Friday, November 27, 2009


Nativity U rating - is released today (Friday 27 November 2009) at cinemas everywhere across the UNITED KINGDOM.

Wednesday 25 November 2009 saw Nativity's second premiere of the week, this time in London at the Barbican. Photo from Marc - on the red carpet in London

Premier PR have very kindly provided the following photos, synopsis and introduction from the production notes from Nativity - HUGE thank you to Sanam Jehanfard!

Martin Freeman, Marc and director Debbie Isitt on set
Mr Poppy!
Martin Freeman aka Mr Maddens and Marc as Mr Poppy

“The energy that children generate is just mind-blowing and I think that’s what is captured during the whole movie,” says Marc Wootton. “They say that a child laughs on average 400 times a day and an adult laughs about 14 times a day. What happened? We don’t play anymore as grown-ups. We don t have time to play because we’re working. I’m lucky to be an actor because I am paid to play.” Marc Wootton

A heart-warming and hilarious tale of the true meaning of Christmas, NATIVITY! is directed and conceived by Debbie Isitt, produced by Nick Jones and executive produced by Joe Oppenheimer for BBC Films and Lee Thomas for Screen West Midlands. NATIVITY! will be released in the UK and Ireland by E1 Entertainment.

MARTIN FREEMAN (Hot Fuzz, Confetti, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) stars alongside ASHLEY JENSEN (Tristram Shandy, Ugly Betty, Extras), JASON WATKINS (Confetti) and MARC WOOTTON (Shirley Ghostman, Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel). Comedian ALAN CARR makes his feature film debut together with a host of winning and talented six to 12 year-olds. Well-known and much-loved actors PAM FERRIS, RICKY TOMLINSON and JOHN SESSIONS round out the cast.
Director Debbie Isitt trained as an actor before being acclaimed by The Guardian as ‘the future of British Theatre' as the writer/director of a series of award-winning black comedies staged at the Edinburgh Festival. A respected figure in the international alternative theatre community, she has toured the world with her company Snarling Beasties. More recently, Debbie has made a name for herself as a filmmaker, creating a stir with her debut feature Nasty Neighbours and going on to make the comedy feature, Confetti which was distributed by Fox Searchlight.
NATIVITY! was shot entirely on location in Coventry and Los Angeles.

Having given up his career as a frustrated, under-achieving actor, Mr Maddens (Martin Freeman) has become a frustrated, under-achieving primary school teacher. Each Christmas, his school and that of his long-time adversary, Gordon Shakespeare (Jason Watkins) of the posh independent school up the road, compete for a 5-star review of their respective nativity plays. To no-one’s surprise, time after time, the privileged Oakmoor students thrash the underdogs at St Bernadette’s. Maddens is resigned to this. His kids are hopeless and losing is the story of his life. Since receiving a vicious review from the local drama critic (Alan Carr) for his last production, he refuses to have anything to do with the annual festive fiasco. Besides, he hates Christmas. Five years ago his girlfriend, Jennifer (Ashley Jensen), dumped him under the mistletoe and left for a new life in California.

Maddens’ headmistress (Pam Ferris), however, has plans of her own. She wants a proper Nativity in her last year before retirement, and she wants him to direct. He is still thinking of ways to wriggle out of it when he runs into Shakespeare at the garden centre. Goaded by his rival’s arrogance, Maddens makes an idle boast: not only is St Bernadette’s preparing a barnstorming Xmas Xtravaganza but their production has already attracted the attention of Hollywood! Jennifer the hotshot producer is coming back to Coventry to make a movie starring his pupils! The lie is overheard by his puppyish classroom assistant, Mr Poppy (Marc Wootton), who has no gift to distinguish truth from falsehood no matter how preposterous.

Overnight, Maddens finds himself at the centre of a perfect storm comprising the Mayor (Ricky Tomlinson), the media, a posse of pushy parents, and an army of pint-sized potential Marys and Josephs. All St Bernadette’s is floating on a cloud of stardust and the children are bursting with Christmas spirit.

But can Maddens possibly persuade Jennifer to bring Hollywood to Coventry and make their dreams come true or will his tangle of lies finally catch him out?

1 comment:

Hero_UK said...

Gotta say. Nativity is the best and most underated Christmas film out there. It makes a change from the cliche Americanised stuff about Santa Claus.

I was drawn to attention of this movie from a friend who claimed my 'carbon copy' was in it. To cut a story short, I am of sorts a real-life 'Mr Poppy'.

The LSA portrayal was spot-on and male characters in that profession need more recognition.

Finally glad to own Nativity on DVD a year on after its theatrical release. I hope it does well in the states too.

I was left wondering at the end of the film if auntie