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The Wintershall Nativity at the Wintershall Estate in Surrey

Dress rehearsal the Wintershall Nativity, 2013
Dress rehearsal the Wintershall Nativity, 2013

From 16-20 December at the Wintershall Estate in Surrey, families will flock to hear of how the hopes and fears of all mankind rest on the birth of a baby, in a remote village on a cold night. The story of a baby born in an occupied country whose parents then become refugees as they flee a genocidal tyrant. This is the story of the Nativity.

The Wintershall Nativity has been performed in this picturesque place for over 25 years, growing in size and spectacle and becoming a firm favourite for families who want to celebrate Christmas in a traditional manner. The Hutley family and members of the community come together every year to bring the oldest and most treasured story of our time to life, ensuring it lives on for another generation.

The familiar story begins with Mary and Joseph’s difficult journey to Bethlehem, and the appearance of Angel Gabriel to the shepherds in the fields, heralding the good news of the Messiah’s Birth. Songs and music accompany the arrival of the wise men on horseback, travelling to seek out the newborn. The threat of King Herod builds and only a miracle will save the Holy Family from the approaching soldiers.

The Nativity features a cast of over 50 people including a choir, flocks of real sheep and donkeys (playing themselves) and all set to an especially composed score. Directed by Kathy Longbottom, the production includes the 89 year old founder of Wintershall Peter Hutley as Simian, the elder in the temple, his great grandchild as the baby Jesus and James Burke-Dunsmore, who plays Jesus in the Passion Play on Good Friday in Trafalgar Square, as the Archangel Michael. The rest of the company are volunteers from in and around London and the South East.

Charlotte de Klee producer of the Wintershall Nativity says “Christmas is about peace, acceptance and tolerance, so what a privilege to be producing the oldest but forever new, life changing story of the birth of Jesus. Christmas in the true sense of the word. Putting the real meaning back into our rather exhausted, commercialised lives.”

As well the Nativity, the Wintershall Players has performed its famous play to tens of thousands of people at Wintershall and since 2012 in Trafalgar Square. The highlight each summer is The Life of Christ, a five hour open air play performed in the grounds of the Wintershall Estate.
http://www.wintershall-estate.com/

Monday 28th September 2015

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  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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