The Grand Opera House, York – until 3rd December 2022
Reviewed by Katie Brewerton
Pick Me Up Theatre’s production of Nativity: The Musical comes to York, based on the festive, fan favourite film ‘Nativity’ starring Martin Freeman.
After being left by his partner, Jennifer (Toni Feetenby) around Christmas, to pursue a career as a Hollywood film producer, Paul Maddens (Stuart Piper) loses his love for the holidays. He works at St. Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School and has vowed never to direct another nativity after his last attempt received a minus 2 star review.
His and Jennifer’s old best friend Gordon Shakespeare (Stuart Hutchinson) teaches at the local private school, Oakmoor and has received the coveted 5 star review from Patrick Burns (Jonny Holbek) a well known local critic for the past few years.
Mr. Maddens finds himself forced in to directing this years nativity by headmistress Mrs. Bevan (Alison Taylor), with the help of new teaching assistant Mr. Poppy (Jack Hooper). He bumps into Gordon Shakespeare and exaggerates the extravagance of their nativity, even telling him Jennifer is attending, with Hollywood to film St. Bernadette’s Nativity. He is over heard by Mr. Poppy who quickly tells the whole school and city.
Now Mr. Maddons and Mr. Poppy must try and convince Hollywood to attend or face up to their lie.
The technical issues with microphones not working did unfortunately take away from the show at certain points, but hopefully that will be rectified for future performances. The staging was great with excellent lighting and children even hanging from the ceiling for the final performance of the Nativity.
With a wonderful, talented cast of children this is an excellent family friendly alternative to the traditional Christmas panto. And the adult cast are also great particularly Hooper’s Mr.Poppy who is lovable and a fast audience favourite. Funny, feel good and heart warming this is a lovely story to get you in the mood for Christmas.