Nativity Play
(the angel speaks)


-what gets me
is putting on some girl's neglige (the speaker is clearly irritated at wearing the costume)

with the wire frame of the wings
jabbing my back (the speaker feels a great amount of discomfort due to the wire frame coming in contact with her back)

-as for the halo
It's just a ring of neon

rigged up by the science master,
to switch on under my nightie.

Who invented angels anyway? (speaker is uncertain about angels, and does not know about them)
Miss says things about being ethereal

and a revelation and all that.(the speaker's teacher tries to explain Christian beliefs to the young speaker, but she is still confused)
I don't believe in angels- (the speaker believes that angels are not real, as she had never seen one)

they're something dreamed up (the speaker criticizes the theory of the existence of angels)
to populate heaven, and as for flying.

I've too much earthly weight
to rise off the ground.

I only said I'd do it to get off games. (the speaker did not participate in the activity voluntarily, but did it as to avoid playing games)


Tilla Brading



The poem, Nativity Play, is a simple poem about the story of the birth of Jesus. The speaker in the poem, is also the angel who "speaks", and the speaker, despite volunteering for the performance, still proclaims that she "does not (don't) believe in angels". The speaker seems to be a child, due to the use of informal language, and the fact that she puts on "girl's neglige".She is seen as a naive, childish character, as she unintentionally criticizes many religious beliefs of the Christian faith. The speaker has the view that angels are not real, and "they're something dreamed up". The speaker is also immature, and young, as she is not entirely interested in enacting the "nativity play", but simply uses as it an excuse to "get off games".

The situation or setting, is that the speaker is involved in a play which centres round christian beliefs, and ironically, she does not even believe in angels in the first place, and thinks that they are just to "populate heaven".

The term "Nativity", refers to the story of the birth of Jesus, and from the title, "Nativity Play", the writer, Tilla Brading, gives the reader the impression that the story would revolve around some form of religious beliefs, most likely about the Christian faith.







The Speaker
-young and immature girl
-skeptical about angels, practical mindset, (I don's believe in angels)
-cynical of the costume of angel
-laissez-faire attitude as she accepts to play the angel in the play, "to get off games"
-sarcastic, "too much earthly weight to rise off the ground"
-self-centered, disrespectful, refuses to accept religious icons, like the angel, to be real, and makes fun of them as a fantasy
-little respect toward religious icons
-unenthusiastic, did not join the play for the experience of reenacting, the Nativity (Jesus's birth), instead, she simply uses it as an excuse to avoid something she does not like
-rational mentality, does not readily believe in angels
-weak spirituality, although it is not revealed whether she was a Christian or not