A MUST SEE MUSICAL
Nativity The Musical is set to take its place amongst the theatre’s best loved Christmas shows.
Based on Debbie Isitt’s trilogy of film of the same name, Isitt has made a wise choice in transferring this piece of “Sparkle and Shine”, to quote one of its songs, to the stage.
The film contained around four musical numbers but Isitt along with Nicky Ager has added more with the result that this is packed with foot-tapping and catchy tunes that stay with you even when you leave the theatre.
Nativity the Musical tells the tale of Mr Madden, a teacher at a primary school ,which has been put into special measures and his rival Mr Shakespeare, tutor at a nearby snooty prep school. It follows them and the kids as they go head to head to stage a nativity that will attract Hollywood interest.
Things aren’t going too well until Mr Poppy, a teaching assistant, arrives on the scene with rather unorthodox ways that border on craziness but help to bring the best out in the kids.
Isitt’s production is high energy pushed to its limits with an ingenious set that couldn’t have any more gold, glitter and tinsel on it, if there was there would be no room for the actors.
Nativity is child friendly in both action and dialogue but at the same time its fun for the adults, especially the Hollywood Bus Tour Scene ,with its irreverent mentions of Angelina Jolie and the Kardashians.
Simon Larkin’s Mr Poppy is a brilliant piece of characterization. His characterization is energetic, physical and just as Mr Poppy should be. Larkin is supported by a highly talented cast in both cameo and supporting roles.
But the stars of the show are the kids. No stage school monsters here, just some really well drilled kids with the ability to adopt some wonderful characterizations and make the whole thing truly believable.
A great show to chase away those post Christmas blues it runs until 6 January.