IF were looking for a fabulous festive show to put you and your entire family flying right into the Christmas mood, you needed look no further than last week’s Festival Theatre show, the vibrantly hilarious, “Nativity, The Musical” (with music and Lyrics by Debbie Isitt and Nicky Ager), writes Times theatre critic Kerry Black.

While every child must have been in a school nativity and every parent and grandparent knows the excitement of watching their bairns being proper little angels, this show, based on the popular Nativity film series, tackles the rivalries between the children of St Bernadette’s, a struggling local primary school and their privately educated, prissy little Oakmoor opponents.

With a beautiful twinkling set of stars and parcels, the whole stage erupted into colour and mayhem.

Packed with every Christmas cliché from dancing Christmas trees to singing parcels, this is definitely the slickest, most enjoyable touring family show I have ever seen.

I took my 10 year-old niece with me as she loves the Nativity films and she rated the show as “A million stars out of a million”!

There’s romance between Mr Madden the school teacher (Scott Garnham) and his estranged Hollywood girlfriend (Edinburgh’s very own fabulous Ashleigh Gray), there’s a real panto style villain, in Gordon Shakespeare the posh teacher, complete with Kiss inspired Christmas rock opera costume plus a fun performance from TV comedienne Jo Brand as the ghastly local theatre critic!

Top marks are equally shared between Simon Lipkin’s hyperactive performance as Mr Poppy, the scooter-riding Teaching Assistant who dreams up a mad plan to have an OTT Nativity, filmed by a real Hollywood team, and the absolutely wonderful cast of children. While the St Bernadette’s kids tour with the company, their pompous little rivals are all local children, including a few wee Fifers!

Nativity is oozing with fun, great songs, fabulous dances, a whole cast of wondrous characters played by the ensemble, including the scunnered headmistress and most magical of all, it even has a real dog, called Cracker in it! With beautiful sets, especially in the Coventry Cathedral scenes, it’s slick, sparkling, romantic, hilarious, topical and the best lead up to the King’s Panto which opened on December 1 that I could imagine.