Aldermaston’s York Nativity Play for the 59th consecutive year.
The York Nativity Play was created in 1957 for Aldermaston by local resident and teacher, Pat Eastop. The play is the collation and adaptation by E. Martin Browne of the nativity stories from the York Mystery Cycle. In 1951, after 400 years, the York Mystery Cycle were revived in York for the Festival of Britain in 1951. Pat went on to inspirationally direct many generations in the performance of this play over 57 years until 2013. Pat’s legacy to the community is a batten that has passed on to the performers and backstage team to take forward to the next generation.
The atmosphere generated by the play is mainly due to the amalgamation of the medieval church of St. Mary the Virgin, medieval styled costumes, medieval acapella music and the medieval text. Part of Pat’s inspiration were the renaissance pictures of the Nativity by the likes of Fra Angelo and other painters which she used to design the tableau scenes that make up this story of the 1st Christmas.
This is wonderful way to start the festive season as a glimpse of the past, devoid of commercialism.
Although tickets are free there is an exit collection for two causes: The Children’s Society and the restoration fund of the church.
Project St Mary’s is co-ordinating the plans and spending of the restoration fund.