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BWW Review: MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, King's Theatre, Glasgow, November 19 2015

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Miracle On 34th Street opened in Glasgow to a packed house. With the familiarity of the 1947 film of the same name, and the 1994 remake, audiences were clearly expecting a well known festive classic. Unfortunately, that is not what they got.

The basic storyline is still there. Young Susan Walker has inherited her mother's cynacism towards Christmas and doesn't believe in Santa. Her mother is in charge of hiring the Santa Claus for Macy's department store and employs Kris Kringle, a man claiming to be the real Santa Claus. There's a fluffy romantic storyline running alongside, which is a little cheesy but inoffensive in the original. In this production, the cheese factor becomes unbearable. While turning the story into a musical isn't a bad idea, the music is appalling. There are a few decent vocal performances but they are overshadowed by the horrendous lyrics. A stand-out example of this is "She hadda go back" - a number based on a woman that left her house without her gloves and, you guessed it, had to go back.

There were several technical issues with the performance. There were a few errors with the lighting and rogue spotlights. The vocals were too loud during some of the songs and the sound dipped a few times during the dialogue. Set in New York, the accents of the cast were questionable and seemed to flit from state to state during the evening.

This is a family show but unfortunately the children who came along got restless very quickly as it was unable to hold their attention. There are a few moments of attempted comedy but it is so poorly written that you can't help but cringe.

I was hoping that this production of Miracle on 34th Street would be a nice alternative to pantomimes this season, but sadly that was not the case. Perhaps it would have worked better as a play than a musical.


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