CHRISTMAS has come early in north Essex as members of a theatre group have started rehearsals for their festive production.

Brightlingsea Musical Theatre is preparing for Nativity the Musical.

Based on the popular movie, the show follows child-like classroom assistant Mr Poppy as he arrives at St Bernadette's school in Coventry to help them create a school production worthy of Hollywood.

Whist the group have cast their adult roles, they are still on the hunt for budding young performers to join them as the children of the two schools in the story.

The group will therefore be holding a children's workshop this weekend for those interested to see what's involved, before actual auditions next month.

The workshop is at 2pm on August 20, at Brightlingsea Community Centre.

Main auditions are from 6.30pm on September 4, and rehearsals will then be Mondays and Wednesdays from 6.30 to 8pm every week with a few additional Sunday sessions, although children will not be required at every rehearsal.

The show will then take to the stage on November 30, December 1 and two shows on December 2.

For more information visit or contact director, Lucy Weaver on 07738258131.