The Flint Street Nativity
16th-19th November 2011 at Joseph Rowntree
Written by Tim Firth
The Flint Street Nativity was originally a TV comedy produced for Yorkshire Television and aired during Christmas 1999. Tim Firth (Calendar Girls~Our House~Kinky Boots) rewrote the play and added music for the premiere sell-out stage production at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2006. It was repeated again in 2007 to furthur full houses. York Stage Musicals are delighted to bring this wonderful comedy to York for it's premiere production.
The eight year old pupils of Flint Street Primary School, all played by adults, perform the nativity play for their parents.
TIM FIRTH writes.
THE TRUTH BEHIND THE TEATOWEL
For time-starved teachers at the end of term, the casting of a nativity is an object lesson in social engineering and appeasement. In the darkest vaults of each infant school is an unspoken template which can be slapped on any class register:
MARY - give it to the girl whose parents are the most trouble
JOSEPH - the docile boy who is happy being led around like a victorian orphan but would protest at being the donkey.
DONKEY - give it to the kid who doesn't mind being a donkey. (There is always one of these and chances are they will achieve the greatest happiness in later life).
GABRIEL - give it to the girl who could've been Mary but whose parents were less trouble.
SHEPHERDS - any child who won't go on without their best friend.
WISE MEN - any child who won't go on without their best friend but can also be trusted to carry out a simple motor function when glared at.
STAR OF BETHLEHEM - save this for the child who is odds-on to back out at the last minute. No-one misses the star.
"Look! There's my mum!" declares Joseph
"Look! It's my social worker!" replies the donkey.
There are moments where you may wet yourself laughing. But it's your own fault for not visiting the toilet first. Alfred Hickling Guardian 2006.