Thursday, December 17, 2009
The Nativity Play ~ Joyce Grenfell
Hello, Mrs Binton. I'm so glad you could get along to see a rehearsal of our Nativity Play! Can you squeeze in there? I'm afraid our chairs are a wee bitty wee, as they say north of the border!Now then, children. We are going to start our rehearsal.
Where are my Mary and Joseph?
That's right, Shirleen, take Denis by the hand and come and sit nice and quietly on this bench in the middle.Don't drag him. He'll come if you leave him alone!Don't hit each other, Mary and Joseph were friends
Now, who are my Wise Men?
You're a Wise Man, aren't you, Geoffrey?
Oh, aren't you? What are you then?
Oh, you're a cattle, are you? And you are going to low. Splendid!
Go over to Miss Boulting, will you, please?
Miss Boulting... You are organising the animals and the angels?
He is one of yours.
Now, my Wise Men here, please!
Billy, Peter and George.
And George, Wise Men never do that...
Now my Kings, please.
Of course, Mrs Binton, we know that by tradition the Wise Men and the Kings are one and the same, but we did want everyone in our Nursery School Nativity Play to have a chance, so we have taken a few liberties, and I don't think any one will mind,
Now Kings: Sidney, Neville, Cliff and Nikolas Anoniodes.Four Kings, I'm afraid. We happen to have four lovely crowns, so it seemed a pity not to use them.
Sidney, put your crown on straight please, not over one eye. What have you got under your jersey?
That's not the place for a hamster, is it. Put him straight back in his little pen, please.Sidney, which one have you got, Paddington or Harold Wilson?
Well, who's got Paddington?Neville, put him back at once.Poor Paddington and Harold Wilson, it isn't very Christmassy for them under your jersey.
Sidney, I think it serves you right if Harold Wilson bit you, and don't bite him back.Because he's smaller than you are. Are you bleeding?
Then don't make such a fuss.Cliff, put your crown on, please.
It's too big? Let's see.
Ah, yes it is.
Where are you! Oh, there you are! Nice to see you again! Change with Nikolas.Nikolas, you can manage a big crown, can't you? You've got just the ears for it. I think if you pull your ears down a bit that will hold it up. And lean back a bit. That's it.Stay like that, dear. Don't move.
Wise Men and Kings, don't muddle yourselves with each other.
Now then, Shepherds.Jimmy, you are my First Shepherd and not a racing car. Yes, Caroline, you're a shepherd.No, dear you can't wear your Little Bo-Peep costume because there aren't any little girl shepherdesses in our play. They're all boy shepherds, and you are a girl being a boy shepherd. Yes, it is rotten. But we just have to settle for it. I think if you are very good perhaps you can wear a lovely grey beard; wouldn't that be fun?
George, what do Wise Men never do?
Yes...Jimmy, do you remember what you see up in the sky? Something lovely, isn't it?No, not a baby. Try again. It's a lovely silver star, and you are going to put your hand up and point to it. And what are you going to say when you do that? No, Sidney, he isn't going to say, 'Please may I go to the bathroom?' Children, that isn't funny; it's a perfectly natural function, and we might as well get used to it.
Come on, Jimmy. You are going to say, 'Behold!' aren't you?
Yes, you are, dear. You said it yesterday.You'd rather say it tomorrow?
Perhaps you are right.
We have broken the back of the play, so you may as well get ready to go home. Hand in your crowns gently, please. No Sidney, you can't wear your crown home on the bus.
I think - I HOPE it will be all right on the night.
But you know, Mrs Binton, I think perhaps next year we might make do with a Christmas carol.