THE GRUMPY INNKEEPER
This year’s Pre-Prep Nativity was called ‘The Grumpy Innkeeper’ and focused on a very tired and grumpy innkeeper (Monty Fogg) whose only desire is to get a good night’s sleep.
Unfortunately for him, he is constantly interrupted by a stream of visitors, all needing a bed for the night. His long-suffering wife (Sarah Titley) does her best to keep him calm, but ultimately it is only when he meets a very special baby that the innkeeper’s mood improves. The storyline was moved along extremely competently by our narrators, Darcy Davies, Jasmine Butler and Hugo Mortimer, all of whom performed with a confidence and maturity which belied their young years.
The show also featured a host of acting talent, wonderful, enthusiastic singing from all the cast and some amazing solo singing by extremely young performers. The duet performed by Mary (Freya Harris) and Joseph (Jasper Glenny) brought a tear to the eye, as did Arthur Harris’s solo at the beginning of ‘Starry Night’. Comedy was added by the various visitors to the inn: the soldiers who assume nothing will happen in a boring little place like Bethlehem; the family with children chanting that all-too-familiar “Are we nearly there yet?” and “I need a wee” and the pushy rug salesmen (how did they get hold of a polar bearskin rug?). The travelling show which came to entertain the guests was also memorable, from the beautiful dancers, to the snake-charmer (Lillia Rosales) and the impressive strong man (Noah Whitehead) with his even more impressive little assistant (Lamorna Wear).
Sadly, the Thursday afternoon show saw a few children stepping into roles at the very last moment as we were hit with some badly-timed illnesses. Well done to Francisco Denton-Merino for his solo performance and to Inigo Glenny for suddenly taking on an additional line. We were sorry that, due to an accident, Charlie Stainer was unable to perform as the father of the family, particularly as he had been speaking up so confidently during rehearsals. Well done to Phoebe Gairdner who, having become a single parent, had to adapt her own line and take on Charlie’s as well.
I simply can’t complete this write-up without mentioning Nursery’s part in the play. From the stage-struck stars who could only gaze at the audience and wave to mummy, to the little shepherd who gave a fair impression of some Michael Jackson moves during one of the songs, it was hard to believe that many of the children on the stage are still only three. I’m sure anyone who watched the show will understand why the Pre-Prep staff are all so delighted with how confidently the children performed.
Gill Cross, Head of Pre-Prep