As the opening song (Primary School Christmas Musical) finishes, Headteacher Miss Bright welcomes the audience. She explains that making it to tonight’s performance has been far from plain sailing, and that the trials and tribulations began as far back as September! In the first of a series of flashbacks we find ourselves witness to a staff meeting, where the Key Stage 1 teachers are relieved to learn that the enthusiastic Mrs Jolly, Mr Keen and Miss Swift will be taking over the reins of this year’s Christmas production, and plan to put on a ‘glitzy’ nativity musical with the Key Stage 2 children. (song – Let’s Get This Show On The Road)
Auditions follow, and in typical X-Factor style some children stun the teachers with their over-the-top efforts at securing lead roles! Nevertheless, the main parts are assigned and the children are informed they’ll be performing a nativity. Horrified that they will have to suffer the humiliation of wearing tea-towels and tinsel (something only infants should be doing), rumblings of mutiny can be felt amongst the cast. (song – Don’t Wanna Do No Nativity) In spite of this lack of enthusiasm, preparations begin in earnest. Letters are sent home informing parents of their children’s involvement in the musical, and asking for help with such things as costumes. This leads to some typical outbursts of parental pride, pushiness and one-upmanship! (song – Yours Sincerely)
Next, the teaching assistants are drafted in to begin making scenery and assembling props. With skill and determination they set about their tasks……once they’ve had a cuppa! (song – Get In The Groove)
As the weeks pass, however, most people in school become fed up with the impact that the constant grind of rehearsals is having. The children complain that the hall is never free for PE, while the other KS2 teachers bemoan the fact that the children are exhausted and that there’s no work in their books to show parents on consultation evening. Even the kitchen staff feel put out –rehearsals are constantly over-running and they’re unable to get into the hall early enough to set up for and serve lunch, resulting in frayed tempers and overcooked sausages! (song – When All This Is over)
Things come to a head during the dress rehearsal. In the face of un-finished scenery, an under-rehearsed script, ‘diva’ tantrums by lead actors and a general apathy and lack of effort all round, Mrs Jolly, Mr Keen and Miss Swift reach the end of their tethers! (song – Rock-Bottom)
In the midst of this chaos some unlikely heroic characters emerge, stepping up to the mark with passion and commitment to rally the disgruntled ensemble. (song – It’s Time To Put It Behind Us) Can the show be brought back from the brink in time for the opening performance?
Well, if miracles can’t happen at Christmas, when can they happen? With a huge final push, a bit of ‘trickery’ and lots of luck, the production is rescued, (song – Oh What A Wonderful Night) much to the relief of all concerned!