Be prepared for a play within a play, a nativity like you've never seen before, and a whole sleigh-full of laughter – Maryport Amateur Operatics and Dramatics Society are coming to town!

The 40-strong cast are ready to get audiences in the most Christmassy of moods with their all-singing, all-dancing Nativity! The Musical hitting the Carnegie stage next month.

Actors aged from eight years old to 65 have been rehearsing together since August, and director and choreographer Clark Wilkinson couldn't be more pleased with how it's all going.

"The fast paced rehearsal process is great fun for the company, because it means there is never time for the cast to rest on their laurels, and they all work so hard," he said.

"In just 10 rehearsal sessions, they had learnt all the songs, choreography and blocking with aplomb, which for a group of amateur performers is terribly impressive."

Stuart Evans and Luka Anderson will be stepping into the lead roles of Mr Poppy and Paul Maddens, with Ellie Rowley playing Paul's girlfriend, Jennifer.

Margaret Feeney is excited to be headmistress Mrs Bevan, battling rival school Oakmoor Prep's headteacher Gordon Shakespeare, played by James Mossop.

After being one of only a handful of amateur groups granted the rights to perform Nativity!, the cast have been working their socks off to get their "mammoth production" just right for their performances from December 4-7.

Family-favourite songs from the film, including Nazareth, One Night One Moment, and Sparkle and Shine will feature, along with plenty of new jingles and tunes.

But of course, everyone has their favourite moment in the show, and Clark said the group's energy is uncontainable during the musical's nativity.

"Every time we work on it the energy in the rehearsal room increases tenfold," he said.

"I can’t put my finger on what exactly is captured in the music that makes it so wonderful, but [...] by the time we get to the big numbers, the atmosphere in the theatre will be electric."

To grab your £16 ticket for the heartwarming show performed by actors who are fit to burst with Christmas joy, visit the Carnegie Theatre's website.