Christmas: Star of Elf, Blackpool's festive comedy spectacular is rediscovering his inner child at the Winter Gardens

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Festive comedy Elf is back at Blackpool Winter Gardens from Dec 15 to 26, 2022, and leading man Steven Serlin reveals how he has stepped away from being the pantomime baddy to rediscover his inner child.

48-year-old Serlin plays Buddy the Elf who is on a mission to find his family and a place to belong but as he travels from the North Pole to discover who he really is, things don’t run smoothly.

Buddy journeys from the winter wonderland of Santa’s North Pole toy workshop to the bustling streets of Manhattan in search of his long lost family.

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It’s a stage production based on the festive feel-good comedy blockbuster, starring Will Farrell.

Elf The Musical comes to BlackpoolElf The Musical comes to Blackpool
Elf The Musical comes to Blackpool

Serlin said: “Buddy is a brilliant character but while I love going to the cinema, weirdly I had never seen the movie. Even though my kids have watched it loads and I’d pop in and out as they did, I never got into the whole Elf-mania thing.”

Elf: The Christmas Arena spectacular also marks a reunion for Serlin, with producer Jon Conway, who he worked with on Boogie Nights.

“From Boogie Nights to Elf, I’ve come full circle,” he reflects. “In Boogie Nights Jon started me on my journey playing comedy characters. It’s now what I love to do and what I have done ever since.”

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He also draws a parallel between his current role of Buddy, and Terry, the role he played in Boogie Nights all those years ago.

“They both have the same innocence; Terry used to say things not realising what he was actually saying and Buddy does the very same thing. I love his childlike nature and it’s so nice to play a character where I can do what I like, really, because he’s a kid.”

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And he has fond memories of a summer season spent doing the smash hit 70’s musical with Shane Richie, at the Winter Gardens in the nineties.

Taking a break from a digital treasure hunt with his children, Scarlett, 11, and Guy, 10, the father of two recalls, “We had a great time and there was this after hours basement bar or the front where all the performers went after their shows had come down. It has a little stage with a drum kit and a keyboard and you could just get up and play them. Now I play drums and I just remember having the best nights. Shane and I would get up and jam away and there would be people like Cannon and Ball who had just finished their shows in the audience, all having the best time.”

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Playing the guileless elf has allowed Serlin, who has carved a niche for himself in the role of pantomime baddy, to rediscover his inner child.

“I’ve built up a name and, as much as it kills me, I adore doing comedy panto baddies - I did 98 shows in two months last year. This production of Elf has that same panto quality about it, although, thankfully, there are not as many performances…”

With stunning LED visuals, lots of audience participation and an Elf Choir featuring local children, Elf runs at the Winter Gardens from 15 to 26 December 2022.

For tickets and further information visit

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