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Andy Brady Nativity the Musical Interview

INTERVIEW | Andy Brady Talks Bringing Nativity the Musical to its Hometown

Christmas arrives early again this year with the smash-hit production of Nativity the Musical opening in its hometown of Coventry this October.

Actor Andy Brady, born and bred in Coventry is delighted to be returning back to the UK tour for a second year running. However, what makes it really special this year is that the production is opening where the original story is set, in the heart of Coventry. “The whole show is just such a fun-filled production,” Andy told me. “The journey you go on with the characters is amazing.”

The hit film tells the story of a primary school in Coventry who have a rivalry with another school when it comes to their Christmas nativity performance. When Mr Maddens from St Bernadettes lies to Mr Shakespeare from Oakmoor telling him that a big Hollywood producer is coming to their nativity. The lie spirals out of control and Mr Maddens is left trying both to get a Hollywood producer to his show, and to put on the most extravagant nativity production Coventry has ever seen.

Whilst some may be sceptical about a Christmas show opening in October, Andy argues that if Marks and Spencers are selling Christmas sandwiches then it’s the perfect time to open the show. “It’s just so joyful,” he said. “There is so much fun and laughter that you just can’t help getting drawn into. This show really is the perfect way to kick off Christmas.”

“Not only is it a great British story, but it’s also a Coventry story too. There’s not much written about Coventry, so for a production about Coventry to be opening here in my hometown is something really special,” he said. When the auditions came out saying ‘male, comedy actor, Coventry accent’ Andy couldn’t believe his luck.

“Now the rest of the cast are trying to get to grips with the Coventry accent which is really hard,” he laughed. “A lot of them instantly go for a Brummie accent so I’ve been able to help with a bit of coaching on the accent.”

Andy explained that when he was at primary school they had a rivalry with another primary school when it came to their Christmas nativity that were both performed in the same church. “I remember one year our school mixed it up as we decided to do the Elves and the Shoemaker instead and we were all a bit miffed,” he said. “But luckily I managed to bag the role of the Shoemaker.”

From playing the lead role of the Shoemaker in the school nativity, Andy fell in love with acting and attended a local drama school called Eden Theatre Company. “I made friends for life there and that was really good training for me to decide that it was something I wanted to go for,” Andy said. “It was tricky, as my mum was a career’s officer so she told me I wouldn’t want to do acting. I went to university and did my degree and afterwards auditioned for drama school, got into all the schools I auditioned for and went to Mountview.”

Growing up with the Belgrade Theatre as his local theatre, Andy used to go to their pantomime as a child. “My uncle would take me and I went every single year, so it’s so lovely being back and being this side of it.”

I saw the show last year at the Birmingham Rep and I was so overcome with happiness. It’s the most exuberant and festive production that will leave you grinning from ear to ear. When telling Andy how much it made me cry, he assured me that all his friends said that as well.

“I was really surprised at some of my friends who told me how emotional it made them, especially when you’re in the business and see so many shows. They said it was just fantastic and in so many ways it pulled on their emotions,” he said. “It’s great because if you want a brilliant night at the theatre full of fun, laughter, tears and joy and to get you really in the Christmas spirit, then this is the show for you.”

Nativity the Musical opens at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry on the 23rd of October before touring the UK, tickets and information can be found online here.

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