In an unprecedented move, the producers of the smash hit musical ELF, opening at the newly refurbished Dominion Theatre in the heart of London’s West End, have bowed to overwhelming public and social media demand to introduce a more affordable ticket price to broaden the already wide demographic the show is attracting. The new price brand of £30 for a limited number of tickets through the run becomes available at the Dominion box office by telephone and via the website from Sunday 6 September.
The run, which is limited to 10 weeks only because of its festive content, has seen top price tickets selling first. Recent social and media coverage stating the show had attracted the highest premium price seats ever has meant that the box office quadrupled at its peak during the week commencing 24 August – most of the sales coming from the higher priced tickets. Nonetheless, the producers acknowledge the show and the West End itself should not exclude families or anyone who cannot afford the higher priced seats, and have therefore used the incredible sales on the higher priced tickets to offset the cost of the new lower priced seats being introduced at all performances, hopefully allaying any concerns that many families would miss out on the festive blockbuster, which previews from 24 October, just before schools break for the autumn half term. The new production, which tried out at Plymouth last year, was built and designed to transfer to the West End. After its sell-out performances last year, it was obvious the musical had a massive public appeal and therefore was confirmed to open at the Dominion Theatre as soon as negotiations were finalised earlier this year.
A charity gala opening night in aid of Alzheimer’s Society will take place on 5 November, when all box office proceeds from that performance will be donated to the charity. There will be various other fundraising events for Alzheimer’s Society throughout the show’s run at the Dominion, which must end on 2 January 2016.
The cast of ELF at the Dominion Theatre will be led by Ben Forster as Buddy, Kimberley Walsh as Jovie, Joe McGann as Walter Hobbs and Jessica Martin as Emily Hobbs, with Jennie Dale as Deb, Mark McKerracher as Santa and Graham Lappin as Store Manager. Also in the cast are Katie Bradley, Charlie Bull, Nicola Coates, Alex Fobbester, Anton Fosh, Charlotte Gale, Francis Haugen, Matt Holland, Tash Holway, Paul Hutton, Mark Iles, Ceili O’Connor, Debbie Paul, Joanna Rennie, Barnaby Thompson and Ed White. Harry Collett, Ilan Galkoff, Noah Key and Ewan Rutherford will alternate the role of Michael.
Based on the beloved 2003 New Line Cinema hit starring Will Ferrell, ELF is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.
ELF features a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone), with songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer). The production will feature direction and choreography by Morgan Young (Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), set design and costumes by Olivier Award winner Tim Goodchild, lighting design by Olivier Award winner Tim Lutkin, vocal arrangements by Phil Reno, dance arrangements by David Chase, orchestrations by Doug Besterman, video design by Ian William Galloway and sound design by Clement Rawling. Musical direction and supervision will be by Stuart Morley.
Michael Rose and U-Live in association with the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin present the Theatre Royal Plymouth production of ELF at the Dominion Theatre, London.
On sale Sunday 6 September 2015
Photo: Matt Crockett