Taking part in the school Nativity is a rite of passage for many youngsters going through school in the UK, and most kids will remember their experiences well.
You might have fond memories of taking on one of the leading roles as Mary or Joseph, or you might’ve preferred to stay in the background as a star, or even one of the wise men – but either way, it was the pinnacle of attending a Christian school.
Many parents will look back on these memories fondly as they watch their own children taking part in the annual performance later this year.
When you’re a kid, being picked for a certain role in the nativity can feel huge, but does it actually mean anything, or is it just done randomly?
Well, according to one former teacher, the role given to your child could say an awful lot more about them than you think.
Leon Hady, former superhead and founder of Guide+, told The Sun: “Each year at my previous school, Year Two was tasked with the job of putting on the much coveted Nativity play.
“It was a performance that had the hall filled with parents, teachers and students who would be won over by a very small and very adorable cast retelling the much loved story of Nativity to bring the Autumn term to a close Given the significance of the play, much was deliberated when it came to picking the children who would take on each role.”
Leon has gone to the trouble of explaining why some children were chosen for particular roles in the play and exactly what it says about them.
According to Leon, the leading lady position was given to the child who could give the most convincing weary expression, while sitting sensibly for a long amount of time.
Although, as most of us will no doubt remember, the role was always, always given to one of the top achievers in the class – after all, it was an honour and privilege.
When it came to Joseph, Leon explained that the role would usually be given to a child who could be relied upon, but who also would benefit from a confidence boost. He added that it could also be someone that had the potential, but didn’t have self-belief.
Despite being main characters, Mary and Joseph don’t actually have that many lines, so it means that not much consideration needs to be given to their acting ability.
The Inn Keeper
As we all know, the Inn Keeper played a small but pivotal role in the Nativity, because if it wasn’t for them, Away In A Manger would have some very different lyrics.
According to Leon, this role would be reserved for the cheeky, funny, outspoken member of the class, who could passionately deliver the line, “there’s no room at the inn!”
Although the angels don’t have anything to say in the Nativity, their costumes are arguably among the cutest in the whole play and often, Leon says, these kids would be given a dance routine to make up for the lack of lines.
Therefore, these roles would be given to kids who could comprehend basic dance routines while commanding the attention of their audience.
The Three Kings
The three kings were some of the less vocal roles in the Nativity, but still an essential part of the cast, as they delivered the gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Therefore, Leon said, these roles would be given to kids who were slightly shier, but still wanted to be part of the main story.
And, finally, one of the most underrated roles of all were the narrators, who were essential in telling the story. According to Leon, the narrators needed to be loud and confident, with the ability to learn their lines well.