A FEW weeks back I wrote about Christmas TV ads which, together with the Christmas decorations everywhere you look, reminded me that it’s that time of year for the traditional nativity play in British schools – one of the biggest events in the school calendar together with the Christmas fair.
I recall one occasion when a little girl was chosen to play Mary at her nursery and, by all accounts, was word perfect at rehearsals. On the day, though, she was struck dumb by the sight of a hall full of parents and, judging by her reaction when Joseph tried to take her hand, you could have been forgiven for thinking he had Ebola. The event ended up a complete omnishambles!
And why is it that, in all nativity plays, there’s always one kid with an ego so big it practically qualifies for mansion tax, who steals the limelight by losing himself in the music and jiving like a maniac and another in the back row tunelessly yelling each word?
Which makes you wonder why they don’t give these plays a run in the provinces first…
Reports that mothers have offered teachers free beauty treatments and other inducements if their little girl could be Mary remind me one thing hasn’t changed much over the years.
Blackmail is an ugly word but my father’s supplying much of the scenery for my own primary school’s efforts meant I could always be guaranteed at least a ‘no room at the inn’ part!
But what has changed – for the worse – is the current widespread ban on cameras and iPhones: parents forbidden from recording their Mary or Joseph’s moment of glory. Which reminds me of the case of the retired police officer prevented from photographing his grandson playing soccer as there would be ‘other boys in the shot.’
Or the grandfather who went on his own to a Somerset theme park to watch a falcon display and was shocked when told, because of child protection rules, unaccompanied adults were ‘banned.’
Political correctness! You wonder where it will all end. As an adult on your own, should you be allowed in a park because there might be children there? Or a swimming pool? Or the bus because there might be children going to school?
Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon
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