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Review: Nativities, Live Theatre, Newcastle

STANDOUT CHARACTER ... Melanie Hill as mother-hen Madge with Paul Woodson.
STANDOUT CHARACTER ... Melanie Hill as mother-hen Madge with Paul Woodson.

STELLA has just started her first job.

It’s in an office where no one can remember her name, not surprising given how self-centred her colleagues are.

The play shines a light on the petty politics that go on in offices.

Stella (Sam Neale) has an awkward start – obnoxious call-centre manager David (Paul Woodson) forgot he hired her and the rest of the staff don’t notice her.

It’s probably because they’re too busy talking over each other – one of the play’s stylistic choices, but one that grated on me.

Melanie Hill as mother-hen Madge stood out and, in my opinion, was the only truly believable character.

Stella was too much of a wet blanket, and of the other characters, troubled husband and wife Clive and Louise seemed unnecessary.

Laura Norton did a fine job as Chelle, a young mum who would rather go out and get drunk than look after her child.

But one scene – where she and Stella were getting ready for a night out – was just creepy.

For me, the play had some highs, but too many lows.