The Flint Street Nativity

Date 17th November 2016
Society Skegness Playgoers
Venue Neverland Arts Centre
Type of Production Play
Director Andrea Hall

Report

Author: Peter Breach

There are many “made for television movies” that have been successfully adapted for stage presentations and this is certainly one that falls into that category. Written by Tim Firth, it features adult actors who portray a group of children at the fictional Flint Street Primary School as they prepare, and then present, their Christmas play. The story is based on events experienced by the writer, his family and friends. Many of the behaviour patterns displayed by characters in this play may seem similar to those that occurred during the time we spent in primary school! Towards the end of the play the actors assume roles as parents of the various children they have just represented.

The play contained a wonderful range of characters that were very well interpreted by the cast. Ian Clarke (as Joseph) appeared to be doing his own thing by asking himself questions of sport and giving the answers. Caroline Lacey (as Mary) was full of enthusiasm having been awarded the “star” part.  Chantelle Gill (as Gabriel) really wanted to be Mary, she was very controlling and dictated to others who they should talk to or play with. Dean Revill (as the Innkeeper) loved frightening other members of the cast, just like most horrid little boys. Natasha Connor (as a Shepherd) lived on a farm and being well aware of the reproduction process, was happy to pass on this information to other children!  Linda Adams (as Wise Gold) appeared as a pleasant girl from a poor family. Adam Harris (as Star) was very interested in science and space with an Uncle who worked at NASA. Mandy Baron (as Narrator) was determined to deliver a performance that would impress her parents. Karen Revill (as Angel) was frightened of falling from Gabriel’s favour. Margaret Jarvis (as Ass) played a girl from the Special Unit who was required to wear a cardboard box as a donkey head. Steve Dickons (as Wise Frankincense) was a retiring lad with a lisp who was very worried he would be unable to pronounce his words properly.  

None of the huge amount of humour contained in this play was missed; the action, which certainly had pace, took place on a single set which was made to represent a busily decorated classroom in a primary school. The costumes reflected the difficulties experienced in having parents provide what they consider appropriate clothing which fits their offspring. I loved every minute of this highly entertaining production. Thank goodness “something of the child” remains in all of us.