Review: The Night Before Christmas, Soho Theatre

I should have seen this quite a few nights before Christmas but the opening was delayed – always a bad sign (qv The Drowned Man). I booked tickets for a play, only to find they’d added some poor songs and a dreadful dance to what, underneath, could have been a good play. The acting is excellent, even though two of the characters are clichés (one even accuses the other of being a cartoon). The basic premise is clever – has an elf fallen through the ceiling or is he just a burglar dressed as an elf? Along the way comes the inevitable self revelation and an interesting twist on the lives of the elves; there is even a very clever take on the “I believe in fairies” chant from Peter Pan. Unfortunately, the good aspects only make the worst parts – some of the dialogue, the singing and the terrible dance – even more annoying.

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