A POPULAR nativity play, which was originally intended to last for only three performances, returned for its 56th year in Aldermaston last week.
The annual York Nativity Play, which is a highlight of the village calendar, was performed in the Church of St Mary the Virgin. Director Pat Eastop MBE has been directing the play since the first performance in 1957.
She has described directing the play as “a labour of love” and said that the production was a real team effort.
The cast of the play mainly come from Aldermaston and the surrounding villages and some have performed in the play for decades. Joseph, for instance, is played by Nick Caiger-Smith. He was at one time First King, having taken over the role from his father, the potter Alan Caiger-Smith. Barry and Leslie Woodley followed their father Charley into the play as shepherds, and their sister Jenny has been a dedicated ‘second maid’ for more than 20 years.
Players were clad in medieval costumes overseen by wardrobe mistress Tricia Goodchild and the music was sung unaccompanied from the Bell Tower of the church, conducted by Peter Denny.