Ordinary People, Extraordinary Sacrifice

Mary didn’t know that day that her life was going to change forever. This retelling of the birth of Jesus focusses on the sacrifices of ordinary people at the time of Christ’s birth. Naturalistic drama is interspersed with music and movement and brought to the stage in this version of the Nativity story.

The story begins shortly after Easter and the Resurrection. John, the beloved  disciple comforts Mary as she mourns for her son. When Mary is alone, the risen Lord appears before her and she begins to recount the story of his birth which unfolds as a flashback.

In Nazareth a woman is standing trial accused of adultery. Young Mary watches as the woman is condemned to death. Shortly after this, whilst the betrothed Mary is at work in the Orchard, God’s messenger the angel Gabriel pays her a visit. He tells her that she has been chosen by God to bear a son. She doesn’t believe it at first, but when it becomes apparent she travels to visit her Cousin Elizabeth. Cousin Elizabeth has also had a miraculous pregnancy and after her child is born, Mary decides it is time to return to her family in preparation for the birth of her baby.

The discovery of Mary’s pregnancy gives Joseph grave doubts about what to do, so the angel appears to him in a dream. After the census is announced, Joseph who now believes what Mary says must travel to Bethlehem with Mary. They set off on their long journey.

The couple arrive in Bethlehem just as Mary goes into labour. After struggling to find a room, a kind innkeeper offers them shelter in his stable where the baby is born. Far away the wisemen are gazing into the night sky. Upon seeing a very bright star in the sky, they begin their journey to Judea. On the hills above Bethlehem, three shepherds are tending to their sheep and are visited by the messenger and a host of angels which terrify them. Despite the terrifying appearance of the message, they decide to pay homage to the new baby.

Some time later, the wise men arrive in Jerusalem and dine with King Herod. Upon discovery of their reason for travelling, Herod asks the wise men to return after they have found the baby to tell him where he may be so he can personally pay homage. The wise men travel to bethlehem and pay homage. In a dream, Caspar is visited by Gabriel who warns him not to return to Jerusalem and travel home another way.

Upon the discovery that the wisemen have deceived him, Herod orders the slaughter of baby boys under the age of 2 in the town of Bethlehem. Gabriel once again visits Joseph in a dream to warn him. Mary, Joseph and Jesus flee to Egypt as the soldiers descend on Bethlehem. After the slaughter the mothers of the boys come out to bury the bodies.

Back in the present day, Jesus bids farewell to Mary.