• U
  • Debbie Isitt (2009)
  • UK
  • 101 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

This spirited comedy from writer/director Debbie Isitt (Confetti) revolves around a Coventry teacher who creates a sensation when word leaks out that a Hollywood movie company is coming to film his primary school's nativity play. Unfortunately for Martin Freeman's Mr Maddens, the rumour isn't true. Freeman's practised delivery of much-hassled decency provides a sturdy anchor for this family farce that rather stumbles its way through a predictable triumph-of-the-underdog plot, but cajoles splendid turns from seasoned professionals and school-aged talent alike. Pam Ferris, for instance, is splendid as the stern headmistress with the softest of hearts, while Marc Wootton sparkles as the man-child teaching assistant Mr Poppy. However, the grown-ups are pretty much overshadowed by the youthful cast of the nativity play itself, who are so natural on camera that you can't help but smile.

Plot Summary

Comedy starring Martin Freeman. Despite being traumatised by a bad review years earlier, primary school teacher Paul Maddens is tasked with directing the annual nativity play. Taunted by a teacher from a rival school, Paul foolishly promises that an old flame, now a Hollywood producer, is coming to see his production.

Cast and crew


Paul Maddens
Martin Freeman
Mr Poppy
Marc Wootton
Gordon Shakespeare
Jason Watkins
Jennifer Lore
Ashley Jensen
Mrs Bevan
Pam Ferris
Lord Mayor
Ricky Tomlinson
Alan Carr
Mr Lore
John Sessions
Mrs Lore
Phyllis Logan


Debbie Isitt

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
E1 Entertainment
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 27 Nov 2009
Certificate U
E1 Entertainment UK