WHAT CHILD IS THIS?

 

A nativity sequence for Christmas, from the mystery cycles of York, Wakefield, Chester and Coventry.

 

The Players

Philip De Grouchy

Myfanwy Bartlett

Ray Green

 Sheila Cuitnis

David Jupp

Sheila Clark

David Pike

Betty Green

Ray Rumsby

Jenny Johnston

David Shevels

Ann Pennington-Legh

Robert Wilson

Judy Rake

Judith Shevels

The Clerics

Ken Hann

Becket Pennington-Legh

 

For The Maskers

Adapted and directed by

David Bartlett

Designed by

Jo Bartlett

Tour Organiser-

Ken Spencer

Stage Manager -

Keith Hooper

Wardrobe & Artwork-

Jo Bartlett,Ray Green

Assisted By

Nicola Bartlett

Sound Technicians -

Ron Tillym. Geoff Grandy

 Lighting-

Ivan White

Properties-

Serena Brown., Angela Stephens

 

Set constructed in the Maskers Theatre Workshop

 

Music for the Shepherds’ Carol composed by - Bill Lowe

NOTE ON RELIGIOUS DRAMA AS ENTERTAINMENT

One surprising point about the Great Epic mystery cycles of Medieval Times is the amount of invented action they contain. The element of humour is applied to the most solemn incidents. That the executioners who nail Christ to the cross could be represented by clowns is a startling thought. Yet the anonymous early dramatists, primitive though much of their work is, at least had one idea that is dramatically effective. A harrowing or touching scene is heightened enormously if what has gone before is trivial or even comic, Thus in the Nativity episodes the rather foolish figure out by Joseph or the shepherds’ horseplay, is intentional.  It brings us to a sudden awareness of the meaning of the events in the Stable at Bethlehem. Immediately the question springs to minds ‘What Child is This?’ and once in our minds that question insists on an answer whatever our personal philosophy.

This present adaption from the Four Existing Manuscripts extends the amount of invented action to give cohension to the fragments selected. The Production is based on many of the elements that might have been used in a Sixteenth Century Performance.