A Christmas show in November? Yes please! For me it is never too early for Christmas so I jumped at the chance to see Nativity the Musical at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal.

Based on the hit film Nativity! it’s a story of a bunch of primary school children in a struggling school whose nativity play each year is slated by local critic Patrick Burns (Jamie Chapman). Their teacher Mr Maddens (Scott Garnham) is desperate to beat his old pal Mr Shakespeare’s (Andy Brady) perfect, preppy pupils and their 5 star Christmas productions.However, Mr Maddens hates Christmas ever since his childhood sweetheart Jennifer (Ashleigh Gray) left him to pursue her dream career in Hollywood.

Head Teacher Mrs Bevan (Jemma Churchill) has grand plans though, she wants to show that her school and pupils can be good, despite the special measures rating the school has been given. She recruits new teaching assistant Mr Poppy (Simon Lipkin), who also happens to be her nephew. He is given the task to help Mr Maddens put on an amazing nativity, the problem is that Mr Poppy is as madcap and zany as the kids and probably needs more looking after, much to Mr Maddens frustration.

Reluctantly agreeing to stage the nativity, Mr Maddens shows off a little to Mr Shakespeare, spinning a little white lie that a big Hollywood producer will be coming to film the St Bernadette nativity. Mr Poppy overhears the conversation and pretty soon everyone in the whole town knows.

Cue much hilarity as they hold auditions, rehearsals and even a school trip to LA to persuade a producer to come and watch. Will this end in disaster? Or will the underdogs sparkle and shine?!

The show is glitter and sparkle from curtain up right until the end which if you know me had me smiling just because of that. My niece came with me and she loved it just as much as I did, we both loved Mr Poppy, he had us laughing from the minute he told us all to make sure we were not taking photos or recording the show. Simon Lipkin played Mr Poppy extremely well I loved all of his retro tshirts and I am sure there was a bit of ad lib going on from the reactions of other cast. Simon is also starring in the new Nativity Rocks movie that is out in cinemas now.

The real stars of the show were all of the children in the cast, they were so amazing, acting, dancing, singing…all of it! I loved the sassy star of Bethlehem, but all of them melted my heart. The addition of adorable dog Cracker (Pepper) was an absolute bonus, I wanted to take him home.

The show was fabulous, I thought I would like it but I absolutely loved it. If you get the chance to see Nativity the Musical then you must, if you are a little ‘Bah Humbug’ then this will turn you into Buddy the Elf!

Performance 10/10

Story 9/10

Set 9/10