Little Theatre Company
Live theatre in the heart of Burton upon Trent
The Flint Street Nativity
by Tim Firth
Performed: November 2015
Review by Caroline Kay - Burton Mail
"Give me a child until he is seven and I will show you the man."
Wise words from Aristotle and ones which are suitably apt for this play.
Written by Tim Firth – he of Calendar Girls and Kinky Boots fame - the Flint Street Nativity is comedy set within the fictitious inner city school on the Welsh-Chester borders.
It focuses on a Mrs Horrock's class of children aged seven and eight, and their involvement in a sole performance of the school nativity play.
It follows the youngsters from the pre-performance classroom preparations through to the final stage performance where calamity and chaos ensue.
The strong cast includes Sarah Spencer as Gabriel who is more than miffed that she hasn't been cast as Mary and Sarah's attitude and facial expressions towards Mary (Katie Haywood), are simply sublime. The bickering and falling out between the two characters is testament to Firth's excellent penmanship and John Bowness' slick direction.
The dynamics of the children's friendships and their loyalties alter constantly throughout the play as we begin to see them evolving into mirror images of their parents - with the post-show gathering giving us an insight to what the children have to look forward to. Hence the wise words from Aristotle springing into my mind.
Pete Banton is perfectly cast as the grumpy Innkeeper, along with Carol Brown's hilarious performance as the Shepherd - and his twin sister.
Leon Ratcliffe as the Narrator, Heather Gallagher as the Angel, Vanessa Birch and Karen Hailstone as two of the Wise Men, Rob Tunley as Herod/Joseph and Mark Pearson as the Star of Bethlehem all play their parts with adorable childlike charm.
The main ensemble is completed by Mike Mear's hilarious portrayal of the Ass – complete with home-made cardboard head. Well, doesn't every child have one of these? Mear's comedy timing is, again, spot on and it's a shame this part wasn't a little bit bigger.
With musical direction from Tim Robinson (who also plays the music teacher), Little Theatre Company did an superb job of bringing one of Tim Firth's best-loved plays to life at The Brewhouse Arts Centre.
The show will perform until Saturday at 7.30pm each evening with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.
Tickets are available by calling the box office on 01283 508100.
Images from this show
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