ELF, the hit West End and Broadway musical based on the Hollywood blockbuster movie starring Will Ferrell, is to be super-sized into a Christmas spectacular which will play three major arenas this Christmas: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, Birmingham Genting Arena and Nottingham Motorpoint Arena.

Starring pop legend David Essex as Buddy the Elf’s father, and Love Actually star and singer Martine McCutcheon as Buddy’s girlfriend, Jovie. Buddy the Elf will be played by comedy actor Tam Ryan, who counts Priscilla Presley amongst his past leading ladies. The cast also features Father Christmas and a line-up of 70 performers, including children from local Pauline Quirke Academy stage schools.

David Essex said: “I’m really looking forward to taking Elf on tour. The big special effects that we have lined-up are incredible, including a giant sleigh which will fly across the arena, an indoor snow blizzard and lots of skating which all adds to this perfect Christmas story.”

Martine McCutcheon, added:“I’m absolutely delighted to be appearing in this wonderful show. Elf is without doubt one of the all-time great Christmas movies, so I hope audiences in Cardiff, Birmingham and Nottingham will love this production just as much as the film!”

This heart-warming tale of Buddy the Elf leaving Santa at the North Pole to seek his real father in New York as a Christmas classic will feature the book written by Bob Martin and Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers and Hairspray) and an original score of great new songs. The original staging will be enhanced with giant screens, showing both computer graphic backdrops and live action close-ups. The 5,000 seat arena layout will have a 70-foot wide stage and a 60-foot long thrust stage, with some scenes taking place around and above the audience.

Elf will be produced by WBP Ltd, the team behind last year’s Christmas spectacular Peter Pan, which played at Arena Birmingham and The SSE Arena, Wembley.