Nativity The Musical Review - Mayflower Southampton

Nativity The Musical
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
3rd-7th December 2019

This year I've really struggled to get into the festive spirit. I think the lack of working in retail and being all consumed in working in education means that I can't fully embrace all that is Santa and Co yet as my to-do list is so long! So when the fantastic folks over at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton invited Max and I to see Nativity the Musical I hoped and prayed that it would give me that festive feeling. And I'm going to spoil it for you now, it 100% left me ready and raring for Christmas!


Based on the film of the same name, this show is based around the loveable St Bernadette's Primary School who's track record for putting on 5 star nativities is slightly lacking. With this years show being left in the hands of Christmas loathing Mr Maddens and his eccentric new teaching assistant Mr Poppy, what could possibly go wrong? It all seems to be going swimmingly until Mr Maddens lets out a lie that changes the course of their nativity for the whole town. For you see, Hollywood is coming to Coventry!

The show is a complete high energy one that is based on a quintessentially British film. The perfect blend of humour, romance and festive fun tied up in a musical bow, it's no surprise that the film was brought to life on stage. Featuring all the classic songs that are known and loved from the film (I'm looking at you Nazareth and Sparkle and Shine!), this show is jam packed with the highest highs and the touching moments that make a family friendly show that everyone will love.

The casting was beyond perfect. The locally cast Oakmoor students took to the stage like they had been doing the show for years as the rival school who decide to put on King Herod the Rock Opera. Whilst the St Bernadette's students were so enthusiastic, energetic and hilarious that it seemed like the show was written about them. They totally won the audience over with their performances and Max spent the whole of the drive home begging to join the cast! I honestly can't fault these pint sized stars, and it truly shows how brilliant the young generation of performers are when you watch a show like this and see their dedication and work ethic.

Scott Garnham took to the stage as Mr Maddens, the teacher who loathed Christmas due to his girlfriend (Ashleigh Gray) leaving him one year to fly to Hollywood. They say those that can't act teach, but his portrayal of a primary school teacher was one of the best bits of acting I've seen for a long time. Jamie Chapman did a brilliant job as a multitude of characters including the Alan Carr/Rylan-esque character of Patrick Burns the theatre critic. He had me in absolute stitches and his versatility is something to be admired. Dani Dyer took to the stage as Poppy Parker, the head of Parker Productions and whilst I have to say I was dubious about the stunt casting, she did an amazing job in the role!

But of course the man of the hour was the perfectly cast Scott Paige as Mr Poppy. If you ever need to see somebody that embodies the heart of the show it's Scott. His energy and enthusiasm radiated across the whole theatre and left everyone in the audience with massive smiles on their faces. All singing, all dancing, never stopping and utterly brilliant. He is a complete asset to any show that he is part of and Nativity are onto a winner with his portrayal as Mr Poppy!

Nativity is the perfect alternative to a pantomime. It gives a refreshing injection of fun to the stage and honestly leaves you feeling festive and tinsel-tastic from start to finish (along with singing the songs days later!). After it's run in Southampton it's heading back to London for a residency at the Eventim Apollo and I urge you all to add it to your Christmas bucket list. It's a five star show in our books and we can't wait to see it again!

Nativity The Musical is on at the Mayflower in Southampton until the 7th December. To purchase tickets, please follow the link below:

*Note: Tickets were gifted, but all opinions are our own!

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