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Nativity! 2: Danger in the Manger is a 2012 British comedy film written and directed by Debbie Isitt, an improvised Christmas comedy is the second film in the Nativity film series.[3]

Nativity! 2: Danger in the Manger
Nativity 2 movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDebbie Isitt
Produced byNick Jones
Written byDebbie Isitt
StarringDavid Tennant
Joanna Page
Marc Wootton
Pam Ferris
Ian McNeice
Jason Watkins
Jessica Hynes
Grace Hollis
Music byNicky Ager
Debbie Isitt
CinematographySean Van Hales
Edited byNicky Ager
Mirrorball Films
Moviehouse Entertainment
Media Pro Six
Premiere Picture
Distributed byEntertainment One[1]
Release date
  • 23 November 2012 (2012-11-23)
Running time
105 minutes[2]
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget£3 million
Box office£10.1 million

The film stars David Tennant playing the dual role of twin brothers,[4] with Joanna Page as the wife of one of the brothers and Ian McNeice as the father of the brothers. Pam Ferris and Marc Wootton reprise their roles from the first film.[5]

The film, which was the official Children in Need film of 2012, had its first public screening on 11 November 2012, when 42 Cineworld cinemas in the United Kingdom held one off charity screenings with all proceeds going to Children in Need. The film's official premiere was at the Leicester Square Odeon on 14 November 2012. It went on a wide release on 23 November 2012.



Donald Peterson is an anxious teacher who has just moved to a new house with his pregnant wife Clarity June. He accepts a teaching job at St. Bernadette's primary school, taking over the class formerly taught by Mr. Maddens, who by this point has left for the United States, in the interim, the enthusiastic and childlike teaching assistant Mr. Desmond Poppy has been teaching the class unaided.

The class wants to enter in a competition called "A Song for Christmas", in which each school produces their own Christmas song, with the winning song earning its school £10,000 and the chance at being a Christmas number 1. However, headteacher Mrs. Bevan refuses the class permission to enter without a qualified teacher, and worries that her nephew, Mr. Poppy's, behavior is so inappropriate that no teacher will ever stay in the job.

Donald lives in the shadow of his domineering father, and his estranged, 'golden boy' identical twin brother Roderick, who is a world-famous composer and conductor. When Mr. Poppy decides St Bernadette's should enter the National 'Song for Christmas' competition, he persuades Donald to sign the entry forms, later kidnapping him for an impromptu road trip to Castell Llawen ("Merry Castle", not a real place) in Wales, where the competition is being held.

However, Roderick is also competing in the competition, mentoring the choir of posh St Cuthbert's College. Mr. Shakespeare (Jason Watkins) from Oakmoor School, rivals of St Bernadette's, has also entered his class. Donald and Mr. Poppy take their class through the wilds of Wales where they get past obstacles, such as exhaustion, rivers and baby nappies for a baby that one of the children smuggled into the group, to a mountain, which they have to climb over to reach Christmas Castle in time for the show.

As soon as they arrive Donald is reunited with Clarity and Mr. Poppy with Mrs. Bevan. However, Roderick is determined to win so he steals the baby and a part of Mr. Shakespeare's song, locks his brother, Mr. Poppy and the class in a giant snow globe and disqualifies them. But the vengeful Mr. Shakespeare and his class help them out, Mrs. Bevan retrieves the baby and St. Bernadette's sings two successful songs while pretending to be Oakmoor.

As they leave Clarity June suddenly falls into labor and they place her on a donkey they found on the way to the castle and take shelter in a barn where Donald helps her give birth to twin boys. Mrs. Bevan and the rest of St. Bernadette's join them, along with Donald and Roderick's father who finally admits he is proud of Donald. Back at the castle Oakmoor wins the 'Song for Christmas' though it should have been St. Bernadette's.

In the barn Mr. Shakespeare and Roderick show up. As Mr. Poppy and the class sing another Christmas song for Donald, Clarity June and their new babies, the two brothers finally reconcile and decide to get the family together more often.


  • David Tennant as Donald Peterson / Roderick Peterson, estranged twin brothers
  • Marc Wootton as Desmond Poppy, the primary school assistant and Mrs. Bevan's nephew
  • Jessica Hynes as Angel Matthews
  • Pam Ferris as Mrs. Bevan, the school headteacher and Desmond's aunt
  • Ian McNeice as Mr. Peterson Snr., Donald and Roderick's father
  • Joanna Page as CJ Peterson, Donald's wife
  • Jason Watkins as Mr Shakespeare, the head of rival school Oakmoor

Mr. Peterson's Class

Appeared in the first movie:

  • Alexandra Allen as Cleo
  • Ben Wilby as Bob
  • Brandon McDonald as Olly
  • Caitlin Cronin as Lucy
  • Dominic McKernan as Dan
  • Ellie Coldicutt at Beth
  • Faye Dolan as Jade
  • Joe Lane as Edward
  • Joshan Patel as Bill
  • Maeve Dolan as Sam
  • Michael McAuley as William
  • Milly Webb as Neve
  • Morgan Brennan as Charlotte
  • Reece Stowe as Fraser
  • Sydney Isitt-Ager as Sadie

New children:

  • Jesse Donohoe as Jesse
  • Pixie Davies as Rory
  • Joseph West as Joseph
  • Kyle Johnson as Tommy
  • Louise Blunt as Little Lucy
  • Mason Daw as Mason
  • Mason Simpkins as Mason

Mr. Shakespeare's Class

  • Adrianna Bertola as Adrianna
  • Eleanor Grant as Eleanor
  • Ethan Smith as Ethan
  • Freddie Watkins as Sebastian
  • Grace Hollis as Grace
  • Jessica Horton as Jessica
  • Jessica Mogridge as Jessica
  • Olivia Chu as Gracie
  • Samuel Waters as Sam
  • Samuel Young as Samuel
  • Scott Folan as Scott
  • Shannon Maguire as Shannon


Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger was theatrically released on 23 November 2012 by Entertainment One, and was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 18 November 2013 by Entertainment One.

When the film was released in the United Kingdom, it opened on #3, behind The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 and Skyfall.[6]


Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger! was filmed over the course of six weeks in October and November 2011, in England and Wales.[7]

Prior to filming starting, writer/director Debbie Isitt and actor David Tennant spent a week in Coventry,[8] spending time in real classrooms and with school choirs and plays, and helping with the auditions for the child roles. Filming began in Coventry on 15 October 2011, and filmed there for two weeks.

On 29 October, the production moved to north Wales[9] for another two weeks, filming in various rural locations, including at Llanrhaeadr Falls and the stable scenes filmed at Avoncroft Museum in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.[10] The production then moved to its final location in Warwickshire, where they filmed at Warwick Castle (standing in for St. Cuthbert's College) and in Stratford-upon-Avon.[11]

The competition scenes were filmed in the Royal Shakespeare Company's Courtyard Theatre. Filming ended on 29 November 2011. The film was shot in the improvised style, with no proper script, and the actors not being told the narrative ahead of time, but having the plot revealed to them bit by bit as filming progressed.[3]


A third film in the series began filming in November 2013, entitled: Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?.[12] It was released on 14 November 2014.[13]


  1. ^ 4rvf (25 November 2011). "Creative England Oversee Screen West Midlands Projects". Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  2. ^ "NATIVITY 2: DANGER IN THE MANGER! (U)". British Board of Film Classification. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  3. ^ a b Coventry University Today (11 December 2011). "Debbie Isitt – The making of Nativity 2". Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  4. ^ Variety (28 October 2011). "David Tennant sees double". Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  5. ^ The Film Catalogue. "Nativity 2 The Second Coming". Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  6. ^ "Weekend box office 23rd November 2012 - 25th November 2012". Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  7. ^ Shropshire Star (1 November 2011). "Christmas comes early as David Tennant lands to film Nativity 2". Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  8. ^ Coventry Telegraph (28 November 2011). "Coventry lads hit right notes with David Tennant for Nativity 2". Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  9. ^ WalesOnline (14 November 2011). "David Tennant filming 'Nativity 2'". Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  10. ^ Bromsgrove Advertiser (2 December 2012). "Avoncroft Museum to star in British comedy this Christmas". Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  11. ^ Stratford Herald (1 December 2011). "Dr Who returns to Stratford". Archived from the original on 29 May 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Nativity 3: Dude Where's My Donkey?", IMDB, Retrieved on 19 September 2014.

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