December 5, 2022


In our house we always put up the Christmas decorations at the beginning of December. Then to welcome in the season we play the 2009 film Nativity. It’s one of those films  you never tire of seeing. It’s funny, moving and heart-warming all at the same time. It gives you a good feeling. 

It gives me a good feeling in another way because Debbie Isitt the writer, director and producer was a Theatretrain parent who was a great supporter of our work over many years. Her daughter and some of the children in the film were at Coventry Theatretrain. Every year we belt out Sparkle and Shine, She’s the Brightest Star and Nazareth. I defy anyone with a heart not to shed a tear when, what seems to be a bright star in the sky, turns out to be a helicopter carrying a big  Hollywood producer. Earlier the kids were told, “No one from Hollywood will ever come to Coventry.”

“Oh yes they did and oh yes in life you can be happy ever after.”

In later Nativity versions you can see our patron Catherine Tate and the actor @Simon Lipkin who apart from being in the film, toured the UK in the stage version of the film as Mr Poppy.

This Christmas he is the star of Elf the Musical playing at the Dominion Theatre in London. I say all this because he was also for several years a Theatretrain pupil. I’ll never forget the day we performed at the Lyceum Theatre (home to The Lion King) and on the day of the show a soloist was unable to sing. In front of everyone I asked Simon if he could sing David Bowie’s Heroes without rehearsal. Could he? Oh yes. 

So many memories brought together in one film in the festive season. And I know that next year I’ll be doing exactly the same and shedding that same tear and thinking of them all again in the process. 

Theatretrain, a nationwide provider of weekend theatre schools for young people aged 4-18, specialises in weekly classes in acting, singing, and dancing. An emphasis is placed on learning valuable life skills such as confidence, empathy, courage, and resilience. If you know a child who loves to dance, act and sing or could do with a little confidence boost why not visit to find out what our performing arts classes can offer your child at one of our 80 locations across the UK.

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