Embarking on its third UK tour, Nativity sparkles on the Wolverhampton Grand stage this week. The Birmingham Repertory Theatre production originally opened in 2017 and it returns in dazzling style. Penned by the talented Debbie Isitt and a team of sensational collaborators, the production stays true to the festive film of the same name.
The enthusiastic cast fill the stage with a pulsing energy right from curtain up. ‘Team Bethlehem’ represent the children tonight and they certainly do shine. Standout performances come from Nicholas Vakis, Alexander Hogg and Lyla Peters who each excelled in their respective roles. Hogg’s rapping skills are a particular laugh-out-loud highlight.
Jamie Chapman, clearly the king of multiroling, is hilarious as reviewer Patrick Burns, alongside all his other characters. Meanwhile, Charles Brunton blends comedy and villainy in equal measure as the overly-competitive Mr Shakespeare and Penelope Woodman brings a great operatic vocal to the role of Mrs Bevan.
The trio of Ashleigh Gray as Jennifer Lore, Scott Garnham as Mr Maddens and Scott Paige as Mr Poppy is a sheer delight. Gray’s stunning vocals soar through the auditorium and Garnham makes for a wonderful Mr Maddens. However, Paige’s Mr Poppy steals the show with his sensational performance. From beginning to end he is a bouncing ball of brilliance.
With a sprinkle of added cuteness with Pepper the dog as Cracker, Nativity is a glittering triumph.
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