The Nativity Play. A timeless cautionary tale about not booking a hotel in advance to your trip, despite the great deals and fantastic savings that can be made. It’s also the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, the man whose name is said every time a toe is stubbed.
Every year, primary schools across the country use unpaid actors (the school children) to put on the Nativity, for the amusement of the parents. As the parents have provided the unpaid actors, a deal is usually struck so that they can enjoy the nativity for free. Some parents will produce multiple children throughout the years in order to gain access to a free theatrical production.
But 2016 has struck again (see Brexit, Trump and Brangelina). St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Worcester (not the sauce) decided to charge £1 for the privilege of seeing the Nativity Play. Outraged people complained on the internet (the modern day ‘taking to the streets’), to protest the collapse of the unpaid acting/nativity agreement. Considering the Nativity only has around 8 central characters, and one of them is a new born baby, charging people to see their child play Sheep #7 does seem harsh. If parents are going to give up their hard earned £1 coins (vegan safe), they want to see something worthwhile.
The Nativity needs a reboot.
Just like ‘Ghostbusters’ (but less likely to ‘ruin’ adult men’s childhoods), the Nativity is getting rebooted. The new Nativity needs to have more characters, to justify parents paying to see the production. This also means the play will need a few extra sub-plots, so that every character can be developed and each child can showcase their acting talents. Below, I’ve highlighted some of the key factors of the new Nativity, titled ‘It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Nativity’, or ‘The Nativity Play’ for short.
Mary and Joseph
Mary and Joseph already have the biggest character arc of the Nativity, with their cross-country journey to find an inn for the night. However, whilst sometimes characters on a long journey can be fun and exciting (see ‘The Lord of the Rings’ films) , it can also be tedious and unnecessary (see ‘The Hobbit’ films). Mary and Joseph need a couple of extra events to keep the audience engaged.
For starters, when the Angel Gabriel appears, Mary and Joseph are reluctant to believe that he really is an Angel. Gabriel has to prove he is an Angel, by performing an impossible task; he has to defeat the Giant Cyclops that has plagued the village for many years. However, Gabriel spares the giants life, and instead teams up with him to prevent an incoming flood from destroying the village.
Secondly, Mary now has two ugly step-sisters, who at first are glad she is leaving. However, they soon change their mind when they discover Mary has taken with her the family Donkey, whom they hid all their gold on to avoid the taxman. The Step-Sisters pursue Mary and Joseph, constantly trying to steal the Donkey back, which usually ends in there elaborate schemes backfiring on them.
Finally, the various Inn Keepers who turn the couple away now have a sub-plot. A snobby Hotel Critic is in town, who looks exactly like Joseph. The Inn Keepers believe Joseph to be him, so turn the couple away, but when the REAL critic arrives, the Inn Keepers think nothing of it. As the critic goes from inn to inn, his experience gets worse and worse, such as his lobster dinner pinching his nose, or his bed being bouncer than a trampoline.
The Three Wise Men
The Angels have decided to have a competition, to bet which Three Wise Men (we now have 3 groups of different Wise Men) will reach Jesus first. They tell them that buried under Jesus’ (The Big J) manger is gold worth $350,000. The Wise Men take different modes of transport to try and get to Jesus first.
The first Wise Men group (gifts: Toblerone, Stationary Kit, Jumper three sizes too big) take a plane. At first all seems to be going well, until they need to lose weight. They throw away the gifts, but it doesn’t work. They argue about which one of them needs to jump out the plane, until they decide to all jump out together in a raft, which lands in a crocodile farm.
The second set of Wise Men (gifts: Socks, new School Bag, Lynx gift set) take a train. Again, all appears to be fine, but then the train needs more coal. They have to break all the carriages to get wood, which makes the train speed along. However, they are going so fast, they can’t stop and end up crashing into a custard pie factory.
The final Wise Men (gifts: Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh) take camels. They believe they will come in last place, and decide to give up. However, they end up in quicksand. The camels save them, as everyone knows camels are immune to quicksand (factually correct). They decide to continue the journey, and arrive first. To show their thanks, the Three Wise Men give the camels the cash prize the Angels planted under the manger. Camels have absolutly no use for cash, but still appreciate the thought.
King Herod has taken all of the Shepherds sheep, so that he may use the cotton to make himself the world’s biggest and greatest Jumper, thus creating the Christmas Jumper in the process. The Shepherds have to dress as sheep, sneak into the POW style camp Herod has constructed, and then break all the sheep out, by constructing an underground tunnel.
The Angels give them the necessary tools to accomplish this, however in return want the Shepherds to bring Jesus the jumper that Herod has made. The Shepherds reluctantly agree, and split into two groups. The first group rescues the sheep, despite the alarm being raised. They hide the sheep by painting them green and disguising them as bushes, fooling the pursuing guards.
The second group pretend to be a travelling Theatre company, and arrive at King Herod’s palace. They have to quickly make up a show, in order to distract and entertain the King and his guards, who at first are suspicious but soon warm to the act. The show is a romantic tragedy, about a boy and girl who fall in love, despite their families being at war with each other. The Shepherds call it ‘Avatar’. They find the jumper, but King Herod has stopped watching the show, as he lost interest when the giant tree burnt down (about 6 hours in), and see’s them escaping. The Shepherds and Herod have a ‘Scooby-Doo’ style chase through the palace, before the Shepherds escape by using the Jumper as a giant para-glider.
When they bring the jumper to Jesus, Joseph says it is an unsuitable gift for an infant, but the Shepherds have none of it.
As you can see, the new Nativity has a lot more going on than the original, with new special effects, unnecessary action sequences and sub-plots that overdevelop minor characters, making it a perfect reboot. These changes completely justify the £1 cost of viewing the performance, as the money will be needed to make back the budget that was spent on the production.
If you would like the script of ‘It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Nativity’ please let me know, and I will send it to you as soon as I have finished writing it. I’m currently waiting for Andrew Lloyd Webber to get back to me about writing the songs, though he is proving somewhat difficult to contact for a man with the title of ‘The Right Honourable’.