Calendar Writer Creates Show for Festival TheatreDate: 25 June 2009
Tim Firth, writer of the international smash hit film and West End stage production Calendar Girls, is going back to school this Christmas with a brand new stage version of his hit television nativity show created exclusively for the Festival Theatre Edinburgh.
The Corstorphine Road Nativity is set in the fictional but instantly recognisable Corstorphine Road Primary School in Edinburgh where all the parts in the annual school nativity play are played by adults, with some hilarious consequences. Based on real stories from actual nativity plays, Firth catalogues behind the scenes jealousy, teasing, blackmail and unrequited love as the “children” prepare to perform for their parents.
Initially entitled The Flint Street Nativity, the show was created in 1999 for television and produced with a star cast including Frank Skinner, Dervla Kirwan, Neil Morrissey and Jane Horrocks. The Corstorphine Road Nativity will build on the success of an earlier adaptation staged at Liverpool Playhouse.
Backstage nerves take hold as the trembling narrator tries desperately to learn his lines and the wise man struggles to overcome his lisp and pronounce the word Frankincense. Playground politics come into force as the school bully attempts to steal the role of Mary from the teacher’s pet and a deadly innkeeper refuses to let anyone in – apart from Mary herself of course. And with fluffed entrances, forgotten lines, brazen upstaging and distractions of excited parent-spotting, the nativity performance itself soon descends into a chaotic but hilarious charade.
John Stalker, Chief Executive of Festival City Theatres Trust, said: “We wanted to chase away all the dark clouds this Christmas with a rib tickling comedy that can be enjoyed by all the family. Setting his play in Edinburgh will blend local colour with Tim’s own brand of comedy genius. We are delighted and proud to be producing a show ‘made in Edinburgh’.”
The production will be directed by Joanna Read, former artistic director of Salisbury Playhouse, with set and costume designs by Nancy Surman. This will be the Festival Theatre’s first home grown in-house production and follows its major involvement last year with the award-winning musical Sunshine on Leith.
Best known for popular feature films Calendar Girls, Kinky Boots and Blackball, Tim Firth received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Comedy with his first major play, Neville’s Island in 1992 and won the Olivier Award for Best Musical in 2003 for the Madness-inspired musical Out House.
- Joseph Pike
Back to Scotland Homepage