Bristol Old Vic

Living Spit's Nativity

December 2018


A divine comedy for unbelievers

If you can suspend all belief in the conception, birth and parenting of baby Jesus and don’t mind a liberal dose of blasphemy you will love Living Spit’s Nativity which is playing at the Bristol Old Vic in the run up to Christmas.

Okay, the two actors both seem to have multi-personality disorders, but this hilarious unholy romp is guaranteed to add some festive cheer to those of an irreverent persuasion.

Imagine a depressed, childless God and an incompetent Archangel Gabriel locked in corporate speak debates on ecclesiastical matters.

Imagine Joseph as an affable chap from Birmingham and Mary as a less than immaculate bearded lady.

Imagine the three Kings as public school toffs with the munchies who arrive in Bethlehem in a uncool Peugeot 301. Yeah right.

Imagine King Herod as a crude F-word spouting megalomaniac.

Imagine the shepherds as sheep-counting dimwits who bring the baby an ewe turd (yuletide) paperweight as a pressie!

The minimal set, props and beige smocks all add to the alternative atmosphere but beware those who like plastic pull-apart babies as I found this more disturbing that the immoral swearwords and righteous biblical challenges.

Nailsea School head teacher Dee Elliot, a Take That fan, may find the reference to the lack of charisma of singer Gary Barlow offensive but others like me will LOL.

I don’t think North Somerset actors Howard Coggins and Stu Mcloughlin will be going to heaven after this touring divine comedy but somehow, I don’t think they will care.

My husband Rob accompanied me on this city night out.

He said: "If you feel the need for some crude comic humour to combat the usual sentimental dross served up around this time of year come on down to the Old Vic to see local comedy duo Living Spit's own unique take on Xmas.

"These guys play all the usual suspects, Mary and Joseph, God himself, Archangel Gabriel, a very posh wise man and two working class shepherds.


"Pride of place goes to a suitably foul-mouthed and sarcastic Herod.

"The audience gets a role too when several plastic baby dolls get dismembered limb by limb and thrown into a steel bucket on the stage.

"Who knew infanticide could be such fun."

All in all a pleasant interlude from the 'good boy' tribute bands and some banal and boring musical productions we have seen over the years.

This show tests the brain cells and your sensibilities. 

The blurb said: ’With the usual mix of silly songs, pitiful puppetry and more Biblical befuddlement than you can shake a figgy pudding at, Living Spit’s Nativity promises to be a cornucopia of comic Christmassy crudeness that you’ll never forget!’

Played out at 8pm in the informal The Weston Studio there are limited tickets from £13 left for the 90-minute show which ends on Saturday, December 22.

Audience sadly mix mostly white and well-heeled - still not the social diversity theatres need for 21st century.

Not for the God-fearing or children aged 13 and under.

To book click HERE.

Carol Deacon