Nativity at Hammersmith Eventim Apollo
Thursday night was press night for Nativity the Musical and well the pre-set for this show is to die for, you walk in and it instantly feels like Christmas, there is glitter everywhere. With a cast jam packed full of celebrities I was intrigued to see the quality that they would be presenting and I will not lie, I am quite disappointed with what I saw from them. Rylan was by far the best out of the “famous” four, with his role as the Critic, he really committed to the role and his timing was rather good.
I am pleased to report that that rest of the cast were outstanding. Mr Poppy played by Simon Lipkin was insanely wonderful, his presence is next to none and his comic timing is just perfect. Lipkin has a chemistry with the entire cast that is so natural and whenever he is on stage he lifts everyone, in some cases quite literally, he is definitely the star of the show and rightly so. Mr Maddens played by Scott Garnham has got this character sussed perfectly. Garnham plays a heartbroken, primary school teacher who loses his love for Christmas but is forced to put on the schools nativity. His voice has a gorgeous tone which blends extremely well no matter who he sings with and his acting is extremely believable, you feel every word.
The children in this production are absolutely fabulous. They are split in to two teams, one team is from state school St Bernadette’s and the other is representing the super wealthy Oakmoor Prep School. Both groups of children are well rehearsed and are clearly having the time of their lives. The children from St Bernadette’s are full of personality and give a realistic representation of state school classrooms compared to Oakmoor Prep who are clearly very disciplined and regimented, almost army like.
Musical numbers were extremely pleasing throughout, they sounded great and looked great. Favourites include ‘Very First Day of School’, ‘Dear Father Christmas’ and ‘Sparkle & Shine’, they were absolute stand outs. The music had me dancing in my seat one minute to shedding a tear the next. The cast generated a level of passion and soul that oozed into the audience, I really had the best time.
The show kept a good pace throughout which was pleasing as the show was actually rather long, it ran at just under 3 hours including the interval. Unfortunately I feel the pace only really slowed down when Osbourne and the Dyers were on stage.
If you have children take them to see the show and if you don’t have children; go and see the show anyway. It was such a feel good evening and I can actually say I loved every second.
Review by Laura Whittingham
Nativity is running at the Hammersmith Evenim Apollo until the 29th December. To book tickets visit their website.