Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Away with the manger

The Nativity narratives satisfy pretty much everyone: from haute bourgeois art lovers to homeless souls, unwed mothers, anxious dads, lovers of animals, even astrologers. They don't satisfy me, however, because I find they sweeten and sugar-coat the true message.

And I am not talking about the embarrassing moment a few years back when Madame Tussaud's decided to render Posh and Becks as Mary and Joseph alongside Bush and Blair as two of the 'Wisemen'. No, my issue lies in its lies. Because isn't the 'away in a manger' story the biblical equivalent of modern day spin? Does it not conveniently focus on Jesus' birth to obviate the later years of his bloody, mortal conflict? No, I can't help but be a bit cynical. A sentiment not helped by the fact that I still don't know what myrrh is, or a manger for that matter. Nor have I got over the injustice of the fat kid in class always getting stuck playing the donkey.

But if the thought of all those cotton wool costumes hasn't compromised your longing for that warm and fuzzy seasonal feeling then you are in luck. Because tomorrow is the start of The London Nativity, a much herald return of The Steam Industry's 2004 production in the Scoop, the amphitheatre space outside City Hall next to Tower Bridge. It's free, outdoors, and an hour long, so wrap up - or better yet, stay warm with mulled wine and mince pies. No need to book.

The London Nativity at The Scoop, Wednesday 20 to Saturday 23 December, 6.30pm each night, Sunday 24 December 2.30pm.


Anonymous Claire said...

Sounds great. I do love a Nativity evening :-)

10:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cannot believe the wax museum would do such a thing. Is that not desecration of the Holy Mary?

10:43 pm  
Anonymous Ella said...

Love you CS
Happy Christmas
Nativity sounds fun
Maybe see you there

1:33 am  
Anonymous greg said...

Sounds good but have toi applaud the cynicism; so Jesus born in a manger but lets conveniently forget the oppressors he avenged? How easy, eh? Agree but do love christmas songs. may see you there

1:34 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your blog xoxo

1:35 am  
Anonymous honkman said...

I am not relogious but I do get into a bit of nativity...

1:36 am  
Anonymous bella said...


1:38 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Kylie was the angel in that scene and Graham Norton the third wise man I believe.
How times change!

9:28 am  
Anonymous dg said...

It is really good fun this is. I went back in 2004 and loved it. See you there then.

10:43 am  
Anonymous Jamie said...

I read something in the london paper the other day that The Nativity Story will offend non-Christians. WTF? Oh yes, a festival that has the word 'Christ' in its name refuses to have anything to do with a dude's birthday. This is the same event that kicks off its month-long festivities with a "holiday" tree lighting ceremony presented by the one and only Christmas Fairy. No, it's not a Christmas tree, it's a Holiday tree -- and the Christmas Fairy just happened to show up because Chanukah Harry was too busy that day. Right? Not for nothing, but something tells me the PC Fairy showed up a bit early, high as a kite. And, personally, I'd love to ask the PC Fairy two questions: What are you on and can I have some please?

10:47 am  
Anonymous Semper said...

You're right, of course! The Nativity Story we know and love is half Bible and half romantic nonsense.

At a Carol Service last year I pointed out that the 3rd. century Christians hijacked a Pagan Festival and this evening we are going to do the same.

11:23 am  
Anonymous Manny said...

ohhhh great tip CS. See you there. I will certainly come wrapped up. It is FREEZING out there London.

11:46 am  

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