Elf the Musical

31st October - 5th November 2022

The hit comedy movie comes to the stage! Embrace your inner elf!

Buddy the elf works very happily in Santa's workshop - even though he is not very good at making toys and seems much bigger than the other elves. When Santa tells him he is really a human accidentally brought from New York as a youngster, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York to find his birth father and his true identity, helping his new family and the citizens of New York to discover the true meaning of Christmas along the way.

Production Officials

Director Nora Howcroft
Musical Director Tim Power
Choreographer Lara Syddall
Assistant Musical Director Tom Bowes


Buddy Joe Davies
Jovie Scarlett Sandiford
Walter Hobbs Alan Moss
Emily Hobbs Julie Ogden
Michael Hobbs Theo Lindley
Deb Eileen Reeves
Manager David Witt
Mr Greenway David Wilson
Santa Claus Robert Peters
Mrs Claus Vicki Wilson
Shawanda Mollie Hadfield
Chadwick Val Greenhalgh
Matthews Vicki Wilson
Policeman Nina Dickinson
Fake Santa David Wilson
Charlotte Dennon Vicki Wilson


Gill Clough, Gill Davies, Nina Dickinson, Ava Greenhalgh, Molly Hadfield, Emily Hamilton, Grace Lindley, Dave McGreavy, Matthew Shallicker, Nicola Shallicker, Maria Sharrocks, Janet Smith

Photographs by Katie Ball

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Reviews & Articles


Elf is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. Buddy is raised unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity.

As the festive season approaches, this production by Walmsley Church AODS has a feel-good factor that allows realisation that Christmas is upon us. The familiar story of Buddy the Elf is well known, and this musical version is packed full of catchy tunes that bring the Christmas spirit to the fore.

Santa Claus provides the narration, and this is in the safe hands of Robert Peters who certainly looked the part.

The opening number, “Happy all the Time” was lively, and the costumes provided a realistic characterisation of the elves. Very effective and well executed.

Buddy overhears that he is not an elf, but a human, and sets out to find his father and will do what ever he needs to do to get to him, including turning up at his office, which leads to one disaster after another. Joe Davies plays Buddy with energy throughout.

Buddy meets his dad, Walter, who immediately insists that Buddy should leave as he does not want anything to do with hm. Alan Moss plays Walter well, and is supported by Julie Ogden who plays his wife, Emily. Julie sings so well and gives this part her all. Completing the family, son Michael is played by Theo Lindley who breezes his way through with ease.

Emily soon brings Walter round and Buddy is welcomes as part of the family, although his strange habits do take some getting used to.

As part of his adventure, Buddy meets Jovie and instantly falls in love, although Jovie does need some convincing. Scarlett Sandiford excels in this role. Great stage presence and such a voice. Songs beautifully delivered with controlled vocals.

Walter is under threat of losing his job, mainly due to the stress caused by his boss, Mr Greenway, which David Wilson plays to perfection, complete with executive stress! David always characterises well and gives his all and this role was no exception.

Cameo roles come thick and fast. Eileen Reeves as Deb, the office secretary, gives the right amount of chaos to the role, making you almost feel sorry for her. Vicki Wilson doubling as a pleasing Mrs Claus and a sophisticated Charlotte Dennon. David Witt plays an authoritative manager.

All the above were supported by an excellent ensemble who never stopped and delivered number after number with aplomb.

The orchestra were on top form, led by musical director Tim Power, assisted by Tom Bowes.

With Direction by Nora Howcroft and Choreography by Lara Syddall, this festive treat was enough to blow away the autumnal blues.

Paul Cohen

NODA North West

Well Christmas came early with Walmsley Church AODS’ charming version of Elf the Musical. It was lovely to see the young audience. Stage left was Santa’s cosy room with fireplace and Christmas stockings hung up - one for Santa and one for Mrs Claus, with drink trolly for Santa’s tipple complete with glowing flickering fire in the hearth. Stage right was used for various scenes with park bench throughout the show. The stage was used for Santa’s workshop, the park, the Hobbs’ house and the office. The scene where Santa can finally fly was very cute complete with blow up reindeer, sleigh and Santa flying off into the sky – magical! Stage Manager John West and Stage Crew Anne Cocking, Gillian Hadfield, Nora Howcroft, Dave McGreavy, Gill Pollitt, Zoe Pollitt, Linda West and Janet Witt.

Sound was unobtrusive as it should be - Sound by Lea Royse and Elodie Perrier. Lighting enhanced the various scenes, although Stage right the Hobbs family were in darkness at one point but a lovely effect of snow was created on the back wall - very impressive! Costumes all befitted and the Elves looked a delight - well done for spending all that time on your knees! Loved Santa’s Rudolph slippers too. It felt like Christmas with all the Christmas jumpers and head wear at the end - very festive! Wardrobe by Julie Kirby and team. Musical Director Tim Power helped by Assistant Musical Director Tom Bowes worked their magic on the cast.

Choreographer Lara Syddall set a fab opening number and it looked so colourful too. Skating was also included in the show although I did have my heart in my mouth a few times. Nora Howcroft directs this show about Buddy the oversized elf who is happy all the time. We are taken on his journey of finding his dad and his trying to be accepted and finding love. The stage was well used throughout. The chorus were a real support in this show and lovely to see so many young ones in the cast. Just be careful of looking out into the audience and not engaging with on stage action.

David Wilson plays Mr Greenway and Fake Santa. What can I say - Fake Santa in a fight - tut tut –but hilarious! Val Greenhalgh takes on Chadwick and don’t ask her for ideas about a book as it will involve asparagus – so funny! Robert Peters as Santa Claus: perfect casting - he looked and played the part excellently. Eileen Reeves took on the office gossip playing Debs who probably looks through Weightwatchers books while she’s eating sweets (been there!) - lively quirky character with energy. Vikki Wilson took on Mrs Claus/Matthews and Charlotte Dennon - great characters - loved Mrs Claus with her quiet calm. The family Hobbs were Michael Hobbs played by Theo Lindley, Emily Hobbs by Julie Ogden and Walter Hobbs, Alan Moss - a family who have lost their Christmas spirit until Buddy came into their lives. Scarlett Sandiford playing Jovie was an absolute delight and lovely voice too. “Never Fall in Love With An Elf” - delightful! The girl who just cannot get into the Christmas spirit but also is warmed by Buddy’s enthusiasm - great character. Scarlett is one to watch out for in future. The title role of Buddy the elf is played by Joe Davies. His cheekiness was infectious and his energy knows no bounds - well done! The showstopper for me was “Nobody Cares About Santa” with the fake ensemble Santas all feeling hard done by - brilliant characterisations and sound.

Congratulations to Cast, Crew and Committee and thank you for inviting my guest Carol and I (I’m ready for Christmas now!).

Liz Hume-Dawson


WINNER Best Female Youth Performance in an Adult Production NODA District 5 Scarlett Sandiford
WINNER Best Ensemble NODA District 5 Fake Santas
NOMINATION Best Leading Male in a Musical NODA District 5 Joe Davies
NOMINATION Best Supporting Female in a Musical NODA District 5 Julie Ogden
NOMINATION Best Female Comedy Performance NODA District 5 Eileen Reeves
NOMINATION Best Staging NODA District 5  
WINNER Best Supporting Actress in a Musical BATS Scarlett Sandiford