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Aldermaston community’s medieval mystery play performed since 1957





They say Christmas truly begins with the traditional Aldermaston York Nativity play, performed by the community in the parish church of St Mary the Virgin.

The play is taken from the medieval York Mystery Cycle adapted by E Martin-Browne for the quiet and meditative setting of a church.

The York Nativity in Aldermaston
The York Nativity in Aldermaston

Aldermaston’s historic church surprises all who enter for the first time with its fine stained glass, eight bells and ornate wall paintings.

The play has been performed there since 1957.

Music is integral to the play and is sung a cappella by a choir high up in the ringing chamber. The players are from Aldermaston and surrounding villages and they wear costumes designed in the medieval style.

The York Nativity in Aldermaston
The York Nativity in Aldermaston

The skilful and sympathetic use of lighting combines with the medieval language and haunting music to produce a moving interpretation of the first Christmas and a magical start to the Christmas season.

This year is rather special for one of the cast - it marks Les Woodley’s 60th as third shepherd.

The York Nativity in Aldermaston
The York Nativity in Aldermaston

Performances run from Thursday, December 7 to Sunday 10.

8pm Thursday
8pm Friday
7pm Saturday
7pm Sunday

The York Nativity in Aldermaston
The York Nativity in Aldermaston

Tickets are free (https://aldermastonnativity.co.uk or email tickets@ aldermastonnativity.co.uk) but there is an exit collection to be shared between the ongoing restoration of Aldermaston’s fine ancient church and to The Children’s Society.



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