Flint Street Nativity

Date 27th November 2019
Society Overton Dramatic Society
Venue St Mary's Hall, Overton
Type of Production Play
Director Doug Storer
Musical Director Frank Bell

Report

Author: Chris Horton

The Flint Street Nativity” written by Tim Firth is billed as “A Comedy with Music” .  It’s a play within a play; the main characters being a class of Year 2 pupils played by a cast of adults and we witness the preparations for and the actual night of the Nativity play.  The 12 strong cast are an assortment of characters, each with their own story. While the play itself is a comedy, we get a glimpse of the children’s sad stories as well as snapshots of the adults in their home lives, who have shaped their characters.

The set was excellent and had been well crafted giving an accurate representation of a primary school classroom, with toys, climbing frame, store cupboard and  Wendy House (which doubled as the Inn and the Stable). The scene changes were efficient and speedily executed. Props were excellent ranging from the toys, sheep, various baby Jesuses to the subversive donkey.

There was great attention to detail in ensuring each character was appropriately dressed. A lot of thought had gone into the use of costume and hair to emphasise the personality of the characters from the smart daughter of the Chair of the PTA to the oversize wings for the angel (that also lit up!) as well as the spacesuit, asses head and shepherds’ outfits.

The lighting was effective and well controlled. The multi-media, electronic graphics depicting children playing and – at the end – the effect of “Peter Crouch” the school’s pet newt, crossing the stage deserves special praise.

From the opening carol (O Come All Ye Faithful with humorous words) we knew we were in for a hugely enjoyable evening. The acting was of the highest standard; the moments of hilarity were too numerous to mention but these were mixed with the sadness and truth. The evening was full of backstabbing and ambition ranging from Gabriel wanting to be Mary to the question of whose doll would play the Messiah. Actors regressing to play children is not a new idea, nevertheless this idea is great entertainment and each cast member was given a chance to shine in the spotlight as their carol revealed the secrets of their lives: one’s home smells of beer and another is neglected while her mum is out at bingo. The musical accompaniment was provided by Frank Bell and with spot on direction from Doug Storer, this was an evening of super fun, high class entertainment and was well received by the large and appreciative audience.