Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Miserable and the Unmissable

I once read a quote by Bob Geldof that rubbished school productions of Christmas nativity plays. In fact he said, "School plays are total complete and utter sh*te." I suppose he's entitled to his opinion. I felt much the same way about his creative output, until I heard his most recent effort, entitled, 'How To Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell'. I suppose, if nothing else, this album went some way towards proving that, behind the self-styled image of 'grumpy old man' there really beats a heart of vinyl.

As we took our seats in the village hall, this afternoon, for a school performance of 'Tinsel and Tea Towels', Geldof's words were still echoing far off in the distance. But his whinges were blown away as we were confronted with a sea of small children, haloed in tinsel, craning their necks for a glimpse of a friendly relative, and desperately trying not to get their angel's wings tangled up.

Speckly Woo and her classmates were dressed for the donkey dance. Complete with plaited tail, long ears, and a streak of stubbornness usually reserved for real donkeys, they entertained us, along with the rest of the cast, for almost 40 minutes.

Yes, there were moments when someone's lines deserted them. The singing wasn't without some collective drifting off-key, and one of the three kings gave a long yawn and removed his hat, near the end, before replacing it back to front. So what, Bob? 


  1. I can only imagine that this production was quite something... especially because the highly talented Speckly Woo was a part of it. Like you, I don't really know about Bob Geldof... and so...

    I also want to tell you I read the poem from your previous post and was very moved by it. Losing friends and loved ones is never easy. May he rest in peace.


  2. What a miserable git he is ;) I love a good nativity play - well any type as long as there are little kids, dress-ups, stuff-ups, fun and laughter.

  3. I suspect that school plays are most charming for those of us who are connected to the players by birth or by love. But I think I'd have enjoyed the donkey dance. . .

  4. I agree with Vicki, but nativity plays are no less valuable for that. I have watched (among other things) innkeepers and angels and little Josephs with great pleasure. I was appalled, however, to see last year that Tesco's were selling ready-made outfits. The tea towels had better look out. It would seem their thespian days are numbered.

  5. What a silly thing to say! These productions are both heart-melting, when we know the participants, and sometimes also truly hilarious. One of my favourite memories is of seeing my brother-in-law sitting in silent hysterics during a youth theatre production of "Oklahoma"! Even now being reminded of the occasion makes him laugh - in the most respectful way of course!

  6. Nevine - It was a thoroughly enjoyable performance. The eldest children were only ten years old, after all. Bob remains a mystery, whereas with Speckly Woo, what you see is what you get.

    gabrielle - You'd have loved this, as it ticked all of your boxes.

    Vicki and Frances - Of course, you are both right. But I just love the honesty of children acting out their parts. The donkey dance was particularly impressive.

    Christine - I think I know how your brother-in-law feels. Our daughter was in a hilarious summer production when she was in primary school. And, it provided me with enough moments to fill the newspaper column I was then writing.

  7. In all my years of teaching and headship I never failed to have a lump in my throat when all those little voices piped away at the Nativity Play. Even the naughtiest child became ‘angelic’. I was also proud of the huge amount of effort and hard work put in by staff and a band of parent volunteers. Long may the tradition continue.


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