December 20, 2015

A Phoenix Nativity Experience

by Phoenixphil

in Showcases

Hundreds Flock to Christmas Treat

The traditional Phoenix Nativity Play at Pets Corner took a new turn this year when our Harlow Primary and Fledgling students presented a Phoenix Nativity Experience on Thursday December 17th.

In recent years a more conventional Nativity play has been presented with the audience watching from an improvised seating rake made from straw bales. The recent refurbishment of Pets Corner coupled with the always potential disastrous weather encouraged Phoenix Director Phil Dale and Primary Principal Faye Linden to try something different. Rather than a single performance the students devised a number of different scenarios that audience members were able to walk around and watch at will in a ‘promenade’ theatre style.

After being greeted by Herod and his Guards, the public were lead past stables where Inn Keepers apologised for the lack of room. A short walk lead to the shepherds in a stable being confronted by Gabriel whilst on the opposite side of Pets Corner the Three Kings were deciding how best to pay their respects to the new born baby. At the far end of the event our Fledgling students told the story of the Christmas star and a stable full of costumes allowed children to dress as various characters and stage their own Nativity picture.

The event came to a conclusion when Joseph lead Mary to the stable on a donkey and the entire cast came together for a festive singalong. The popularity of the annual event was underlined when over 300 people turned up and for a short while it looked like the event might come to a standstill due to the sheer number of people. However, everything went off without a hitch leaving hundreds of people in the mood for Christmas and Phil and Faye planning an even bigger and better event next year!

See pictures from the Phoenix Nativity Experience here

January 2, 2013

Festive Fun in Harlow Town Park

by Phoenixphil

in Showcases

Annual Phoenix Primary Nativity Plays get Christmas off to Joyful Start!


Joseph gets assistance on his way to Bethlehem

Over 40 Phoenix Primary Drama students took part in the annual Pets Corner Nativity Plays in Harlow Town Park recently. A midday performance featured year 3 and 4 students whilst a 4.30pm floodlit performance featured year 5 and 6 students as well as members of the Musical Theatre classes. The day of festive plays has become a much anticipated annual treat in recent years and helps to raise funds for the popular Town Park situated petting zoo.

Each year the staff at Pets Corner give over the venue and the children are able to perform in an authentic environment featuring real stables, a donkey to help Joseph and Mary on their way and camels to accompany the Three Kings (well, Alpacas with cushions strapped to their backs to be precise but this is Harlow after all!) The second performance also featured Musical Theatre students who helped the holiday atmosphere with Carols and popular Christmas tunes. After each performance younger members of the audience were able to visit Santa in his grotto and make their Christmas wishes whilst parents warmed themselves with hot soup and mince pies.

The event would not be possible without the hard work and commitment of the team of Primary tutors and office staff at Phoenix who give up their entire day from 8.30am free of charge to ensure everything runs smoothly. A huge vote of thanks must also go to Chris Buck from CBSVL who kindly donates technical support and equipment for the event.


Musical Theatre Students bring festive cheer

We look forward to next year’s performance which will be the first since the restructure that has brought all Primary students together for a 2 hour lesson on Saturday mornings. Great things are promised…..

See a full set of pictures of the Phoenix Primary Nativity Plays here

Visit Chris Buck’s CBSVL website here

January 1, 2013

Stortford Primary Classes Perform on Stage

by Phoenixphil

in Showcases

Children get to work on Pantomime set at Rhodes

Primary Drama students from the Bishops Stortford branch got to perform for friends and family on stage at the Rhodes recently when they presented their end of term shows. The children had been working on their festive performances for the weeks leading up to the Christmas break and were lucky enough to be able to take to the stage and perform on the fantastic set for the Rhodes Pantomime Cinderella. Phoenix Primary Tutor Amy Moulder (Nancy in Oliver! and Dance Captain in Cinderella) oversaw the performances which were attended by an appreciative audience of friends and family.

Students from the Year 1 to 3 class presented ‘Christmas Decorations’ which told the story of a group of Nativity Figures and Christmas Decorations and their thoughts as they were removed from their storage box for their annual outing. Later the students from the year 4 to 6  class presented ‘Santa Goes on Holiday’ which was the story of what a group of mischievous elves got up to when left to their own devices. Not only was this great fun for the audience and cast but also gave the children invaluable experience of working in a professional theatre environment.

Festive Treat at Town Park Pets Corner

Primary Drama students from year 3 to year 6 braved the threat of wind and rain to perform their Nativity plays to hundreds of delighted audience members on Sunday 10th December. The annual Nativity play in the Town Park venue has become a firm favourite for many hundreds of supporters of Pets Corner as well as Phoenix parents and they too braved the wind and rain to support the event. In the end the much forecast bad weather didn’t materialise and both performances went off without a hitch. At midday the year 3 and 4 students performed a very traditional Nativity, accompanied by Carol singing from Phoenix Musical Theatre students.  Later in the day, Year 5 and 6 students performed a very contemporary re-telling of the Nativity story including a big screen with live close-up camera work and pre-recorded pop videos, as well as a Dragons Den pastiche involving 3 modern day Kings!

Organisers at Pets Corner were delighted with the 2 productions which helped raise the profile of the closure threatened petting zoo and raised much needed cash. Phoenix would like to thank all those involved, particularly Chris Buck from CBSVL who gave his time and equipment FOC, as did video editor Zulqua Cheema. We very much hope that Pets Corner will still be thriving next year and that the Annual Phoenix Nativity will continue.

Our pictures show Joseph (James Beavis) and Mary (Kirsty Ottosen-Gowlett) making their way to Bethlehem while students from Years 5 and 6 sing in their performance. More pictures can be found at The Phoenix Facebook page.