Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Nativity Play

The Sunday Telegraph [UK]
23 Dec 2007

Wogan's World

By Terry Wogan

Many's the tale of school Nativity plays, this happy and holy time, but a Dublin friend reminds me of an amateur production that he witnessed when the "Am-Dram" movement was at its height in the Ireland of the 1960s.

The problem for producers was that there were plenty of females willing to tread the boards, but the fellas weren't so keen. Which was the trouble with the casting of the Nativity.

One female, a parcel of tame animals, a doll, and the rest, unfortunately, men. It was really pushing it to get a Joseph and the Three Wise Men, and by the time it came to cast the inn-keeper, they were really scraping the barrel. The trouble was, this one liked a drink.

Came the dress-rehearsal, Joseph's knock on the inn door was greeted with a cheery "Welcome! Come in!" The producer wasn't pleased: "For God's sake, Mick, there's no room at the inn! You can't let them in!"

On the big night, Joseph knocks desperately at the door. It's opened, swiftly, by the inn-keeper. Before Joseph can make his plea, Mick shouts: "I told you before, there's no room at the inn!" A moment's pause, and then he says, "Ah, sure, come in and have a drink while you're waitin..." [...]

[Spotted by Paul Screeton, editor of Folklore Frontiers.]