The Grade II listed Dominion Theatre in London’s Theatreland, after its multi-million-pound restoration, is the home of the spectacular new production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. The 1954 classic Paramount film version, starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen and Dean Jagger, has been updated by Nikolai Foster in a sparkling production. Olivier Award winner Choreographer Stephen Mear has masterminded brilliant, slick, energetic dance arrangements, from ballet to Broadway, and the talented creative team has completed the onstage magic.
The new stars are Clare Halse as Judy Haynes, Danielle Hope as Betty Haynes, Dan Burton as Phil Davis, Danny Mac as Bob Wallace, Brenda Edwards as Martha Watson and Michael Brandon as General Henry Waverly. The supporting cast includes Jack Wilcox, Kayleigh Thadani, Aimee Hodnett, Sion Tudor Owen, Stephane Anelli, Matthew Whennell-Clark, Alexandra Waite Roberts, Michael Lin, Matthew Caputo, Robbie McMillan, Oliver Ramsdale, Sophie Camble, Anna Woodside, Jo Morris, Jordan Crouch, Delycia Belgrave and Erin Rushidi.
Danny Mac, Danielle Hope, Dan Burton and Clare Halse are all very experienced performers, with extensive television and stage credits. Brenda Edwards, following X Factor success, has had a combination of theatre, screen and television credits. Michael Brandon’s comprehensive international acting and directing career has covered theatre, both in the UK and on Broadway, including Jerry Springer The Opera. His television work includes starring in the 1985 British crime drama series Dempsey and Makepeace, film, and the voice of many audiobooks. Audiences were recently entertained by his brilliant one-man show at the Richmond Theatre.
The show is based on a book by David Ives and Paul Blake, and tells the tale of the return from World War II of singers Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, eager to get back to work. They join singing sisters Betty and Judy Haynes to create a Christmas stage show in rural Pinetree Vermont USA, at an inn owned by their ex-commander, General Henry Waverly, who is in financial trouble. It is vital that the show succeeds as General Waverly’s future depends on it. Romance flourishes and the singers’ amazing performance ensures success with well-loved songs including White Christmas, Blue Skies, and Sisters.
White Christmas is timeless, with its wistful, contemplative lyrics. It is the very best of festive escapism, a remembrance of times past, with Irving Berlin’s festive music woven around a madcap story. Basking in its warm glow, the audience gave the show a well-deserved rapturous standing ovation at the Premiere Gala performance.