The Flint Street Nativity

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The Flint Street Nativity
The Flint Street Nativity DVD cover.jpg
DVD cover
Written byTim Firth
Directed byMarcus Mortimer
StarringFrank Skinner
Dervla Kirwan
Neil Morrissey
Jane Horrocks
John Thomson
Stephen Tompkinson
Ralf Little
Theme music composerDebbie Wiseman
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Dewi Griffiths
Peter Elias Jones
Paul Spencer
Editor(s)Mike Hopkins
Running time75 minutes
Production company(s)Antena Productions
Yorkshire Television
DistributorIMC Vision
Original networkITV
Original release
  • 22 December 1999 (1999-12-22)
External links

The Flint Street Nativity is a 1999 British television comedy film directed by Marcus Mortimer, written by Tim Firth, and starring Frank Skinner, Neil Morrissey, Jane Horrocks, John Thomson, Stephen Tompkinson, Mark Addy, Ralf Little, Julia Sawalha, Mina Anwar and Dervla Kirwan. The film is about primary school children putting on a nativity play. It was broadcast by ITV on 22 December 1999.


The film is set in the fictitious inner city Flint Street Primary School, on the Welsh-Cheshire borders. It focuses on the seven- and eight-year-old pupils in that evening's sole performance of the school nativity play, from the pre-performance classroom preparations to the final stage performance, which culminates in calamity.

There are inevitable mishaps, misunderstandings, young egos, fears of failure and fallings out. The children's characters eventually evolve into mirror images of their parents when the actors all appear as their parents (the play's audience) at the post-show gathering.


Production and release[edit]

The story is based on real events, collected over ten years from members of Tim Firth's family and friends who were teachers.[1] Flint Street Primary School is modelled on Stockton Heath Primary School, where Firth attended and his mother taught.[2]

The film was shot in Lansdowne Primary School in Canton, Cardiff. An oversize set was used to make the actors' characters more believable. The actresses wore swimsuits three sizes too small to flatten their adult body parts.[1]

The film was broadcast by ITV on 22 December 1999.[3] It was originally released on DVD on 31 October 2005 and re-released on 3 November 2008.[4]


In 2002, the film was voted in the top 15 Christmas TV moments on Channel 4.[2]

Alfred Hickling of The Guardian thought the film "exposes what an ungodly snake pit of paediatric power-politics the staging of your average Nativity play can be... There are moments when you may wet yourself laughing."[5]

Theatre adaptation[edit]

Firth rewrote the play and added music for the stage production at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2006.[5][6] It was repeated again in 2007.[7][8]


Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result
2000 BAFTA Cymru Best Design (Y Cynllunio Gorau) Hayden Pearce Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Flint Street Nativity". Tim Firth. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b Kelly, Rebecca (9 December 2006). "Writer Tim Firth's nativity is based on school days". This is Cheshire. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  3. ^ "The Flint Street Nativity". ITN Source. 22 December 1999. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Flint Street Nativity [DVD] [1999]". 3 November 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  5. ^ a b Hickling, Alfred (15 December 2006). "The Flint Street Nativity". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  6. ^ Leigh, Spencer (13 December 2006). "Flint St Nativity @ Playhouse". Liverpool: BBC. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Flint St Nativity @ Playhouse". Liverpool: BBC. 6 December 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Flint St Nativity @ Playhouse". Liverpool: BBC. 12 December 2007. Retrieved 1 April 2014.

External links[edit]