The play, which will go out on Christmas Day at the same time as the Queen’s Speech on BBC1, has been likened to the work of Dostoevsky crossed with the work of Ken Loach. People have already complained to the channel, mainly because they don’t get enough sex and complaining gives them something to live for other than bitter, anti-climactic joyless wanks.
We spoke exclusively to Frankie about his magnum opus:
TSP: So, Frankie. Could you give us an overview of your new version of the nativity?
FB: Sure. Joseph and Mary are a refugee couple fleeing persecution in their home town. To make matters worse, Mary is pregnant. Joseph is the dad. Not God, because he doesn’t exist. We live in a godless universe, and the play reflects that by portraying a world filled with horrible, senseless warfare and persecution. But at least it means she’s not being raped by a supernatural being. So there’s that.
TSP: Er. Yeah. What happens next?
FB: So, everywhere they go, Joseph and Mary are told to fuck off back home because they’re a bit uneducated and have slightly different skin. One of the inns they visit has a stable, but they refuse to let them use it, so Mary gives birth in the street. Three drunk men nearly trip over the baby Jesus, but one of them drops a gold coin by mistake, which Joseph and Mary pocket. Then there’s some kind of incident several miles away involving horrible crimes perpetrated by Romans, which leads to Joseph, Mary and their baby, Jesus, being inexplicably blamed for. They are driven out of town. Their home town is then completely ransacked, and almost everybody murdered, just to get at two Roman centurions who turn out to not even be there. We end the play with an epilogue where Jesus grows up, becomes a carpenter like his dad and dies of leprosy at the age of 24.
TSP: That’s pretty bleak.
FB: I suppose.
TSP: Do you think this might be a little offensive to Christians?
Despite controversy, Frankie’s play has been shortlisted for next year’s baftas.
Frankie is already working on his next project: Muhammed: What Really Went on in that Tent?