White Christmas at Nottingham Theatre Royal packed with colour, pazazz and festive spirit

White Christmas comes to life on stageWhite Christmas comes to life on stage
White Christmas comes to life on stage
A dose of timely escapism marries with the upcoming festive season as Irving Berlin’s White Christmas toe-taps its way into the hearts of audiences at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal this week.

The show, with more than two decades of stage refinement under its belt, is a kaleidoscope of everything you expect from a musical.

From songs that play in the mind long after the final curtain falls, to a storyline packed with love, family and heartfelt action – and no small dose of confusion and screwball humour – and this is a must for stage fans of all ages.

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Whether you know the movie starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye inside out, or you’re a newcomer to the story, there is something for everyone on offer.

The production of White Christmas is packed with colour and fun. Photo by Ellie KurttzThe production of White Christmas is packed with colour and fun. Photo by Ellie Kurttz
The production of White Christmas is packed with colour and fun. Photo by Ellie Kurttz

The scene is set in 1944, during World War Two, and the fictional 151st US Army division trying to muster up some Christmas spirit despite being on the front line.

Fast forward ten years and two of those soldiers, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, are superstars back home Stateside with their much-celebrated revue and slot on the Ed Sullivan show.

Life is good – packed with champagne, girls and fame.

But that’s not the case for all of their batallion. Most notably General Henry Waverley who, unbeknown to Bob abd Phil, has ploughed his savings into a failing holiday retreat.

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However, in true movie and stage style, their paths are destined to cross again as the dynamic duo, while searching for a sister act to join their revue, happen to come across the Haynes sisters, Judy and Betty.

They happen to have been booked to provide the Christmas entertainment at the Columbia Inn at Pine Tree, Vermonth – the very same hotel run by Gen. Waverley.

Phil and Judy hatch a plan that sees all four of the entertainers head to Vermont (not Miami as was originally Bob’s plan) and it paves the way for a bid to stage a Broadway-style extravaganza, in a barn, to put the Columbia into the spotlight, revive Gen. Waverley’s fortunes and also reuinte the surviving members of the 151st a decade after their unit disbanded.

The show is packed to the brim with colour, incredible sets, fabulous dance numbers involving the wider cast, spectacular costumes and performers who strike the perfect chord.

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The songs, as you would expect, take centre stage. The title tune stands for itself, but the score is wonderful from Love and The Weather, to the iconic Sisters and the likes of I Love a Piano, complete with spectacular tap routine, wowing those in attendance.

Taking on the role of Bob is Nottingham’s own Jay McGuiness, better known as a member of boy band The Wanted, while Olivier-nominated Dan Burton is outstanding as Phil.

Judy Garland’s daughter, Lorna Luft, is eyecatching as Martha ‘Megaphone’ Watson, while star of stage, TV and film, Michael Starke, pitches the tone perfectly as Gen Waverley.

Monique Young and Jessica Daley, with her huge vocals, are stunning as Judy and Becky respectively – and Lucy Warway (as Broadway Sue) caputres the imagination as Waverley’s grand-daughter.

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There is no weak link in this show, which is only enhanced by the dancers and backing singers making the prolongued standing ovation on opening night worth every second.

White Christmas continues at the Theatre Royal until Saturday, November 26. For details visit

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