A very different beast…

It’s Day 1 of our Brand new Christmas Show. Multiple award winning writer and Riding Lights’ legend Nigel Forde has re-told that much neglected part of the Christmas story (the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethelehem) in true comic form.

We welcomed returning actor Peter Shaw (Downside Up, Take The World, Give it Back, Mak!) who is playing Joseph as well as two actors new to the company. Pippa Gibb is tackling Mary and the rather subversive angel is played by Rob Holman. We are very pleased that both will also be joining Roughshod 2013 so if you want to get a sneak peek at the performance power of these two new shoddies then make sure you get to see Only 80 Miles to Christmas! this year.

There is, of course, another key character in this revolutionary road trip – namely the beast of burden that carried the Holy Family on their way. Despite the ubiquitous donkey beloved of countless Christmas cards the gospels do not tell us how they all made their way to Bethlehem. In our retelling, Joseph with his unusual carpentry skills has created a very different beast. A crazed S.A.L.O.O.N.C.A.R (Specially assembled lot of ordinary nails cardboard and rubbish). To call it a ‘car’ would be close to the mark although this thing has a mind of its own. Scattered throughout this blog post are a few photos of the cast and creative team taking a first look at the frame of this contraption.

So today, York Mystery Plays acclaimed design team Sean Cavanagh and Anna Gooch were busy with prop maker Chris Tandy creating the shell of the car for rehearsals whilst directors Paul Burbridge and Paul Birch think up comedic madness for the journey that was to end up changing the world.

So, we hope you’ll watch the blog and we’ll keep you posted on the show as it makes its own road trip through rehearsal, and if you’ve like to find a Christmas show performance near you, the a full listings are here.