PLS presents both the bright and the dark side of the Christmas story in this three part excerpt from the 16th century Chester Mystery Plays at historic St James’ Cathedral as part of the 2011 convention of the Friends of the Crèche.
The three plays (that were performed as one in 1572 in the English city of Chester) are: the Kings’ Visit to Herod, the Adoration of the Magi, and the Slaughter of the Innocents and Death of Herod. The first episode sets the holiness and dignity of Kings against Herod’s monomania; the second is a beautiful enactment of the crèche scene as the Magi present their gifts to the Christ child in the beauty and peace of the manger; the third dramatizes the response of Herod and his military regime to the escape of the Magi with the violence of the Slaughter of the Innocents.
Appropriately for a performance on Remembrance Day, the brutality of the soldiers as they kill the children is a reminder that all generations have experienced the scourge of war and occupation where the innocent suffer at the hands of the powerful, but the play ends with a song of hope and faith.
Parental guidance is suggested.
Director: Kimberley Radmacher
Producer: Linda Phillips
Stage Manager: Katherine Belyea
Music Director: Christopher Moore
Assistant Music Director: Katherine Belyea
Music Consultant: David Klausner
Fight Choreographer: Nate Bitton
Cast: Alan Belerique, Marienne Buslon, Floyd Green, Nina Kaye, Robin Laliberte, Eric Lehmann, Peter MacArthur, Scott Moore, Madeleine Redican, Joanne Rochester, Reza Sholeh, Carly Tisdall, Daina Valiulis.
Image: Giotto di Bondone [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons