Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
Do you believe in Santa Claus?
If I wasn't feeling in the Christmas spirit after seeing Miracle on 34th Street The Musical, then I never would.
A song and dance about Christmas
Making us look into our hearts on whether Father Christmas really exists, it's a tale of true sentimentality.
The classic 1947 film of the same title is already well loved by of a lot of film fans, and this show is based on that movie - but with songs.
Set in New York, it tells the tale of a cynical young girl, Susan, whose embittered mother is bringing her up not to believe in fairy tales, Prince Charming or Father Christmas, but she starts to question all that when her new neighbour ( a retired soldier and trainee lawyer) takes her to visit Santa at Macy's.
Despite her disbelief, she befriends the old bearded man playing Santa, Kris Kringle, and he slowly convinces her that he is the real Father Christmas.
His efforts to spread messages of love and kindness during the festive season go awry when the authorities accuse him if being insane, and it means Susan, her mother and neighbour must work together to win Kris' court case and prove that he is Santa Claus.
It also provides time for a romantic sub-plot between Susan's mother and the new neighbour.
Miracle on 34th Street is a Christmas favourite
This is an all-singing all-dancing musical adaptation of the uplifting story, but that sadly means much of the film script is dropped and it lacks the depth and character of the original.
Apart from the song It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, the other tunes are unrecognisable. Some of them don't particularly fit into the story very well either, such as My State My Kansas when they are trying to win over the judge in the case.
However, the voice of Poppy Carter, playing Susan, is impressive and stands out among a cast of strong voices. While James Murphy is convincing as a man who you could believe to be Santa.
The court scene is the most sincere and makes you want to believe. It's one of the best sections of the show, but also has the most dialogue. It's a brief show that is around two hours long.
The 1947 film of Miracle on 34th Street starred Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Natalie Wood and Edmund Gwenn, and went on to win three Oscars. The stage version, originally entitled Here's Love, opened on Broadway in 1963. A hugely popular remake of the film was also released in 1994 starring Richard Attenborough as Kris.
While this version may not live up to those, there's plenty of Christmas cheer in this production, and even snow and the big man in a bright red suit to round it all off.