It's now December so I'm allowed to get festive and Nativity is always one of the first crimbo movies that gets watched in my house. I absolutely love it, I love the songs and who doesn't fall in love with little Bob every Christmas?
As you can imagine I was REALLY excited to hear the musical was coming! With an incredible cast as well including one of my faves Scott Paige as Mr Poppy!
As with all stage adaptions of beloved films there's always a little trepidation as to whether it will be as good. However with this one its still the brain child of Debbie Isitt who created the movies.
Its absolutely wonderful!
Basically the first film taken from the film and just put on stage with a few more musical numbers.
Mr Madden is a depressed primary school teacher who hates Christmas after his girlfriend left him for a job in LA. Fed up with rival school Oakmoor (whose pupils are made up of local children) getting all the 5 star reviews for their Nativity shows Mr Madden is tasked with putting on a version in an attempt to beat them. Being a bit of a Scrooge he's not happy about it, enter Mr Poppy an overexcited man child with no teaching experience whose Aunty Pat (AKA Mr Maddens boss, Headteacher Mrs Bevan) thinks will be able to help pull it off.
Mr Poppy overhears Mr Madden talking to his rival Mr Shakespeare and thinks that Hollywood are coming to watch the show and film it, tells everyone and then the race is on to actually make it happen and put on a show that will get that coveted 5 Star Review.
It is the perfect feel good festive show :)
Watching this made me realise just how many songs are in the movie, I found myself singing along to most of them. Sparkle and Shine is still in my head now.
Its such a fun show, Mr Shakespeare (Charles Brunton) was a fabulous villian and his Kiss inspired Herod performance was brilliant.
There's a lot of topical jokes in this, completely missed by the largely younger audience but the grown ups laughs at those were very audible. Things like that make it enjoyable for everyone.
The children were incredible, I know a lot of the kids in the film improvised, I'm not sure if they were allowed to do that in this but they were all wonderful. Especially when you know that half of them are from our community as well.
I loved the staging in this, all sparkles and lights. And using a small child to depict a plane made me chuckle more than it should have.
The best bit in this though is the final scenes when they actually perform the titular 'Nativity', complete with camel dressed as Elton John and flying children. It gave me all the feels at the end. As does the film. The songs are brilliant, and again quite adult lyrics really which is hilarious. Sparkle and Shine, Nazareth, One Night One Moment and She's the Brightest Star which you'll recognise will be in your head for ages.
The cast are brilliant, Scott Garnham as Mr Maddens honestly was just like watching Martin Freeman, he had all the mannerisms of him down to a tee including that 'fed up' look he seems to have in most of the films he does.
Dani Dyer is the heroine of the show making the childrens dreams come true (and making some Love Island jokes along the way)
But there are 2 stars for me of this show, Cracker the dog - an actual lovely little dog - which made my night being somewhat of a crazy dog lady... and then of course the fabulous Scott Paige as Mr Poppy! We all know Mr Poppy is the glue in this show and he's such a lovable fun character. It was so good to see Scott in a lead role and he nailed it. Seeing the casting announcement I could not think of anyone more perfect for this part, he's hilarious and wonderful and fabulous all at once. It's so clear watching this that the cast are having the time of their life doing this show.
I loved it. Its the perfect treat for Christmas and will really get you in the festive mood.
Don't miss our interview with Scott Paige tomorrow
Nativity The Musical is on at Mayflower until 7th - Tickets still available from Mayflower.org