Reviewed by Claire Turner
Amazing! Brilliant! Fantastic!
I love the Nativity films. I was so excited to be going to see Nativity! The Musical at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend-on-Sea. We parked on the sea front and walked up the steps to the theatre. We had time to grab a coffee to take in with us.
The show was late starting but that gave us time to look through the programme.
From the moment the show started we could tell it was going to be good.
The stage is set with giant Christmas parcels. Simon Lipkin starts off narrating the story, talking us through how the 3 friends (Mr Maddens, Jennifer Lore and Mr Shakespeare) met as children then grew up together. They went their separate ways and then we were at St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School with heartbroken Mr Maddens, played by Daniel Boys, a school teacher who hates Christmas who is in charge of producing the school nativity! Simon Lipkin transforms from narrator to hilariously funny classroom assistant Mr Poppy, it’s as if this role was made for him! This show is nativity meets panto and couldn’t have been better! Mr Poppy overhears Mr Maddens telling Mr Shakespeare that his nativity will finally be better as Hollywood will be watching… Mr Poppy tells ‘everyone’ and it all spirals out of control!
The children cast to play the various school children are brilliant – the lines are current, the songs and dancing are great although their voices were at times difficult to hear over the band, a special mention must go out to Alexander Hogg who was fantastic!
I laughed from the start and along with audience participation there was a standing ovation at the end! The jokes made aren’t just for the children.
It would be so easy to write a lot more, but I don’t want to spoil the viewing. This is a must see show and certainly gets you in the Christmas spirit. It’s a full 5 out of 5 stars!
P.S. don’t forget your phone!
Tickets cost from £32 to £50 (booking fees may apply).
Nativity! The Musical is at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend from 15-19 November 2017, for more information or to book tickets visit southendtheatres.org.uk or call the box office on 01702 351135.
Cliffs Pavilion, Station Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 7RA | 01702 351135