The popular cult film Elf has made its way from the silver screen to the boards of the Gaiety Theatre thanks to Centre Stage Productions.

I went to the Sunday matinee and seemed to be the only member of the audience there who wasn’t with a child.

The lights dimmed and the orchestra began to play the overture.

No matter what show I see at the Gaiety, the orchestra never fails to send shivers up my spine or make my ears tingle with delight.

Elf The Musical opens on Santa (Chris Caine), who begins telling the story of Buddy the Elf.

I was both distracted and mesmerised by the attention to detail of Santa’s red suit.

The quality of the costume was magical. I was lost in the glittery gold stitching until my trance was broken by an upbeat musical number.

I must sing the praises of the ensemble. Every member gave their all throughout the show’s entirety, never straying from character in the background, and the joy shining from the younger ones’ faces was enough to make my cold heart melt.

Just like Walter Hobbs’s (Geoff Pugh) by the end of the show.

As far as I’m aware, only one family left at the interval.

The mum said it was because her three-year-old had fallen asleep - the harshest of critics if ever there was one.

Despite the early departure, the cast did well to carry on with the show with unwavering enthusiasm, even when younger members of the audience got restless.

Things about Elf The Musical I’d put on my Nice List:

• The story stayed very true to the film

• Jack Divers (Buddy) shone in the physical humour scenes

• The recreation of Mr Narwhal saying bye to Buddy was a cool surprise

• Mrs Hobbs (Sue Tummon) and Michael (Zac Colligon) had a lovely, natural connection as mother and son

• Deb, who had an air of Janine from Ghostbusters about her, was a personal favourite of mine

• ‘The Greatest Hotdog in the World’ seller’s perfectly dry delivery of the line: ‘I’ll just go home and change the sign’

• Any musical number that had the full cast singing together gave me goosebumps.

Things I’d put on my Naughty List:

• A few transitions between scenes could have been slicker

• Some of the set designs were less impressive than others.

All thoughts of set designs and transitions were quickly blown away by the finale though.

This was my favourite part. Santa appears in his sleigh flying high over the stage as he waves to the audience.

In a time when the cost-of-living crisis can make Christmas stressful for many, seeing the awe on the faces of the kids in the audience encapsulated the magic of the season and was a reminder of who it’s all really for.

It’s just a shame the three-year-old who left at the interval wasn’t there to see it.

• Performances continue until Saturday (December 2). Buy tickets from the box office on 600555, from the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal or online at