Monday, 20 December 2010

The Nativity? You can keep it!

I am referring to the screening  (of course, how could you think otherwise) of the BBC Television  four part drama that begins tonight. 'The Nativity' is described as a story normally only seen performed by 7 year olds (?) and, in the words of the Telegraph reviewer this timeless tale, as re-constructed by the Beeb:  "Is a valiant attempt to infuse the story with some contemporary resonance." Whoops, I have immediately switched on to auto spontaneous combustion mode.

St Joseph in Al Qaeda mode. Episode one begins tonight
 I was already pretty cynical when I heard that a production was on the cards. I have an intense dislike of religious plays and performances that carry with them a banal form of dialogue. you know the sort of thing; Our Lady (Mary) says to Joseph (St Joseph) something like "Joseph we've got to hurry and find somewhere to stay - this stable looks OK". Joseph responds: "Well it's a little dirty but I guess we''ll just have to make do Mary". Riveting.
The words "contemporary resonance" in particular have me rushing to the bathroom. Why do we need "contemporary resonance"? Isn't the story one hundred per cent fascinating and beautiful as it is? Can a scriptwriter improve on St Matthew's Gospel?

Thankfully, my eye is caught by another production at 8pm tonight, this time on BBC Three. That'll do nicely I think. What is it? "Young Butcher of the Year". Just my cup of tea!


  1. Great post!

    I remember a probably apocryphal story from my early teaching days in Cheshire. Infants school children had written and produced their own Nativity play, full of 'contemporary relevance'.

    Joseph, returning home from work is greeted by Mary with the words, as she hands him the Baby Jesus, "'Ere, you take Him. He's been a little b****r all day!"

  2. Polytropos - Apparently, The Nativity was far worse than I had even imagined!