Nativity2: Danger In The Manger! (U) **

David Tennant stars as the supply teacher.
David Tennant stars as the supply teacher.
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Writer-director Debbie Isitt gets back in the Christmas spirit for this eagerly-awaited sequel to her hugely entertaining 2009 comedy.

There are sporadic laughs here courtesy of Marc Wootton as a reckless man-child and his exuberant young co-stars, who were plucked from open auditions in Coventry.

St Bernadette’s primary school is in dire straits and headmistress Mrs Bevans (Pam Ferris) is at the end of her tether.

She can barely contain her relief when supply teacher Donald Peterson (David Tennant) arrives to take charge of the excitable tykes.

Mr Peterson persists, helping Mr Poppy to audition the children for a national choir competition called A Song For Christmas.

The ramshackle plot provides Wootton with plentiful excuses to behave like a maniac, reducing pint-sized co-stars to sniggers with his childish antics.

Tennant has fun as chalk-and-cheese siblings and the somewhat protracted finale rattles through musical styles including a cutie cooing She’s My Snow Angel.