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The Flint Street Nativity

Date

17th October 2019

Society

Birmingham Circle Players

Venue

Aldridge Youth Theatre. Aldridge

Type of Production

Play

Director

Anne Troman

Report

Author: Paul Douglass

This is such a funny play delighting the audience from the very opening minutes. I think that Tim Firth, the author, must have been influenced by Joyce Grenfell of ‘don’t do that George’ fame and his words intertwined into the well-known carols sung by the children of Flint Street Primary will hold lasting memories. The set was very simple and cleverly used. The costumes were suitable and imaginative, and the sound and lighting worked well.

I have been trying to remember if we behaved like these 7-year-old children when we were young. Possibly! But one thing is certain, every small girl wants the part of Mary in the school nativity play. Clair Tregellis as the Angel Gabriel was no exception but may have been a bit more determined than most. She was bossy, a bully and a fighter and the leader of the group and owned the best doll. The choice of Mary actually went to Gill Troman who made sure that her doll was Baby Jesus.  She certainly wasn’t a ‘push over’ and intended to hold on to this prestigious part. Even at the great age of 7 years she had a crush on Joseph, a very shy lad, so tongue-tied he couldn’t get his words out, but Mary was quite happy to speak for him. He was played by John Richardson doubling as Herod, both being rather disastrous as he was overcome by having mummy and daddy in the audience. As the Narrator Jenny Culligan had all our sympathy for her worry about remembering her lines and the hope that daddy would be in the audience as daddy didn’t live with her. Amy Tregellis, as one of the three Wise Men, was very nervous as she suffered with a lisp and therefore couldn’t say frankincense, the gift she had been given to present. She sang a great carol very movingly. Fay Pollock as another Wise Man seemed to be every one’s friend and confident, most of the time, as was Liz Bennett as second Angel who really worked at keeping on the right side of Gabriel and again, succeeding most of the time. Carol Grice as the shepherd also sang a very moving number in a very amusing way whilst holding her poor lamb upside down. Last but certainly not least, Matt Round as Innkeeper and Taylor Johns as Star gave outstanding interpretation.

Quite suddenly we are introduced to the parents of this motley group and begin to realise why their children are as they are, with their varied behaviour patterns and hang ups. This is a very thought-provoking play leaving me wondering were we really like that.