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

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

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