Review: The Night Before Christmas @WYPlayhouse


Information on The Night Before Christmas

‘Carol doesn’t feel very Christmassy. What’s all the fuss about? Trees, tinsel, baubles, pudding, presents…? What a lot of nonsense. Definitely not for her.

That is until the night before Christmas when Elf 30046, all stripey tights and pointy ears, falls down her chimney and they both tumble into a bigger adventure than they could ever have imagined. Will Elf ever do as he’s told? Will Carol learn to have fun? Will they ever spot the speeding sleigh and most importantly of all… can they find Father Christmas before it’s too late?

A beautiful, funny and delightful story of friendship and the true meaning of Christmas, The Night Before Christmas is the perfect present for little elves, a magical treat for the family this winter.’  –WY Playhouse




It’s that time of year again and working in retail so long it makes me shudder, and then up pops Niamh with an offer I can’t refuse. Last year it was Raymond Brigg’s Father Christmas see my review here. This year it was a Night Before Christmas. I didn’t read up about it until I actually got to the theatre and I’m so glad, because it just turned into a magical 50 mins and at one point I cried my eyes out.

The one thing I have learn’t over the last few years of theatre, is that you don’t really need many props or fancy scenery’s too make a story come alive, you just need some fantastic actors, and a great atmosphere. This had everything. A small story that seemed to have a big heart.

We meet Carol, someone who thought Christmas is a lot of nonsense. (I think it is too sometimes after working in retail, everyone goes crazy and grumpy just over one day, and this year it started in August!).

Then on the night before Christmas as she lays asleep in bed Elfy or Elf 30046 falls down her chimney and an amazing adventure happens where it melts Carol’s heart and changes her idea of Christmas forever!

I don’t know where to begin with this, I’m still in awe of what I saw. It’s definitely a must see for people with younger children. With just a small set, several very cleverly placed props, use of ladders hung from the ceiling, and the only special effects being the lighting and glitter that falls as snow creating a magical moment and bringing me to tears. Honestly, I was so caught up int the moment that I started crying. (Sorry Niamh).

Everything is brought alive by the two actors James Barrett and Rose Wardlaw who’s interaction with each other is seamless leaving the rest up to your imagination as you get caught up in the idea of Christmas and the lost Elf and the need to return him to Santa. The performance was energetic, interactive and fast paced and most of all tugged at your heart strings.

Once again the set was beautifully and ingeniously designed, from the subtle touches of the candy canes to the nativity scene behind the tree (I did not spot that until Niamh said as I was too busy watching Elfy run about). There was something for everyone. I especially loved Elfy’s moment with the pedal bin, his dancing and his reaction to carrot juice. you must go to see it to find out what it is. As for Carol, she is of course one of those characters you come to love, just like Scrooge in a Christmas Carol.


As for the audience there was a mixture of ages in the audience in this performance including a man sat at the back telling Carol that there was a present behind her, the children  dancing along to the songs, along with one boy in front of us who said to his teacher ‘that song off the film where the boy is at home’ ‘you mean home alone she replied’ ‘yes miss’.

So if you do anything this Christmas take your family to go and see this play and fall in love with Christmas and the magic of the Elf. Because I certainly have.

One last thing before I go what is you elf name?

Mine is  Cutie O’Christmas Tree and you can pick yours from the West Yorkshire Playhouse list below


and while you’re at it follow the link and make yourself into an elf!

Book tickets here

Photographs by  Photographer Amy Charles curtesy of West Yorkshire Playhouse

Thank you for reading.


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