Battle scars from your school Nativity plays

The marvellous comedian Vikki Stone pointed out, “I don’t like that Tesco sell nativity play outfits. Isn’t half the joy rocking up in a tin foil angel get-up made that morning in a panic?” Exactly. So I asked my Twitter followers who they had been in school. And it was beyond my wildest DREAMS!

  1. vikkistone
    I don’t like that Tesco sell nativity play outfits. Isn’t half the joy rocking up in a tin foil angel get-up made that morning in a panic?
  2. If you got to be an angel.
  3. katbrown82
    Re that school nativity costume RT: what was yours made out of? My 1991 prophet: dad’s dressing gown, a hand towel and a sweat band. Amazing
  4. Ninety per cent of the joy of school Nativities is made out of tinsel. And wearing some sort of towel.
  5. fox_in_the_snow
    @katbrown82 I was the star that shone over the stable when Jesus was born, and wore tinsel in my hair to demonstrate this.
  6. GemmaCartwright
    @katbrown82 I was Mary and I’m sure the entire costume was made out of bedding. Was also an ‘icicle’ once. White leotard, tights & tinsel.
  7. But some poor souls never get to appear in one at all. Not that they let it bother them in later life. Much.
  8. gherkinette
    @katbrown82 I’ve just realised I was never in a nativity play. I feel cheated I never got to carry the margarine tub gifts or wear a towel…
  9. gherkinette
    @katbrown82 I’m going to do it now instead. No point living alone if you can’t wear a towel and talk to yourself huh?
  10. Louisa_Wells
    @katbrown82 I was never in a school that did a nativity play and I feel incomplete as a human.
  11. stevenperkins
    @katbrown82 My school didn’t do Nativities, I feel so left out. But we did do a West End-worthy production of The Little Mermaid.
  12. SamanthaLyster
    @katbrown82 I never made it to nativity but my sister did and picked her nose throughout the performance! Classy!
  13. Those who did get to take part might have had to take a role that they felt beneath them.
  14. katbrown82
    (Incidentally, I was furious about being a prophet. I was the tallest girl in my entire girls’ school and STILL not allowed to be Joseph.)
  15. Isabelwriter
    @katbrown82 Angel in a sheet for years. School only had one set of glittery wings: went to oldest. We had to stand with arms out for hours.
  16. Miss_EBP
    @katbrown82 I too was the tallest girl in the school even when there was a year above me which resulted in this role: THE FUCKING DONKEY.
  17. katbrown82
    @Miss_EBP Oh God. Tell me you didn’t have to carry Mary etc.
  18. Miss_EBP
    @katbrown82 no, Mary was played by a rather large girl that year. I wore grey body stocking & giant wooden head with no eye holes. SCARRING.
  19. farmfeatures
    @katbrown82 When we performed The Snowman I got to be a snowflake. What an insult.
  20. lacatchat
    @katbrown82 think I was a shepherd, with a toy sheep (bonus). You won’t find anyone over 30 who was an angel that WASN’T BLONDE #bitterness
  21. OwlsandFlowers
    @katbrown82 I was a lamb. I was devastated as I had early thespian aspirations. The woolly ears were brilliant though
  22. ajblis
    @katbrown82 I got to b page boy, 2 my mate’s king. I spent long time fumbling with his silky robes & wz dead jealous. Class system in action
  23. Or who were simply traumatised by the whole experience.
  24. TheMichaelMoran
    @katbrown82 I had an 8 mile commute to Primary school. One year I was a duck. I had to travel to school alone. IN COSTUME.
  25. PaperplainPress
    @indiaknight @katbrown82 I was holly as in “the holly & the ivy” now 51 I’m still traumatised by memory of a green cat suit & 2 red balls…
  26. There would always be a school who took things too far.
  27. nikki
    @katbrown82 I was an angel and the sheep bit me. (It was an actual sheep)
  28. Someone had to be the lead. To them, I say, ‘bitch’.
  29. HelenLOHara
    @katbrown82 We had costumes in the school, albeit I think mine was made from a sheet. I was Mary #childstar
  30. Swill_i_ams
    @HelenLOHara @katbrown82 I got the Joseph role. As a joke I removed the eyes from the baby Jesus doll before the show. My co-star screamed
  31. DanielaPhillips
    @katbrown82 I was Mary. Angel Gabriel was my boyfriend but I was totally crushing on Joseph #Catholicprimaryschools
  32. edwardthenorman
    @katbrown82 Could be worse. I WAS Joseph and got chucked out for having a fight in a cupboard with a shepherd.
  33. littlestpicshow
    @katbrown82 My proudest moment was playing Father Christmas when I was 9. I visited Jesus and incidentally brought him a gift, too.
  34. NeverEnoughShoe
    @katbrown82 I was Mary. Got bored, sucked my thumb, put my feet up on the crib and inadvertently flashed my knickers. Mother of god indeed!
  35. You could get promoted in a Nativity for reasons that never seem to affect the Premier League.
  36. chris_mandle
    @katbrown82 I was supposed to be the Innkeeper’s husband but replaced Joseph last-minute as he wet himself (this was at age 4)
  37. Blonde_M
    @katbrown82 I was meant to be third sheep at my nursery nativity. An outbreak of chicken pox meant I got promoted to Mary. Score.
  38. Large 1980s class sizes required teachers and put-upon costumiers to think outside the box.
  39. CorrinneBurns
    @katbrown82 I played a carpet in our Nativity play. It required laying under a sheepskin rug in front of the Baby Jesus. #CreativeExegesis
  40. urbane_fox
    @katbrown82 I was Lady Godiva. No, I don’t know what that means for a 10-year-old either.
  41. jackkholt
    @katbrown82 I can’t remember much of ours, but the shepards did have a game of footy, so I don’t think it was quite traditional.
  42. GemmaCartwright
    @katbrown82 I seem to remember my brother was a dressing gown & cotton wool beard wise man one year, too. Rock & roll.
  43. chris_mandle
    @katbrown82 Another year my class were extras in the Y2’s nativity but I forgot to change costumes and spent the entire play as a snowman.
  44. Korhomme
    @katbrown82 I was a frog, all in green. I still don’t understand what frogs have to do with the Nativity.
  45. BelgianWaffling
    @indiaknight WOW. My child is ‘third anvil’ and also ‘Pompeii ash victim’. The romance of a Belgian Christmas.
  46. melliebuse
    @indiaknight @belgianwaffling Child I know was once a hinge in the Nativity. A hinge on the stable door.
  48. NellPlant
    @katbrown82 I was a king in pre-school. I cried cos I didn’t want to play a man. I cried even more when they put a cotton wool beard on me.
  49. alice_hutton
    @katbrown82 Aged five I was the star of Bethlehem in my sister’s bridesmaid dress. Sadly the star did *not* guide the Wise Men to Bethlehem
  50. alice_hutton
    @katbrown82 Because I threw a tantrum and hid under a table. My mum has the photos.
  51. alice_hutton
    @katbrown82 Ironic I now work for a local paper am soon to take photos of hundreds of similar kids as they try to get their shit together
  52. Being an innkeeper is always fun. Unless you are third innkeeper, which I was at Westbury House and which was rubbish.
  53. theperpspiral
    @katbrown82 I was the Innkeeper. I declared that there was indeed room at the Inn and welcomed them in with open arms.
  54. HelenLOHara
    @katbrown82 My brother played the innkeeper and delivered the famous line, “There’s no room at the inn, but you can sleep in the lift.”
  55. And someone who needs the loo.
  56. FlamingBobby
    @katbrown82 I was the narrator, so spent the WHOLE play on stage; all photos are of me, aged 5, needing the loo and, um, “holding myself”.
  57. But starring in the school Nativity is a source of long-lasting memories, not all of which are mentally scarring.
  58. fox_in_the_snow
    @katbrown82 I’ve remembered my line! “This is what Christmas means to us.” I didn’t understand what that meant.
  59. jonnelledge
    @katbrown82 I was first shepherd. I can still remember my first line, last spoken in 1987, yet can’t remember the PIN for my credit card.
  60. olly_richards
    @katbrown82 One year, I was one of Herod’s men. I had a cold and my ears were blocked so I shouted all my lines at the top of my voice.
  61. olly_richards
    @katbrown82 I say “all my lines”. I mean “both my lines”. I still remember them.
  62. And hopefully everyone will get to see singing of this calibre and enthusiasm.
  63. EmmaDB
    @katbrown82 Your nativity storify has inspired me to dig this out (via @EmmaK67 last year).

3 thoughts on “Battle scars from your school Nativity plays

  1. My son’s name is Joseph. Didn’t take long for teachers to realise it was easier to make him nativity Joseph than listen to him jumping up and shouting “what? me? what?” every time “Joseph” was mentioned!!!

  2. We used to do big pantomimes that involved the entire school, usually a rip-off of whatever Disney film was popular that year. My first one was Aladdin and my year were to play the various stallholders in the marketplace. Naturally, all the girls wanted to be dress-sellers so that ‘stall’ got filled pretty quickly I ended up being a Bread-seller. I cried my eyes out. My mum made me a costume involving a brown waistcoat and the obligatory tea-towel on the head, finished with one of those Jacob’s Hovis biscuits for cheese stuck to my head.

  3. This is brilliant. My school never did the Nativity, but I wasn’t too bothered about it. We did however do a ‘Victorian Christmas’ play, in which I wore a bonnet, pink sparkly nightie and wool shawl, and got to walk across the stage – TWICE.

    One year we did ‘Aladdin’ and a girl called Jasmine got picked to *play* Jasmine. Us girls almost formed a KS2 Union in protest.

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