Primary School teacher Mr Maddens (Martin Freeman) is given the job of organising the school's Nativity play, even though years earlier his attempt was savaged by the local critic in town. This year he will be up against his nemesis - Gordon Shakespeare (Jason Watkins) from the posh school in town. His little white lie, that his ex-girlfriend is a famous Hollywood producer and will be in town with a view to taking his play global, is blown out of all proportion and now he has a town, and a lot of pushy parents, waiting impatiently to be a part of the next big thing!
Our Rating: 3/10 - Would have helped if the actual Nativity play was any good
Watchability: 10/10 - If your kids are in it .... otherwise, like the rest of us, 1/10.
Contributed By: WB
- Country: UK
- Language: English
- Runtime: 145
- Production: BBC Films
Mr Maddens returns from the US with the kids, but is busted by the Head Teacher. After almost getting fired and being told that the Nativity is off, Maddens decides to shout at his teaching assistant, Mr Poppy, and tells the kids that he lied about Hollywood and this is his final term ... and they're going back to learning about pronouns.
During a particularly mind-numbing lesson, he decides that the teaching assistant was right all along. He tells the kids the play is back on. He apologies to his pal, and they rush to get it all ready in time.
Meanwhile, the enemy school teacher Gordon Shakespeare does a very opera-style rendition of 'The Murder of the InnocentsNULL, complete with fake blood-ribbons, to critical acclaim by Alan Carr (!)
The good guys have a prime location - right in front of the Cathedral.
The Nativity starts. Unbelieveably it's very polished, with perfect backing choir numbers ... but really bad lead performances (the producers should have got better kids to sing). The little dude playing the angel Gabriel floats down from the Cathedral's tower for his set. The dodgy school teacher from the other place runs on stage to tell them it's all terrible, and Hollywood isn't even showing up. Mr Maddens cringes.
When suddenly a bright light, like a star, appears in the distance. It hovers closer - and we see it's a helicopter. Suddenly everyone assumes that this is ""Hollywood"" (not just a 999 call when someone probably phoned in a jumper from the tower), and the show is back on.
The kids dressed as stars do their thing, then the wise men who are a boy band sing a song. It's really dragging on at this point.
Maddens' girl Jennifer Lore shows up. He hugs her, they're friends again.
At the end of the play, Mr Poppy gets the kids to each do a party trick to the audience - and even Gordon Shakespeare is brought up on stage for some reason ... but he actually does a really good 'walking on his hands' style trick that, if it's real with no wires, is really impressive!!
So the night was a success, leading to many more Nativity plays in the future by the unstoppable duo of Mr Maddens and Mr Poppy.