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  • Grace Sansom

★★★★ REVIEW: White Christmas @ The Crucible - A Show For The New Year, Not Just For Christmas

Stuart Neal (Phil) and members of the Company in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Photo by Johan Persson.

Over the festive period, we had the absolute pleasure of watching Sheffield Theatre’s spectacular production of the classic favourite, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at the Crucible. I left the theatre in a buzzing crowd, all singing and swaying, and that was down to the power of this feel-good musical (not the Crucible Lager, I swear).

You will not find a more entertaining, joyful, and uplifting piece of theatre around! With its showstopping tunes, exquisite dance numbers, sparkling glamour, and heartwarming story, it might just be that perfect New Year pick-me-up.

I must have been living under a rock having not seen the beloved holiday film, but Paul Foster’s charming direction brings you straight up to speed. It’s World War II and songbirds Bob (George Blagden) and Phil (Stuart Neal, and understudy Danny Collins that stepped in flawlessly mid-show!) are entertaining the troops, much to the dismay of their strict, yet well respected General Waverley (Ewen Cummins). We then fast forward 10 years, and the pair are a successful showbiz duo on the hunt for a new act for their Christmas Eve primetime slot.

They meet singing sisters Betty (Grace Mouat) and Judy (Natasha Mould) and are immediately smitten, and perfectly matched! Bob and Betty are guarded, hardened to love and driven by ambition. Phil and Judy are all over each other and swindle their respective partners into ditching their planned Miami show and hitching up to Vermont for the holiday season. At least there’ll be snow…

George Blagden (Bob), Grace Mouat (Betty), Stuart Neal (Phil) and Natasha Mould (Judy) in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Photo by Johan Persson.

Except there isn’t any snow, just a creaky old inn falling into disrepair and a barn for a theatre. Bob is bemused but landlady Martha (Sandra Marvin) soon whips out her infectious charm and the four agree to switch stages. The inn turns out to be ran by none other than their old commander, General Waverley, How’s that for a delightful Old Hollywood coincidence? It’s safe to say he’s a better General than he is innkeeper. The Vermont place is in the red, but Bob and Phil are here to save the day. Christmas might be white after all!

Our cast dance, dazzle and sing their way through tangled wires, star-crossed love and looming debt. Sandra Marvin nearly steals the show with her belting numbers; Martha’s lust for life, bold confidence, but nurturing and gentle love for those at the inn grounds the show’s glitz and glamour spectacularly.

Although festive in nature, White Christmas is a true tale of friendship, finding your path, and accepting the love you deserve. Its message is perfectly fitting as we sift through the gloomy sludge of January. Bob and Grace’s love story would melt the coldest of new year's hearts, and the dance numbers are sheer spectacle, filling any post-Strictly void.

It’s a musical bound to put a smile on your face and a pep in your step: White Christmas has brought essential delight to our city and it’s not a show to miss. Welcome 2024 with Blue Skies and a Sheffield Theatres ticket!

Natasha Mould (Judy), Sandra Marvin (Martha) and Grace Mouat (Betty) in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Photo by Johan Persson.


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