Nativity The Musical - Aylesbury Waterside Theatre - ATG Tickets (
How many of us can remember being in a nativity play at
primary school?  Wearing a t-towel on my
head I was a shepherd at 5 years old with my older sister having the starring
role of Mary. For those of us who went on to become professional actors,
nativity plays are often the first experience of being on stage in the
limelight and from those little acorns many of today’s stars are born.

Nativity the Musical
was written and directed by Debbie Islitt (co-composed by Nicky Ager) based on
her 2009 film, which became part of the Nativity
film series.  The musical is set in
Coventry, where failed actor Mr Maddens
has become a primary school teacher at St
primary school.  His nemesis
is Mr Shakespeare, his former best
friend, who gets 5 star reviews for his nativity production at private school Oakmoor. 

As the unhappy, serious, unambitious Mr Maddens, Scott Garnham is perfectly cast. Mr Maddens has settled for living a mundane life with his dog. Cracker, after his girlfriend Jennifer left him to pursue a career as
a Hollywood producer.  His life is turned
upside down by the arrival of teaching assistant, Mr Poppy, whose childlike behaviour and creative flair make him an
instant hit with the kids. 

Scott Paige (Mr Poppy)
is a comic genius with impeccable timing and high-octane energy that drives the
show forward at breakneck speed.  He is
very, very funny and immensely likeable and I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more
of him in years to come.

Charles Brunton is sublime as the scheming Mr Shakespeare and his song and dance routine
playing Herod is absolutely
hysterical. Penelope Woodman as Mrs Bevan
is also very funny as is Jamie Chapman as the camp theatre critic, Patrick Burns.

The whole cast with the children acting, singing and dancing
their socks off is superb, making it a totally joyful evening’s
entertainment.  The set and costume
designs by David Woodhead are stunning, colourful, sparkly and inventive.

There are some great songs as well including ‘Sparkle and Shine’, ‘Nazareth’, ‘One Night,
One Moment’
and ‘She’s the Brightest

Never work with children or animals as they certainly do
draw the attention, so I have to give special mention to Pepper the Dog who
plays Cracker.  She is absolutely delightful and is a total
pro being carried around the stage enjoying all the attention.  She even has her own Instagram page!

This enchanting show will put a smile on your face and helps
us all to remember what Christmas is all about. 
The show runs to Sunday 10th at The Waterside Theatre,
Aylesbury and will be transferring to The Eventim Apollo in London for an
all-star Christmas run.

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye