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*********************************************** A Nativity Play Please do use all the trappings of the nativity play: the shepherds with toy

sheep and tea-towels fastened with cord around their heads, a tinsel star hanging above it all, angels with tutus and wings - the whole thing. As in a nativity play, you can have any number of performers, but those who speak are: A teacher Two narrators Mary and Joseph Two innkeepers and one inkeeper's wife Three shepherds One angel Three wise men Herod and, of course, the four Actors, all of whom should have a speaking part in the nativity. ************************************************** *********************************************** The Play (The whole cast are led on-stage by the TEACHER. They are all in appropriate costume) TEACHER Come along, children. Over here now. Everybody in their places. (Similar words until she has everyone in their proper places. She turns to the congregation.) Now ladies and gentlemen, the Reception Class will present their nativity play. NARRATOR 1 This is the story of the first Christmas. NARRATOR 2 The Angel Gabriel visits Mary and tells her that she will soon have a baby. GABRIEL Mary, God has sent me to tell you that he has chosen you to be the mother of his son. Soon you will have a baby boy and you will call him Jesus. (Gabriel rejoins the rest of the cast.) NARRATOR 1 One day the emperor tells everyone that they have to pay him tax money. JOSEPH Mary, the emperor says that we have to pay our taxes. We have to go to Bethlehem to pay them.

MARY But Joseph, that is a long way away. JOSEPH Yes Mary, it is. You will have to ride on the donkey. NARRATOR 1 So Mary and her husband Joseph go on the long jouney to Bethlehem. The road is hard and dusty and they get very tired. NARRATOR 2 When Mary and Joseph arrive in Bethlehem they find that the town is very crowded. (Joseph approaches Innkeeper 1.) JOSEPH Excuse me, have you a room where we can sleep tonight? INNKEEPER 1 Sorry, we are full up. JOSEPH (To Innkeeper 2) Please, have you a room for us? We have travelled a long way and we are so tired and my wife is going to have a baby. INNKEEPER 2 I wish I could help you but we are so full that there is hardly any room for my wife and me. WIFE Just a minute. We do have a stable. The animals are in there, of course, but it's quite clean. Your poor wife looks so cold and tired. The stable will keep her warm and dry and there is plenty of hay to lie on. MARY Oh, yes please. WIFE This way then. (She leads them to the stable) Here we are. You are very welcome to stay here if you want to. JOSEPH Thank you very much. We will. We'll be nice and warm in the hay and the animals will be company for us. WIFE I will look after the donkey for you. (Everyone freezes in position. ACTOR 1 moves forward.) ACTOR 1 A stable! Not very posh, is it? But I tell you this: I wouldn't mind staying in a stable. At least it's a roof over your head.

You know here I'll be Christmas night? Cardboard city. That's right: lying on a few newspapers inside a cardboard box. Well, it's a bit of protection against the cold. Not much, but a bit. I came here three months ago and I've stayed in all the best places: the Embankment, King's Cross, the Westway. Only the best is good enough for this Geordie lass! Well, there was no work at home, was there? An' me an' me mam didn't get on that well. We were always arguing. So I did what they said: I got on me bike an' came down here looking for work. I was offered some work on me first day here. I met this fella at the bus station an' he told us he could get us a job, an' a place to stay. I thought I had it made. Ee, I must have been thick! He took us to his flat, an' then... well, let's say he was going to show us what the "job" involved. I got away, but I left half me luggage behind, an' there's no way I'm going back there for it. Go back home? Haway! I couldn't even if I wanted to. "You go out that door," she said, "an' you don't come back." So here I am: me first Christmas in London. (Sings) We wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy.... (She breaks down in tears as she steps back into place). NARRATOR 1 Mary's baby is born in the stable and a bright star shines in the sky. NARRATOR 2 We shall now sing together "Away in a Manger". (This was the pattern of the first performance.) NARRATOR 1 The Angel Gabriel visits some shepherds who are watching their sheep on the hillside. GABRIEL Do not be afraid. I bring you good news. The son of God has been born tonight in the town of Bethlehem. If you go there now you will find him lying asleep in a stable with his mother Mary watching over him. He will bring peace on earth and goodwill to all men. (All freeze. ACTOR 2 forward.) ACTOR 2 Peace on earth; goodwill to all men. Huh! Christmas! You've got to laugh, haven't you? If you didn't, you'd go made. Or you would in my job, anyway. Who am I? (Insert a name and identifying number for an imaginary! - officer of your local police) Nothing special

about me, except that I'll be working over Christmas. And that is going to be real fun! Have you any diea how many drink-related crimes are committed over the Christmas period? or how many people will end up in hosital - or the morgue - because some idiot decides to have just one more drink? How many "domestic incidents" we'll be called out to? How many loving fathers will celebrate the season of goodwill by getting raging drunk and beating up their wives or kids? How many fights there'll be in pubs and clubs? Peace and goodwill? We see very little of that in my job, I can tell you! (Actor 2 back into position.) SHEPHERD 1 Shall we go to Bethlehem and see the baby that the angel has told us about? SHEPHERD 2 I want to go. SHEPHERD 3 So do I. SHEPHERD 1 Come on, then. NARRATOR 1 The shepherds go to Bethlehem and find the stable where the baby Jesus is lying asleep in the manger. (All freeze. ACTOR 3 forward.) ACTOR 3 Isn't that just wonderful? They just walk away from their jobs. Leave the sheep and just clear off! I'd like to see them try that with my boss! He came into the bar tonight and said I've got to work Christmas day. I said, What d'you mean, work Christmas day? I never work Christmas day. I've got bairns. If you want to keep this job, he says, then you work Christmas day. Look, Joe, I said, be fair. Christmas, it's like a family time. I've got me bairns and our Alan. I mean, I've got Christmas dinner to cook, and we always have me mam round on Christmas day. She doesn't get out much now, and she looks forward to it. There's nothing to stop you cooking Christmas dinner, he says. We're closing in the afternoon. You can be home by three and you won't have to be back till seven.

gifts. Look, I says, I've got to cook for three bairns, our Alan, and me mam. And what about the supper, I said? I've got to give them a good supper on Christmas day. I mean, I won't be back till after eleven. Your mam can do that, he says, or your Alan. Anyway, he says, it's up to you. You can work or you can pack in. There's plenty'd be glad of the job. What can I do? I mena, with Alan on the dole and three bairns? I need this job. So, I'm working Christmas day. (Turns to move off, then back. Bitterly.) An' a Merry Christmas to you an' all. (Back into place.) NARRATOR 2 The Christmas star shines brightly in the sky and the three wise men see it. They know that the star is shining as a sign to tell everyone that a great king has been born. NARRATOR 1 The three wise men decide to follow the star and see where it leads them. WISE MAN 1 This is the country that the star has led us to. But where can the new baby king be? WISE MAN 2 Surely a king would be born in a king's palace? Let us go there. HEROD I am King Herod. Welcome to my palace. WISE MAN 3 We are looking for a new baby king. We are following the star which told us that he has been born. HEROD I know nothing about a new baby king. You must go and look for him and when you find him come back and tell me where he is so I can go and see him too. WISE MAN 1 Thank you, my lord king. HEROD (Aside) And when I know where this baby king is, I will tell my soldiers to kill him. No one is going to take my place as king. NARRATOR 2 The three wise men follow the star again and it leads them to Bethehem. They find the baby Jesus and give him their WM1 I bring him gold because he is a king. WM2 I bring him frankincense because he is God's son. WM3 And I bring him myrrh. (All freeze. ACTOR 4 comes forward.) ACTOR 4 Presents! I wish the three wise men had never started this present business. Where I'm going to get the money to buy presents for my two, I do not know. I've got two kids: John's four and Amanda's six. My husband died two years ago. There weren't any jobs. Even if there were I wouldn't be able to pay for a babysitter all day, not with the sort of job I could get. Mind, that wasn't the only reason. I just didn't like the idea of a stranger bringing up my bairns. And that's what it would be: whoever she was, she'd see more of them than me. And that's not right, is it? There's no family, see. We were both only children and his parents died four or five years ago. Mine died when I was sixeen. So there's no one to help. We get by all right. They'd be better off with a father, of course, but there's no chance of that. I mean, what man would take on a young family? Even if I ever met any men! There's enough for the necessaries. Clothes, food, and that.. And Amanda gets free dinners at school. I gave up smoking and I can't afford new clothes for myself, but we get by. No luxuries, mind. The trouble is, the Social seems to think Christmas presents are luxuries. Amanda came home tonight and told em what her best friend is getting for Christmas. I could feed all three of us for a fortnight on one of those presents! And now she's talking about what she wants. Up to this year, John's been a bit young to think about Christmas presents, but he's starting now. Well, it's not surprising, is it? There seems to be nowt on tele at the minute but adverts for toys. Don't worry. I'll get something, but something else'll have to go. It's funny, when we first had Amanda we really looked forward to the time when she'd know what Christmas is about. We really wanted to see that look on her face when she opened her presents. Now - I just hate Christmas. (Back to her place.)

NARRATOR 1 The three wise men do not go to tell Herod where Jesus is because an angel warns them about his wicked plans. And so they go home to their own country, happy to have seen the baby king. NARRATOR 2 Every year at Christmas we give each other gifts, just as the wise men gave their gifts to the baby Jesus. NARRATOR 1 Everyone smiles and says "Happy Christmas" to the people they meet. NARRATOR 2 We have parties and lots of nice things to eat. NARRATOR 1 Everyone is happy and has a lovely time on Christmas day. NARRATOR 2 (Out of character) Don't they? ************************************************** ******************************* THE END