Review: Flint Street Nativity, Sheringham Little Theatre

Flilnt Street Nativity - Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: ERIC BRICKLES

Flilnt Street Nativity - Sheringham Little Theatre. Picture: ERIC BRICKLES - Credit: Archant

It is an annual primary school drama event that provides lifelong memories for parents.

Sometimes for star performances but mostly for the unscripted utterances and actions of its young cast.

This autumn production by the Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society is part of its centenary year shows.

The clever script penned by Calendar Girls writer Tim Firth puts adults into the children's roles. It demands a lot of the cast who regress to days of wide-eyed innocence, insecurity and clumsiness but with a touch of evil amid the naivety and nativity.

The are deadpan deliveries of lines such as 'the people went to Bethellyhem to pay their taxis', and 'Jesus was a car painter'.

The goody two shoes Mary (Joanna Ryan) has a rival in the less than angelic bully Gabriel played superbly by Selina White.

A monotone narrator (Luke Abendroth) provides a moment of pathos when he sees his mum in the audience with a man who is not his dad.

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A special needs boy (Martin Howard), who uses the cover of a donkey head to shout rude words, gleefully spots his social worker in the crowd.

There's a sport-obsessed King Herod (Neil Robertson) who lapses into football dives and snippets from a Question of Sport, and a new girl (Ruth Elliot) with a lisp who is reduced to tears by being cast as a wise man having to deliver frankinthense .

There were no weak links in the 12-strong cast - who morph into their parents in the final scene, revealing the frailties and bigotry being passed on to their sons and daughters.

This show - based on real life nativity incidents - is an early Christmas present with tantrums and toilet troubles among the tinsel.

It runs until Saturday.

Richard Batson

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