Christmas Play 2018
There were lines around the corner. The website had crashed. Imogen and Emily were wrangling with touts out on Kent Road East. Mark Trow was on the doors. That’s right, it’s the St Anselm Hall Christmas Play—the theatre event of the year, the night stars are made, dreams are fulfilled, and legends founded.
Anyway, not that I’m given to hyperbole, but the buzz around the Hall for tonight, as well as throughout the Hall this semester, has been quite marvellous. The play, one of the year’s highlights, proved quite a festive pageant of costume, light-hearted festivities, and brilliant Fresher enthusiasm. A cast of 15, including only 3 returners, shows just how well the new residents have engaged with living at St Anselm Hall.
Directed by first year, Anna Kloos, Behind the Pageant is a charming and joyful take on the behind-the-scenes of a Nativity play rehearsal: Inn Keeper, Kevin Graham, falling out with his wife, Camille Bourkart; Shepherds being elevated to Archangels (Serena Lawson); and Esperanza Hughes-Salina’s North Star actually being a celebrity from Hartlepool. All this was not to be outdone by Rennie and Holland’s boozy backstage security and a tax-crazed King, Marc Krempl, from the HMRC.
Amidst Trent Hall’s superbly entertaining Californian wiseman, native Utahn, Armstrong’s basketball player (I’m not sure what he was doing there), and Blair McIntosh’s bad attitude, Dan Jones was soon thrust into the now vacant role of Inn Keeper who bragged of a very good Trip Advisor rating. After far too much ludicrous meddling from stagehand played by Julia Zieba, the cast assembled, led by Tiffany Griffiths, for a fine rendition of All I Want For Christmas Is You, which turned into a rousing audience participation number in the second verse.
If there was ever an example of fun, budding friendships, and a hall alive with festive cheer, it was this evening. Well done Anna, the extensive cast, and the happy, sing-a-long audience.