So Calendar Girls playwright Tim Firth is on to a winner straightaway with his creation The Flint Street Nativity.
His canny look at the behind-the-scenes angst involved in putting on a primary school Nativity play goes straight to the heart of the matter – who’s playing the blue-robed Virgin Mary? In this case, it’s the goody-goody daughter of the chair of the PTA.
While the boys seem happy enough to be relegated to playing such bit parts as the Star of Bethlehem or a cardboard-headed Ass, the girls are already sharpening their talons as well as their acting talents.
When chickenpox threatens to eliminate Mary, bossy Angel Gabriel just knows that there is a God.
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Although we learn little of the Christian message of redemption in this funny – yet poignant – play, we do discover that the Holy Infant doubles as an extremely effective cudgel!
There’s a clever twist in that all the children are played by adults, who return as the mums and dads in the closing scenes, mingling over mulled wine and mince pies.
There is also music in the form of well-known carols, in which both children and parents sing whatever is uppermost in their minds.
Please note that while this is a play about children, because of a bit of naughty behaviour and some rude words, it is being billed as “a comedy for grown-ups”.
Hope Amateur Dramatic Independent Theatre are staging The Flint Street Nativity at Hope Methodist Hall, Edale Road from December 7-10. Performances are at 7.30pm on the Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and 7.45pm on the Friday.
Tickets £8 including refreshments) are available from Watson’s Farm Shop or call producer Carolyn Garwes on 01433 620 665 for telephone bookings or further information.