The Cornley Dramatic Society return to our screens for a second Christmas special which is as delightfully disastrous as the one last year.

 (Photo: BBC/Mischief Screen Limited/Gary Moyes)

Fire, sets collapsing and sheer chaos can only mean one thing: Mischief Theatre are back on our screens once more with their own disastrous take on the classic nativity story.

As always the set up for the story is perfectly executed as we discover that the BBC are refusing to take responsibility for Cornley’s Christmas production – which has led the company to seek financial support elsewhere. From there on in, pyrotechnics cause mayhem for the Archangel Gabriel, actors forgetting their lines and two actors try to play the same end of a donkey at one point are just a few things you can expect from this giggle filled show.

For those familiar with Mischief Theatre’s work, you can of course see the jokes coming a mile off – but it is the way in which the situation is resolved that adds to the humour as well. For example, the sequence in which the piano is set on fire – leading to a wonderfully groan worthy joke of “fighting fire with fire” just shows how carefully thought out each individual joke is.

Of course, the set itself is a really important element of making the comedy work – in this case the book style design is suitably ambitious and has been cleverly put together to ensure there are plenty of additional opportunities for laughter – as seen when one of the ‘pages’ gets stuck and then trapping the stage hand.

I also loved the addition of musical numbers including a very confused rendition of a well known Christmas Carol that features some interesting arrangements.

While some may argue that Mischief Theatre’s unique brand of comedy will run out of steam soon – I honestly can’t see that happening. They have plenty of ideas and ambition to keep it going – nothing seems to be too bold for this company which has come a long way from The Play That Goes Wrong’s first performance at the Old Red Lion Theatre in 2012.

Their unique take on a Christmas Nativity is pure festive fun and is exactly what is needed to lift people’s spirits right now. A pure delight.

By Emma Clarendon

The Goes Wrong Show: The Nativity is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐