Aylsham touring band stage Nativity

A TOURING band of about 30 Aylsham musicians and actors are taking their adult Nativity “extravaganza” to Norwich this weekend.Songs of Simeon and Anna tells the traditional Nativity story but concentrates on some of the key characters using comedy, drama, song and “the right sort of sentimentality”, according to Canon Michael Butler, who conceived the idea.

A TOURING band of about 30 Aylsham musicians and actors are taking their adult Nativity “extravaganza” to Norwich this weekend.

Songs of Simeon and Anna tells the traditional Nativity story but concentrates on some of the key characters using comedy, drama, song and “the right sort of sentimentality”, according to Canon Michael Butler, who conceived the idea.

He was inspired by journalist Sharon Griffiths who wondered why there were no Nativity plays written for adults in a piece for her regular column in the Eastern Daily Press, sister paper to the News.

The Aylsham production, scripted by Rev Ivan Bailey, includes a look at the Desperate Housewives-style goings-on among the spouses left behind by the Three Wise Men, and a visit to a North Norfolk pub where regulars are propping up Joseph who has just discovered that his young wife is expecting a baby which isn't his.


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A truly evil Herod, combining the chilling characteristics of dictators such as Mugabe and Stalin, is also put in the spotlight.

Music includes negro spirituals, Bach, Russian songs, Donald Swann's A Christmas Candle, and a piece specially composed by Ron Sallis, director of Aylsham's Musical Friends who form the choir.

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It will be performed in St Thomas Heigham Church, on Earlham Road, this Saturday, December 13, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £4.50, concessions £3.50 and any profits will go towards rebuilding the hall of the church, where former Aylsham curate Philip Young is minister.

And on January 10 at 7.30pm the Nativity will be performed in Aylsham Church, tickets £3.50, concessions £3 with any profits going to help children in the developing world.

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