Aldermaston’s York Nativity Play moves into its 7th decade!
Tickets are free but there is an exit collection which goes to two causes: The Children’s Society and the restoration fund of the church. Project St Mary’s is coordinating the plans and spending of the restoration fund.
The play was created in 1957 by local resident and teacher, Pat Eastop, with the vicar Reverend Stanley Young. The play is the adaptation by E. Martin Browne of the 8 Christmas plays from the fourteenth century York Mystery Cycle. E. Martin Browne was instrumental in the revival after 400 years of these Mystery Plays in York for the Festival of Britain of 1951. The plays will again be played in York on pageant wagons in 2018.
The Aldermaston Nativity Play features community performers from 9yrs to 70+yrs with their experience in the play ranging from none to 54 years.
This year Holly Lucas is back for her second year as Mary. There are some new acolytes and only the 5th new Musical Director as Tiffany Ebrey picks up the baton and takes over this crucial role. Tiffany lives and works in Aldermaston, being a classroom and music teacher at Aldermaston C of E Primary School. Tiffany’s musical experience ranges from singing in choirs and choral societies since her own school days, playing piano and organ for several local churches and writing and directing musicals for primary school children as part of her job.
Music takes a key role alongside the 14th-century poetic dialogue. An acapella choir sing over the heads of the audience from the bell-ringing chamber songs that originate from centuries ago.
The church itself plays a part in the proceedings as the action takes place all around the building and its lovely resonance adds a richness to both the spoken and sung words.