The Who’s Who of ‘Eastenders’ and ‘Love Island’ were out in force to support their friends and colleagues Danny and Dani Dyer who are making guest appearances along with Jo Brand this festive period at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo in the wonderful Nativity by Debbie Issit.
I saw the production last year and it has enough of its own sparkle without the guest appearances, so apart for the crowd-pleasing “names”, for me, I am not convinced that it added too much to the production. Although the crowd seem to have loved it and it is not often you get to see hard man Danny Dyer and his daughter dressed as Christmas baubles singing a Christmas song.
Nativity is such a heartwarming story with the star of the show being Mr Poppy (played by Simon Lipkin). The man is a comedy genius but not only that, he shows off his versatility. Simon is a rock star, singing and playing tunes on stage and also bringing a kind, caring and warm chemistry with the rest of the cast. Especially the children who are exceptionally talented for such a young age.
Mr Poppy’s friendship with Mr Madden, (played by Scott Garnham), is at the very centre of the production. The story is pretty much authentic to the first of the Nativity films, but both Simon and Scott manage to make the characters their own in this slick production with an aptly sparkly stage and there is even a cute dog added to the mix.
The show really is very festive and has some lovely songs and a very talented cast!
London is the last stop on this tour so if you have missed your chance, be sure to book up for 2019 where I understand that Simon Lipkin will again play the role of Mr Poppy, which is the best news.
Review by Bonnie Britain
This Christmas join father and daughter Danny and Dani Dyer, legendary comedian Jo Brand and West End star Simon Lipkin as he reprises his role as ‘Mr Poppy’ in the hit show Nativity! The Musical.
The rest of the cast includes, Andy Barke, Andy Brady, Jamie Chapman, Jemma Churchill, Oscar Conlon-Morrey, Gary Davis, Kade Ferraiolo, Ashleigh Graham, and Helena Pipe.
They will be joined by a cast of 20 children aged 9 – 12 from across the Midlands as the pupils of ‘St Bernadette’s School’. In addition to this, following hugely successful open auditions, the following children from London and the surrounding areas will star as students of ‘Oakmoor School’. Sienna Austen, Adelaide Barham, Brian Bartle, Aliya Bashir, Sophia Beswick, Gretel Bradwell, Charlotte Breen, Thalia Jada Charles, Jacob Dennison, Louis Dennison, Maddie Evans, Talia Etherington, Jack Forino, Liberty Greig, May Greta Haywood, Gabriel Illesley, Matthew Illesley, Lily Jackson, Darcy Kelly, Rosie Gell-Marquez, Elliot Morris, Maddison Olatunji, Regan Parker, Bella Perdoni, Aoife Reilly, Azaria Sharpe, Ellicia Simmondwood, Nina Stevenson, Aaliyah White and Sophie Woods.
Feel-good, funny and full of festive joy, the smash-hit musical was adapted for the stage by Debbie Isitt, the creator of the much-loved films. Every child in every school has one Christmas wish, to star in a Nativity, and at St Bernadette’s School, they’re attempting to mount a musical version! Only trouble is teacher Mr Maddens has promised that a Hollywood producer is coming to see the show to turn it into a film. Join him, his teaching assistant the crazy Mr Poppy, hilarious children and a whole lot of sparkle and shine as they struggle to make everyone’s Christmas wish come true.
With all of your favourite sing-a-long hits from the movies including Sparkle and Shine, Nazareth, One Night One Moment, She’s the Brightest Star and a whole host of new songs filled with the spirit of Christmas, Nativity! The Musical is the must-see family show this festive season!
45 Queen Caroline Street
London, England W6 9QH