Pret a baby Jesus manger

panto horse

If Joseph, had had chicken pox during the birth of his son, Jesus, I could have played him with authority during my primary school nativity play.

Every year, during the sixties, at my south London primary school, I’d get selected for a major part and every year I’d contract a children’s illness and be unable to smell any grease paint or hear any crowd roaring. The only smells I smelled were Vick, a selection of grapes and calamine lotion.

When I was due to play Melchior I had mumps; selected to play the innkeeper I’d caught German measles and when invited to play Mary (it was a progressive school) I’d got a particularly virulent strain of scarlet fever – which any amount of gold, frankincense or myrrh wasn’t going to shift.

With the teachers/casting agents increasingly fed up with my inability to play a leading role, I was given the part as the back end of a stable donkey (although I managed to make it less stable). I was going to enter into this properly and include the Stanislavski method of acting by spending months at a donkey sanctuary.  I didn’t because, knowing my luck, I’d have contracted foot and mouth and have been put down.

My thespian activities, however, did improve and I’ve written about this before at https://mikerichards.blog/2017/03/19/a-handbag/

There is now room at the inn as they’ve had a particularly bad review on Trip Advisor!

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