AN audience was taken back to the Victorian era in a dazzling nativity performance. 

Children at Burton Bradstock Primary School thrilled with their Christmas production of The Match Girl’s Christmas which took place at Freshwater Holiday Park. 

The musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s story was ideally suited to such an ambitious production as it involves the drama of the story of the nativity, taking place in a market place with traders and customers in a traditional Victorian setting that highlights generosity and kindness amidst a scene of poverty and deprivation. Production was a team effort; parents devised realistic costumes for all the pupils and some assisted with makeup so that the overall effect on the large stage was 'magnificent,' said headteacher, Claire Staple. 

Ms Staple was delighted with the success of the play and full of praise for the staff at Freshwater, and at the school, who helped the children experience taking part in a high-quality performance on a professional stage.
“In a small school, we are limited by the size of our stage and the amount of seating we can fit into the hall," said Ms Staple. "Which means curtailing the scope of the performance and repeating it several times whilst restricting the audience to parents coming to see their children taking part. Having the use of the specialised facilities at Freshwater gave the children an exceptional chance to experience a large stage with everyone taking part in front of an audience well in excess of 200 people, and they responded brilliantly to the challenge." 

Rehearsals took place on the stage throughout the day prior to the public event so that children achieved a polished and confident performance in front of a 'delighted' audience. It began with children acting as street sellers shouting their wares amongst the audience and ended with a formal curtain call as each group of the cast took their bows to rapturous applause from the crowd. 

School governor Julian Piper said: “It was a privilege to be part of such a large audience who were able to enjoy such a special performance this year and to see such an impressive spectacle with the whole school on stage in costume and makeup which captured the atmosphere of the Victorian market so well.”