SELF-PENNED by a local couple in 2003 and revamped for 2012 The Nativity is made accessible for a modern audience through the medium of musical storytelling.

The E-Quip Community Arts Project set was striking at Southampton’s Guildhall. Apart from a few multi-use pieces, it was entirely projected and moved to provide different perspectives of the same scene. There was also good use of colour and lighting to enhance the mood or change the time of day.

However the placement of cast needed more attention as they pixellated when close to the screen.

The principals were strong, Gabriel (Andy Stubbles) being a particular favourite with his playful, Elvis-esque interpretation.

The Shepherd’s barbershop quartet was also a treat.

There are many styles of music all expertly played by the 21-piece orchestra.

Unfortunately many of the lyrics were inaudible. There were also significant sound issues in the first half. The second half was more vibrant and finished with some powerful images and a rousing chorus number.

This show captured the true spirit of Christmas.

The show is produced by the team behind the popular Southampton Passion, which attracted crowds of up to 10,000 into Guildhall Square for the city’s biggest ever Christian event at Easter 2011.

It stars 17-year-old Peter Symonds College student Grace Ibbott, from Romsey, who won the chance to play the mother of Jesus in the Search for Mary competition earlier this year.

Jack White stars opposite her as Joseph.

Performances continue tonight and tomorrow night at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2pm.

Tickets cost £5 and are available by ringing 023 8063 2601 or logging on to