Theatre Review: The Flint Street Nativity

From the pen of renowned author Tim Firth, The Flint Street Nativity is a comic gem. Anyone who has attended school plays for the early years of their children’s education will be able to relate to the characters, played, of course, by adults.

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Presented by Red Phoenix Theatre Company
Reviewed 8 Nov 2018

From the pen of renowned author Tim Firth, The Flint Street Nativity is a comic gem. Anyone who has attended school plays for the early years of their children’s education will be able to relate to the characters, played, of course, by adults. They are all there: the nervous narrator constantly rereading his script and stumbling over unknown pronunciations; the one who becomes unable to do anything as soon as they spot their parent; the bossy one; the shy one and the worrier who wants to help everyone. This play is a dose of fresh air –  a look through the eyes of children and at the funny things they do and say.

Directed by Michael Eustice on a set reminiscent of a Kindy classroom this play is hilarious. The cast truly throw themselves into the characters they portray. Lyn Wilson is a beautiful Mary who knows her lines (and everyone else’s), Tracey Walker is a forceful Gabriel who wants to be Mary and will manipulate her way there, Tim Williams is the narrator struggling with who is doing what. As the wise men, Cheryl Douglas (Gold) and Nick Fagan (Frankincense) have their own problems: Cheryl’s character is concerned that someone is ill and they have no one to give Myrrh, and Nick’s alter ego is just worried his speech impediment prevents him saying Frankincense.

Then there is Herod (Brendan Cooney) who wants to play Million Dollar Minute and is animated until on stage, as his character he just grins and loses focus. There is the weepy shepherd Sharon Malujilo, who wants to be friends with everyone and is constantly bullied, and Derek Crawford, the Innkeeper straight out of the House of Horrors. The angel, Anita Zamberlan Canala, also gets bullied as Gabriel tries to outdo Mary. Brant Eustice is the Star, but he has an uncle in the space program and he knows that stars are not that shape!

On top of all this action there are the carols – not the usual versions – these show some of the inner most thoughts and fears and are very funny. Along with all this hilarity we get to see the parents at the end; their behaviour explains some of the children’s problems.

Another great production by Red Phoenix full of hilarity and pathos – don’t miss it!

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue: Holden Street Theatre
Season:8 – 17 Nov 2018
Duration: 2.5 hr
Tickets: $19 – $25
Bookings: www.holdenstreettheatres.com OR call 8225 8888 (tickets at the door subject to availability)

 

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