and his acting ability was fantastic. His duet with Giovanna Fletcher ‘Don’t Know What It Is’ was lovely – made all the better for a lovely dance sequence performed by Harry Judd and Katie Bradley.
Harry Judd (Strictly Come Dancing) and Matt Willis (Wicked) were also excellent in their roles in this festive show. Both played their characters really well and interaction with the audience was great. Again, both showed off their fantastic musical ability through the variety of songs during the show.
The choreography by Ashley Wallen showed off a wide range of styles as well as being quite innovative especially as the stage space was quite tight due to the impressive on-stage orchestra. The small ensemble, who played several roles throughout the show, performed the choreography well, full of energy and huge grins.
All three actors who play William Trundle are wheelchair users themselves and it was fantastic to see them being completely integral to the show. Jake Stacey was playing William Trundle at the time of this review and his delivery of the hilarious one-liners was great. A real star in the making. Let’s hope more shows open doors to performers with physical disabilities in the future.
Of course, the Christmasaurus himself was also amazing. The puppetry was fantastic and the overall effect was wonderful. The flying scenes were something particularly special and lots of children in the audience were awe-struck as the Christmasaurus and William rose into the air.
Don’t be fooled, it may be about Christmas but this is not a pantomime. It has similar elements. Music, Christmas, dancing and laughter but it has so much more than that! The story itself is heart-warming and the staging of this show is a spectacle to see. If you are a fan of Tom Fletcher’s books or completely new to the story you will be hooked and come away infected with Christmas cheer. So treat your family this year and pay a visit to see the Christmasaurus, you won’t regret it!
The Christmasaurus is playing at the Hammersmith Apollo until the 28th December. For more information and tickets see http://thechristmasaurus.com
Photo Credit: Alastair Muir