spoiler alert: this post makes reference to the October 5 episode on CBC
Local nativity play disrupted by single parent, double whiskey
by Corrie Heart,
Weatherfield Gazette Theatre Critic (take that, Ken Barlow)
A stirring rendition of a Christmas nativity play performed by young schoolchildren at the Bessie Street School was interrupted by the sudden appearance of an inebriated single parent yesterday. A startled audience of proud parents and primary school theatre aficionados at first thought the intrusion was part of the play, a clever dramatic device -- like the chandelier in Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Phantom of the Opera'.
Alas, this impromptu performance, was completely unplanned by the play's director who frantically urged the children to keep singing 'Away in a Manager' - although 'Away with the Stranger' might have been more appropriate. Apparently the 'deus ex retsina' was the innkeeper's father, a local bookie named Peter Barlow. When asked what would possess his dad to act in such a fashion, Simon Barlow replied: "that's nothing, you should have seen him fall on top of the Christmas Tree." Another audience member who would only identify herself as 'Blanche' said, "He should leave his liver to science, it's already well pickled."
Despite the alcohol inspired intrusion, all actors did a remarkable job of staging the Christmas classic. Particular kudos goes to the costume designer whose inspired use of towels was delightful and to Amy Barlow-Macdonald who is surely a shoo-in for an award in the 'best non-speaker in a speaking role'