HANNAH WADDINGHAM: HOME FOR CHRISTMAS | AppleTV+ | November 21, 2023
Starring: Hannah Waddingham
Directed By: Hamish Hamilton
Hannah Waddingham celebrates her favorite time of year performing festive classics in front of a live audience, accompanied by her spectacular big band and special guests.
REVIEW BY: Darren Zakus
Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas is a jubilant holiday musical extravaganza showcasing the sensational talent that is Hannah Waddingham, that with showstopping musical numbers and lots of surprise guests, delivers this reviewer’s new favourite holiday special!
For years Hannah Waddingham has been wowing audiences around the world with her talent, whether it be on stage in London’s West End, in feature films, or two of the biggest television shows of the century so far: Ted Lasso and Game of Thrones. While fans of her within the United Kingdom no doubt know Waddingham has an excellent musical talent, her holiday special lets audiences around the world experience her amazing talents as a singer and live performer. Following in the footsteps of best selling musicians like Mariah Carey and Michael Bublé, Waddingham invites the world to experience her holiday concert that is the perfect show to watch to not only get into the holiday spirit, but to be blown away by the triple threat talent that is Waddingham.
Within seconds of the special starting, it is evident that Waddingham is one incredible singer. The power behind her voice, the four-octave vocal range, the different styles of music and her comfortability in each, all of it comes together to deliver one fantastic holiday special. After learning about her family’s history as opera singers and her growing up hanging around the English National Opera at the London Coliseum (where the special is shot), it comes at no surprise that there is nothing she can’t do vocally. But through the dancing in those elegant dresses and high heels, the comedy and the way she commands the audience's attention, it’s evidently clear why she has endeared herself with audiences around the world in recent years. She possesses a showmanship that most stars could only dream of having, with one dazzling performance that will have audiences smiling along with her as she sings and dances her way through holiday standards. Fingers crossed, but I would not be surprised if we start to see Waddingham in lead roles in movie musicals going forward, as her outstanding performance here proves that she is tailor made for them!
Being a holiday special, celebrity appearances are part of the game, and Waddingham brings all of her friends and more to join in her big moment. Audiences will no doubt recognize Phil Dunster and Luke Evans, both who share a song with Waddingham, but there is also incredible local talent to London such as The Fabulous Lounge Swingers and The London’s Gay Men Chorus to join in this joyful celebration of the holiday season. And those are only some of the announced guests, as Waddingham has many friends and surprise guests to celebrate the holiday season with. Whether the guests show up for a sentimental moment with Waddingham, to share a song, or for comedic purpose, all of them are excellent and match Waddingham’s talents as needed to help create a dazzling musical special.
As for the musical performances, they are incredible to say the least. Waddingham has a wonderful selection of songs, from upbeat numbers like “What Christmas Means to Me”, classic standards like “O Holy Night” that she could blow the roof off of the London Coliseum with her performance, and even a rock inspired number with “Run Run Rudolph”. The vocal performances on each song are to die for, while the big band accompanying Waddingham is pitch perfect in creating that warm and upbeat Christmas music to support Waddingham and the dancers. The choreography is great, capturing an elegance as Waddingham glides across the stage while the backup dancers bring the energy and fantastic dance moves that ensure there is never a second of the show that is lacking any gusto. Even the guests are woven into the choreography of the dance numbers, either giving Waddingham a great dance partner or building on the comedic energy of the production, ensuring that the entire special is wildly entertaining.
It’s time to deck the halls, cozy up with a warm cup of hot cocoa, and revel in the talent of Hannah Waddingham in her new holiday special. Fans of Hannah Waddingham will instantly fall in love with her holiday special Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas as it unleashes a musical variety extravaganza full of Christmas spirit, showcasing Hannah Waddingham’s incredible singing voice that rings in the holiday season in a spectacular pitch perfect fashion!