Profile: Ben Forster
As Christmas day gets ever closer audiences continue to flock to see some of the iconic seasonal shows on offer around the capital. Some of them are annual hits like The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre and others are high profile productions starring a big name like A Christmas Carol with Jim Broadbent.
But much of the talk this year has centred around Elf The Musical, the stage adaptation of the hit film that runs at the Dominion Theatre in the West End. With Christmas in full swing now seems like the perfect time to take a look at one of its stars, Ben Forster, who takes on the role of Buddy, as played by Will Ferrell on the big screen.
Forster was born in the North East of England in 1981 and his singing voice allowed him to pursue his passion in the spotlight from an early age, eventually attending the Ialia Conti Academy. The skills he learnt here and the recognition he was delivered allowed him to make a big impression on the nation’s stages, as well audiences through the release of albums.
As a performer Forster has appeared in three well known musicals in the West End and in regional theatres – Jesus Christ Superstar on tour, Evita at the Dominion Theatre and now Elf The Musical at the Dominion Theatre.
For Jesus Christ Superstar he took on the lead role of Jesus Christ in the Andrew Lloyd Webber mega-hit and audiences flocked to see him at arenas nationwide. He earned the part on the back of the television ITV talent show Superstar, the follow up to BBC shows like Any Dream Will Do. The 2012 series was presented by Amanda Holden and saw Forster beat other talented contestants like Rory Taylor and Roger Wright. But his deserved win has catapulted to West End success.
As such he was able to appear in Evita during the recent revival at the Dominion Theatre, starring alongside Wet Wet Wet star Marti Pellow. He played Agustin Magaldi from 2013 to 2014 and the high profile nature of the show – it being a revival of a beloved classic – only ensured that his talents were being highlighted to a large audience.
And that now brings us to Elf The Musical, the story of Buddy The Elf as he experiences life in New York as a fish-out-of-water. He thinks he is an Elf, having grown up in the North Pole alongside Santa’s helpers, but he is in fact a human and hopes to find his real father in the big city. One of many adaptations of films running in the West End, the show is benefiting from its seasonal messages to ensure Forster once again gets to perform to wide audiences.
The production continues at the Dominion Theatre and will remain at that location until January 2016.