Back, from left, Tom Doble, Emily Scotcher, Keith Williams and Ian Dockray, with, front, Carol Hutchings and Jackie Biggin. Picture by Robin Crossley.
STAGE REVIEW IT’S not every Nativity play that features wise men whizzing through the desert on scooters, a Basil Fawlty-style innkeeper or the Angel Gabriel having a nervous breakdown — but Shorwell Drama Club’s take on the traditional Christmas story was no ordinary Nativity play.
Packed with comedy characters and fabulously festive singalongs, Glad Tidings, performed at Shorwell Village Hall last week, was great fun.
The family audience clearly loved the show and people were soon getting into the panto spirit, laughing at the shepherds’ cheesy jokes ("I’m not talking to ewe") and clapping along to songs including Don’t Stop me Now, Love is All Around and You’ve Got a Friend in Me.
There were even a few cries of 'he’s behind you’ thrown in for good measure.
The cast did a good job and I particularly liked Jason Harris and Jackie Parsonson as Abel and Cilla — the Basil and Sybil Fawlty style innkeepers — and John Woodford as a delightfully camp Zechariah, although the slits in his robe were cut way too high on the leg if you ask me. The ensemble groups, including the shepherds washing their socks and animals in the stable, had the funniest lines, and Emily Scotcher, who played Mary — and wrote the play with her mother, director Sarah Scotcher — had a terrific singing voice.
For all its jokes and modern songs though, Glad Tidings didn’t stray too far from the traditional nativity story.
The play included everyone’s favourite Christmas songs and carols, including O, Little Town, We Three Kings, In the Bleak Midwinter and The Christ Child is Born, and closed with the classic stable tableau of all the characters gathered around the manger.
You wouldn’t want it any other way, would you?