By Nicki Orrell
More fun than Secret Santa and warmer than mulled wine; Green Door’s production of The Flint Street Nativity has every reason to succeed in leaving you with a warm Christmassy glow. The show features a primary school nativity play, detailing every calamity that can occur when eight year olds put on a play.
The actors are keen to emphasise the warm boost of nostalgia the show provides, with Marcus Dell, who plays Innkeeper, saying “all the same things go wrong as when we were kids and did nativities… it brings back memories”, and Annabel Dickson, playing Gabriel, mentions that “a lot of us have said that our characters are quite similar to how we were when we were children”. Furthermore, Mary Lord, who plays the Ass, emphasises the humour of “kids misunderstanding words”, and all the childlike habits that people will be able to identify with. Rebecca Kingston, playing Angel, furthers this by adding that “every child has a backstory that is really relatable”. The chapel setting, the bright and fun costumes and the toys scattered around the play add some careful crafting to the piece that also bring you right back to childhood memories of nativities gone wrong, meaning that this show is already well on its way to invoking daydreams, or nightmares, of your early days.
The key selling point of this show is just how incredibly fun it seems to be. Watching the first scene, it is clear to see that everyone involved is having a great time, and when talking to the cast afterwards, it is a rare minute when a wave of laughter doesn’t happen. Arguably, this will easily carry through to the performance, with the well-crafted mishaps and relatable childhood dramas creating the perfect setting for an abundance of laughter from those in the room.
When asked about the difficulties of playing two different characters with vastly different ages, Dell is quick to point out that they’re “playing the parents of their characters… which means that making a link between the two is quite easy”. Richard Penney, playing Star, agrees that having underlying threads of personality linking their two characters means that the switch isn’t as jarring as it could seem, adding that “our characters often talk about their parents during the first half,” meaning that they already have characteristics to develop once they switch over to adulthood. Dell also points out that “our costumes really help”. By that he is talking about the incredible effort Teresa Cherubuni has put into making sure that the adult and child costumes are differentiated yet have a continuity by the use of a matching colour scheme.
Finally, everyone really emphasises the Christmassy nature of the production. It’s not just a nativity gone wrong, but there are also carols with some words changed, which the cast advises you to keep an eye out for, and various festive decorations to make sure that the holiday mood can’t help but envelop you.
Overall, the cast are keen to let you know that the show is silly, nostalgic, and a great way to enter into the Christmas season with a smile on your face. This is not a show for deep introspection but rather one that can’t help but leave you feeling warm and fuzzy for hours afterwards. So whether you’re looking for some light-hearted fun this weekend, already singing Christmas songs and desperately trying to make December 25th feel like it’s here already, or just want to reminisce about what a brat you were as a child, then this is the show for you.
‘The Flint Street Nativity’ will be showing from Friday, 2nd of December until Saturday, 3rd of December at St. Chad’s College Chapel. See times on the poster.
Poster: Green Door Theatre Company