The Flint Street Nativity (1999)


The Flint Street Nativity (1999)

Adult actors portray a group of children as they prepare and present their school Christmas play.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
IMDb   7.7 /10
TheMovieDb    7.3 /10
Director Marcus Mortimer
Writer Tim Firth
Release Date1999-12-22
Runtime1h 15mins
Content Rating
Awards1 win.
Shamima / Angel
Zoe / Shepherd 2
Warren Pipe / Joseph
Jaye Dackers / Angel Gabriel
Debbie Bennett / Mary
Clive Cattle / Star of Bethlehem
Adrian Atherton / Wise Man 3
Dawn / Wise Man 1
Errol Chiverton / Shepherd 1
Ian Rotherham / Herod
Christian Jerrums / Innkeeper
Tim Moyle / Narrator
Innkeeper's Mother

The Flint Street Nativity

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.


  • Dervla Kirwan as Jaye Dackers / Angel Gabriel
  • Josie Lawrence as Debbie Bennett / Mary
  • Jane Horrocks as Zoe / Shepherd 2
  • Hywel Simons as Errol Chiverton / Shepherd 1
  • John Thomson as Christian Jerrums / Innkeeper
  • Frank Skinner as Ian Rotherham / Herod
  • Mina Anwar as Shamima / Angel
  • Stephen Tompkinson as Tim Moyle / Narrator
  • Julia Sawalha as Dawn / Wise Man 1 (Melchior)
  • Neil Morrissey as Adrian Atherton / Wise Man 3 (Casper)
  • Tony Marshall as Wise Man 2 (Balthazar)
  • Mark Addy as Andrew / Ass
  • Jason Hughes as Warren Pipe / Joseph
  • Ralf Little as Clive Cattle / Star of Bethlehem
  • Lynn Hunter as Mrs R. Humphries

Production and release

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

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.

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


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

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."

Theatre adaptation

Firth rewrote the play and added music for the stage production at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2006. It was repeated again in 2007.


2000BAFTA CymruBest Design (Y Cynllunio Gorau)Hayden PearceWon