White Christmas, theatre review: Aled Jones and Tom Chambers are merry but the chemistry isn't quite right

Dominion Theatre, London

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The Independent Culture

You may feel that you've endured an entire lifetime of Christmases, white and otherwise, by the end of this amiable, lavish, dynamically danced, but dramatically insipid and ersatz-seeming stage-musical version of the famous 1954 movie.

 

Aled Jones and Tom Chambers step into the shoes of Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as Bob and Phil, the wartime buddies who become a star vaudeville double act and gallantly put on a Yuletide show in the barn of the Vermont inn run by their former General who is down on his luck (even the trademark snow has declined to arrive).

The two performers don't have the chemistry or lightness of touch needed to redeem the weak book by David Ives and Paul Blake and the supposedly witty charm of their sparring romantic interaction with the sister-duo (Rachel Stanley and Louise Bowden) feels effortful and inauthentic.

Wendi Peters injects some genuine comic verve as the Merman-wannabe receptionist and an industrious company hoof their way through some glorious Irving Berlin classics (“Blue Skies”, “I Love a Piano” et al), zestfully choreographed by Randy Skinner, before a “White Chistmas” finale that is a pleasingly preposterous orgy of Nordic knit-wear. But heart-warming? Not really; more like being force-fed inferior egg nog for a week.

Till Jan 3; 0845 200 7982

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