A TALE OF TWO BIRTHDAYS
This year’s Nativity play, A Tale of Two Birthdays, began with a party to celebrate King Caspar’s (Noah Whitehead) 40th birthday. The guests enjoy a wonderful sing-song and some beautiful dancing from a group of Eastern dancers. However, when one of the dancers (Lowri Rogers) notices a new star in the sky, the party is brought to an abrupt halt. Once the three kings’ rather avaricious and over-bearing wives, played with worrying enthusiasm by Zara Wilson, Imogen Rallings and Clara Mortimer, see the new star and note its resemblance to a diamond, their hapless husbands reluctantly begin a quest to find the star. Along the way Caspar’s two friends, played to great comic effect by Harry Southall and Francisco Denton-Merino, become fractious and argumentative and Caspar has to step in to remind them to behave like kings. They meet a troupe of sand dancers and are tempted to join Herod’s army when they hear from the sergeant (Austin Morgan-Nash) that they can get riches as a result. However, the leader of the sand dancers, the wise and thoughtful Daniel (Arthur Harris), reminds them that there are more important things in life than silver and gold and they resume their journey to follow the star and find the new baby king.
Our three narrators (Sophie Kennedy, Max Logan and Phoebe Gairdner) kept us skilfully informed as the nativity tale unfolded. Oscar Watts delivered a charming cameo as the over-worked, grumpy herald and Inigo Glenny treated the audience to a beautiful solo performance at the start of Starry Night. In addition we had a few delightful unscripted moments; tired sheep who refused to baa on film, a very enthusiastic little soldier whose dancing was a delight, a sand dancer whose belt slipped round his ankles and who had to hobble to the wings to be rescued and, as is to be expected, tunics pulled over heads to reveal tummies and underwear!
Of course it is these moments that make a play and they, together with wonderful lead performances, ensured that the audience were given an experience to enjoy and no doubt remember for years to come.
Gill Cross, Head of Pre Prep