Christmas in Liphook would not be the same without a LAMPS show at the Millennium Hall. And in 2008 they didn't disappoint. Once again LAMPS provided a wonderful show, over the weekend of 5/7th December to a very receptive and appreciative audience. This show was an 'original', written specifically for LAMPS and was anything but the traditional 'Nativity' portrayed in the published title of "High School Nativity". In simplicity, it was a play within a play: a fictitious schools attempt at putting on an unscripted nativity. And guess what! Yes! They left it in the hands of the pupils. What folly!
The show itself was a Musical Comedy using some well known Christmas songs mixed in with specially written or adapted lyrics to suit the storyline and the players. As with all schools, we saw the shepherds dress in traditional tea towels, bell and dressing gowns, providing a lovely children's vocal to several songs. They even had a huge sheep, bringing myth to the audience when carried (and dropped) by youngest shepherd Jenna Whiteway (aged 8). Mary (Emily Shires aged 7) and Joseph (George Feeney aged 5), it is important here to tell you, were fantastic and had the audiences splitting their sides with one liners.
The school's headmaster (Rob Miller) and two of his senior teachers (Steve Skeet & Steve Baker) became the three Wise Men rendered a very funny adaptation of "We Three Kings" which again kept the play's spectators most amused. Rob provided a wonderful solo that had the ladies in the audience swooning, whilst Steve Baker led the trio in rendition, boy band style, of "You Raise Me up”, which was truly complemented by LAMPS excellent vocal harmonics, provided by a phalanx of six angels. Clemency Bray played Archangel Gabriella, whilst Gill Jones (Archangel Michaela) also helped put together the varying harmonies for both angels and cast that wholly delighted the gathered audience. The angels also included a cherub. Amy Bleakley (aged 10) who in her first show with LAMPS provided a superb solo -Away in a Manger whilst being a full contributor to this angels ensemble.
The mischievous side of the school pupils was instrumental to the plot. with Luca Whiteway leading a 'trade union style' band of five young innkeepers, who would put off anyone hoping to find a bed for the night in Bethlehem. The strong characters portrayed by this group were key to believing the input the pupils had in the production of the school show. Of course, the Nativity story too had its bad lot with Herod (Adam Coyte) often seen in his Palace with his Ministers, Messenger. Soothsayer and Guards, ranting. raving and plotting to spoil the forthcoming Christmas event.
The glamour of the evening was brought to the stage as a trio of school cleaners donned sparkly waistcoats and bright coloured wigs to get into the act and gave a fiercely comical version of the old Ronnettes classic, "Sleigh Ride" before they rudely humiliated the poor helpless school caretaker, Mt Figgis (Martin Wellen) who was often seen by audience and cast alike, bungling his stage managers job of getting props and scenery in the right place at the right time.