Hay Presto
  • Hay Presto
  • Hay Presto

Hay Presto

By Matthew Crossey & Tom Kirkham

Ages 5-9

Duration 35 mins
Speaking Roles 56
Cast Size 30-80+
Ideal Cast Size 70

The residents of Bethlehem are worried: a census has been called and they are about to be inundated with people and animals. Where will everyone stay? Will they run out of food and water? And most importantly, will there be enough hay?

The animals in a nearby stable are worked up enough to stock-pile their hay in a corner, even standing guard to ensure it doesn’t get taken. But when a young couple arrive along with a weary donkey, they begin to have a change of heart. And when a baby is born and visitors flock to see him, the animals realise that sharing with those in need brings the greatest joy of all.

Hay Presto takes a funny, at times farcical, but always heart-warming look at the nativity story, complete with seven perfectly-pitched songs for children aged 5-9. 

Alongside the physical book, the digital download pack comprises all the songs, backing tracks, lyric slides and full book as a pdf. A CD is also available as an alternative or addition to the download pack. For a little extra, the editable Word.doc of the full script can also be purchased when the musical and a performance licence are bought, making it easy to adapt and adjust as you need to. Or email us if you would like a complimentary copy of the adapted script for 30 children. 

NB - An individual performance licence (if a live audience from outside of the school is to be present) and/or a filming/streaming licence (if footage is to be shared) is required to stage this nativity. 

UK School Invoicing Available - email us at info@theschoolmusicalscompany.com

  • Overview
  • Songs
  • Buying Options
  • Synopsis
  • Sample Scripts & Character Info
  • Reviews

Buying Options


Book & CD: Book includes full script, character list, curriculum-linked material, sheet music and lyrics. CD includes all songs recorded with children’s voices and full backing tracks.

Book & Digital Downloads: Book as above, with digital downloads that include MP3s of all of the songs and backing tracks, plus a PDF version of the full book. Where available, a complimentary pdf version of the abridged script is also included.


Performance Licence: You need a performance licence to perform our show to anyone other than pupils and staff. Our licences are simple - one price allows you to perform the show as many times as you like during a twelve month period.

Filming/Streaming Licence: If you plan to film your performance and manufacture DVDs for distribution, stream content on an internet site or on social media, you will also need to purchase this licence.


The EDITABLE VERSION of the script in WORD format is not available as a stand-alone purchase. However, it can be purchased alongside one of the Pack options when a performance or filming/streaming licence is also purchased. It is an additional item (script only, no music or production information) and is not a substitute for the main resource.


When it comes to the recorded events of the nativity story, we actually have relatively little to go on. We know there was a census, we know that Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem, and we know that baby Jesus was born during their visit. What we don’t know, and can only infer, is what their journey was like, or what staying in a “stable” actually involved. Nor do we know how the residents of Bethlehem felt about the arrival of so many strangers into their little town, whether the strangers were welcomed or unwanted. Thus, around the core story, a writer must embellish and develop, trying to bring to life a timeless tale with a fresh take. And more than that, must come up with something that children can relate to and are keen to perform. We hope, with the characters, humour, songs and messages of “Hay Presto”, that we have done just that.


The nativity begins with a song about the build up to Christmas and all the excitement and anticipation that it brings (COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS). Our narrators then lead us back in time to the road to Bethlehem as people head there for the census called by Caesar Augustus (UNDERNEATH THE STAR THERE IS A STABLE). 

Meanwhile, in Bethlehem, the townsfolk are becoming increasingly anxious about the arrival of all of these people to their town and the demands they will place on its resources. Similarly, in a nearby stable, the resident animals are becoming increasingly anxious about their hay!

Also on their travels are the three kings and their entourage (THESE THREE KINGS), following the star from the East.

Back in Bethlehem, with most of the visitors already there, the townsfolk are (in general) delighted with how busy it is, with all of their inns full (BURSTING AT THE SEAMS). Sadly, for Mary and Joseph arriving late, this means they have nowhere to stay. At least, until a kind innkeeper makes his stable available to them. 

In the stable, the animals have stockpiled their hay in the corner so they can keep a good eye on it. But when a man, woman and donkey arrive, looking tired and hungry, they have a change of heart and immediately share their hay with the poor donkey. 

For the sheep and shepherds on a nearby hill, hay is the last thing on their minds: a choir of angels, wonderful to behold, had arrived to tell them news of a baby’s arrival in a stable in Bethlehem (SHINE LIKE A DIAMOND). They hurry to see him and discover him lying in the animal’s manger, his parents at his side (HAY PRESTO). Shortly after, the three kings and their entourage arrive, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and
myrrh. Their camels are hungry, and the stable animals are very quick to offer them some of their hay and water. 

Our narrators reflect on the joy of the occasion and introduce us to the final song (THE WONDERS OF CHRISTMAS).

Song Samples

Counting Down The Days
Underneath The Star There Is A Stable
These Three Kings
Bursting At The Seams
Shine Like A Diamond
Hay Presto
The Wonders Of Christmas


£ 26.95
In stock. Dispatched within 24 hours

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