Miracle on 34th Street: Christmas spirit on Quay Street
By Harry Newton
Wrapping up warm, shelling out a tenner for a sausage muffin at the Christmas markets, and racist grandparents sitting around the dinner table… (alas)… Yes, Christmas is coming! As we swiftly move into December, the world is swept with Christmas fever, and nothing will get you more in the mood for this festive period than Miracle on 34th Street at the Manchester Opera House this December.
Taking my mum to this performance made me forget the terrible attempts for Christmas presents down the years she has given me, and made me remember the great Christmas dinners she has provided, as we both fell hook, line, and sinker for this Christmas extravaganza of a performance, singing along by the end!
Despite a slow beginning to the show, with the first half of the performance lacking in some humour and seeming to just be the lead up to the second half, part two did not disappoint! With the roles of Marvin Shellhammer (played by the wonderfully camp Brendan Matthew) and Michael Adams as the stern Mr Macy being given more of a spotlight in the second half, the show became more light-hearted and the festivities began!
You can always expect in these kind of shows a certain amount of songs, and this show was no stranger to a song. The first half’s inferiority to the second half is somewhat accountable to the volume of songs that were placed in the performance, since there were many more, and a few tended to make you lose interest, due to them being a bit slow.
Despite the odd questionable American accent from time to time, the small group of actors and actresses overall created a great, fun performance, with nobody standing out as a bad performer. A note must be made for the fantastic recovery from one actress during the performance. After accidentally walking into a prop, she came back onto the stage later in the scene dramatically steering clear of this prop to be met with laughter from the crowd.
It’s difficult to set a particular audience in stone for this performance, because there was a variety of people in attendance. There were children, the elderly, people on romantic dates, and of course me and my mum; as long as you are open to being entertained with Christmas festivities, then you are the audience for this show!