Elf musical brings back Chrissy spirit

BRINGING JOY: Samuel Brien, as Buddy the Elf, with Zoe Shaw, as Jovie, star in the Young People's Theatre production. Picture: Chelsea Willis

BRINGING JOY: Samuel Brien, as Buddy the Elf, with Zoe Shaw, as Jovie, star in the Young People's Theatre production. Picture: Chelsea Willis

WHEN the latest Young People’s Theatre (YPT) production – Elf the Musical JR – opens, director Harold Phipps will know precisely how the young actors feel. 

The 22-year-old was himself a cast member of YPT productions from the age of 14, before becoming a tutor.

Elf the Musical JR will the his first crack at directing. 

Phipps said he was spoiled for choice when it came to casting. 

“I have been amazed at the amount of talent,” Phipps said. “We could have cast the show 10 times.”

The story line closely follows the 2003 film Elf. 

Buddy, a young orphan, who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts is transported to the North Pole.

The would-be-elf is raised, completely unaware that he is a human, until his enormous size and poor toy making abilities makes him to face the truth.

Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his identity. 

The YPT production will have broad appeal. 

“I’ve tried to put in something for the adults and for the young children,” Phipps said.

“It goes from pre-school, there are bright colours and little elves, right through to adults.

“There are a few jokes there the adults will get that the kids wont get, there are jokes for everyone.”

Phipps said he was looking forward to a sense of relief when the show, which has been in rehearsal for months, finally opens.

ELF TIME: Samuel Brien as Buddy the Elf with Ruby Luffman, who plays Shawanda, in the new YPT production Elf the Musical JR. Picture: Chelsea Willis

ELF TIME: Samuel Brien as Buddy the Elf with Ruby Luffman, who plays Shawanda, in the new YPT production Elf the Musical JR. Picture: Chelsea Willis

“I’m very happy with where it is at at the moment,” Phipps said.

“When we actually open, I think I will feel very proud of the cast, and the team, the set people, the costume people and everyone who has helped create the show.”

The performance is choreographed by Chelsea Willis, while the musical is directed by Freya Meredith and assisted by Sam Jenkins. 

Elf The Musical JR opens on October 1 and runs until November 2 at YPT Theatre, located on the corner of Lindsay and Lawson Streets in Hamilton.

All tickets are $19, and are available at ypt.org.au/bookings, or by phoning 4961 4895, between 9am-1pm on Saturdays.