A Wayne in a Manger

A Wayne in a Manger

by Gervase Phinn


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A Wayne in a Manger is the hilarious compilation of nativity stories by Gervase Phinn. Discover some wonderfully funny and touching nativity play anecdotes, including children forgetting their lines, ad-libbing, falling of the stage, picking their noses and showing their knickers. One brilliant anecdote tells of an innkeeper who generously says there's plenty of room for Mary and Joseph, while another child, jealous of Joseph's starring role, allows Mary to come in but not Joseph, who can 'push off' ... There's the baby Jesus who suddenly pipes up with 'My name is Tammy, are you my Mommy?' and funniest of all, Mary who tells Joseph, 'I'm having a baby - oh and it's not yours'. Gervase Phinn's A Wayne in a Manger is the perfect gift this Christmas. 'Gervase Phinn's memoirs have made him a hero in school staff-rooms' Daily Telegraph Gervase Phinn is an author and educator from Rotherham who, after teaching for fourteen years in a variety of schools, moved to North Yorkshire to be a school inspector. He has written autobiographies, novels, plays, collections of poetry and stories, as well as a number of books about education. He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children's charities and organizations. He is married with four adult children. His books include The Other Side of the Dale, Over Hill and Dale, Head Over Heels in the Dales, The Heart of the Dales, Up and Down in the Dales and Trouble at the Little Village School.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780141026886
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/25/2007
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Gervase Phinn is nationally recognised as a bestselling author, following the immense success of his books The Other Side of the Dale, Over Hill and Dale and Head Over Heels in the Dales, all of which have been top ten bestsellers. He is married with four children and lives near Doncaster.

Read an Excerpt

Extract from A Wayne in a Manger by Gervase Phinn

Every teacher of young children has a story to tell about the Christmas Nativity play. There was the time the Innkeeper, when asked if there was any room in the inn, answered, 'Plenty', and ushered the startled Holy Family inside; the occasion when Mary dropped Baby Jesus, immediately bursting into floods of tears as the large pink doll rolled off the stage; the time that the Archangel Gabriel informed Mary that he had tidings of great joy to bring but had completely forgotten what they were; and the memorable moment when the giant cardboard star, which had been suspended on a wire above the stage, fell on Joseph who, very much out of character, rubbed his head and exclaimed, 'Bloody 'ell!'


Then there was the time when the little boy playing Joseph strode confidently onto the stage and asked the small figure in blue who was cradling her baby, 'And how's our Jesus been today, Mary?' 'He's been a right little so-and-so!' came the blunt reply.

In one school I eavesdropped on a conversation between the Headteacher and a parent concerning the Nativity play the children were to perform. 'So what's this play about then?' asked the mother in all seriousness.

In another school I heard a father complain that, 'Tha allus do t'same play every Christmas. Tha wants to do summat different!'


As an Inspector for English and Drama, it was inevitable that I should be invited to attend several school nativities each Christmas. On one unforgettable occasion, at a small school deep in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, the Angel of the Lord - an angelic-looking little girl with golden curls and great innocent eyes — appeared on stage. She was draped in a shimmering white nylon sheet trimmed with sparkling tinsel and had elaborate golden wings, cut out of cardboard, attached to her back. She did indeed look the part.

The heavenly child was, however, unaware that the pretty ensemble she was wearing had somehow gathered up at the back. As she approached the front of the stage, little arms outstretched, one of the small shepherds, huddled around an imitation fire, had noticed.

The Archangel Gabriel began: 'Fear not, for glad tidings of great joy I bring -'

'I can see your pink knickers!' the shepherd informed her in a whisper so loud it could be heard at the back of the hall.

The angel continued regardless. 'To you in David's town this day, a baby boy will be born -'

'I can see your knickers!' said the shepherd even louder. 'Chardonnay, I can see your pink knickers!'

The Angel of the Lord, screwing up her little face angrily, turned around sharply and told him to 'Shut yer gob!' before continuing her speech in the most innocent of voices.

Things improved until the arrival of Mary and Joseph, both in thick woollen robes and headdresses. The heaters in the hall blasted out hot air, the bright spotlights shone down on the cast relentlessly and the small actors began to blow out their cheeks, huffing and puffing, scratching and fidgeting. As the Three Kings presented the happy couple with their gifts, Mary sighed and thrust the large doll representing the Baby Jesus, with a fair bit of force, on to the lap of Joseph with the words, 'You 'old Him a bit. 'E's gerrin dead 'eavy!'


As I approached a Dales school one December afternoon, I found all the children heading for home. I stopped a small boy loaded down with Christmas cards, calendars, decorations, presents and all manner of boxes and bags as he tried to negotiate the narrow gate.
'Where's everyone going?' I asked. 'There's a Nativity play here this afternoon, isn't there?'

He stopped for the amount of time it took to tell me bluntly, 'It's off!'

'It's off?' I repeated.

Aye,' he replied. 'T'Virgin Mary's got nits!'

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A Wayne in a Manger 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
karensaville on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A quick and easy read with some sweet anecdotes. Perfect for our Christmas book, I read it in one evening.