The Flint Street Nativity

Date 7th December 2012
Society Blackburn Arts Club
Venue Blackburn Arts Club Theatre
Type of Production Musical Play
Director Alison Bell
Musical Director Gary H Worthy


Author: Pete Astbury

The Arts Club’s final production of 2012 was to reprise The Flint Street Nativity, winner of the NODA NW Award for best artistic direction in 2012.  After watching the performance, I can understand exactly why they decided to perform this piece again; it was, without doubt hilarious.  The story relates to the production of the annual nativity play at Flint Street Junior School, with the 11 adult cast members playing the children in the play.  Along the way, we see their stories unfold and how they see the world.  It is mostly very funny and at times touching to watch.

The set was fairly simple and all the action takes place in Mrs Horrocks’ class room where we see behind the scenes and the actual performance of the nativity play.  Accompanied by versions of Christmas Carols you will never hear elsewhere, in fact I don’t think I’ll ever be able to listen to Ding Dong Merrily on High ever again without singing ‘when you’re in a donkey’s ‘ead’.

The entire cast in this piece were outstanding, there were no weak links and to single out any one cast member would be inappropriate as it was the interaction between them all which made this such a fantastic production.   I guess it must be extremely difficult to develop and maintain the characterisation when you’re playing a child as an adult and all the cast stayed completely in character throughout, so well done to all of you!

A particularly nice scene was at the end when we get to see the parents, about whom the ‘children’ have been talking all through the piece – very well interpreted both by the cast and the director Alison Bell.

Gary H Worthy took on the role of School Pianist (and MD) with aplomb.  Lighting and sound were spot on, as were the costumes.

All at the Arts Club should be rightly proud of this production, I really enjoyed every moment of the evening’s entertainment, well done.