A primary school has outraged parents by doing “away with the manger” in its annual nativity play and making children act out a "politically correct" jewellery heist.This, you may not be surprised to learn, is from Canvey Island, where staff have apparently decided that grand larceny is more relevant to their local community than the traditional shepherds and stable.
The “Christmas Tale” stars a pair of robbers, named Bob and Bill, who raid a jewellery store in broad daylight to steal a manger full of rubies and emeralds.You've got to admit, they do have a point; according to the Telegraph, there have been seven violent armed raids in the area in the past six weeks, making it - probably - a more common occurrence than a teenage mother giving birth in a garage to a baby of dubious parentage.
And, since many of the 'traditions' of primary school nativity plays owe more to sentimental embellishment and renaissance iconography than to biblical sources, one might argue that the story is fair game for a substantial rewrite - if, indeed, it is performed at all.
But isn't it just a little odd, in a community that has seen so many armed robberies recently, to appoint two children to act out the part of modern-day criminals while the rest of them sing a distinctly unorthodox version of 'Away in a a Manger' (with some very dodgy scansion) about their raid on a high street shop?
“They knocked off the jewellers,I fervently hope that the director of this theatrical masterpiece is not a devotee of the Stanislavski Method of acting, where actors seek out real-life experiences in preparation for their roles; in view of the recent spate of armed robberies nearby, perhaps it would be worth taking a closer look at the CCTV footage just to make sure.
Though it was broad daylight,
They stole loads of diamonds,
To their utter delight.”