EVERYONE loves Nativity! the 2009 film, with its themes of the underdogs rising to the top and love conquering all.

It’s a biggie to bring to the stage in every sense of the word, but the team at Curtain Call Creative did a great job with Nativity! The Musical at Shanklin Theatre last week.

The show was high energy throughout, with lots of sparkling songs, lively choreography, and fabulous costumes.

Daniel Farmer stole the show as hapless newbie teaching assistant Mr Poppy – and it is testament to his skill that he pulled off a leading role just a few weeks after playing another big part - Lord Farquaad in the Island Savoyards’ performance of Shrek The Musical.

David Thorne played primary school teacher Paul Maddens with plenty of empathy – I really felt for him in the scenes with former girlfriend Jennifer Lore, ably played by Ashleigh Hunt-Davies.

Olivia Pike was very Pam Ferris-like as St Bernadette’s headteacher, Patricia Bevan, while I loved Robert Bingham as the self-important Oakmoor Prep teacher, Gordon Shakespeare.

John Woodford played to perfection two different characters in the roles of the Irish priest in Coventry and the big American film producer, Mr Parker.

There were sterling performances from the younger members of the cast too – I loved Max Parkin as TJ, who played the Angel Gabriel in St Bernadette’s show. He even flew down from above the stage – just as TJ comes down from the top of the cathedral on a zip-wire in the film.

Jemima Rees flew across the stage as Katelyn, the star; while Freddie Nixon was great as Ollie, and Amelia Rogers made a likeable Miss Rye.

Paul Smith starred at the Lord Mayor and Ben Spurling used physical comedy to great effect as critic Patrick Burns.

The show was directed by Tony Wright and Andrew Woodford was the musical director. The large contingent of St Bernadette’s pupils, Oakmoor Prep students, and other ensemble members were choregraphed by Amy Anderson.

Overall, this was a heartwarming and truly enjoyable musical, which once again showed what talent we have on the Island.