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A Matter of Angels : Slightly subversive survival stories

By: Nyla Nox

'The Virgin Mary had more lines but I had the better costume.' After the Christmas play was announced, I had been dreaming all autumn of the Virgin Mary and the essence of femininity that I knew the role possessed if I could only get it. No longer would I have to pull on pants, hide my hair, swagger around with plastic swords or sit in a chair uttering the mild regrets of middle age. No, for once I would be the centre of delight and attention, with a husband, a donkey ...

At first I had been upset. I was the best actress in class, not just by my own assessment but also as overheard several times in comments from my teacher. So when the roles were handed out, I was stunned. The lead went to a class mate who had never shown a special interest in the theatre. I looked at her. She smiled and acknowledged the privilege, her blonde hair shimmering in the late morning winter sunlight that fell through the class room windows. Was it my hair? The...

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