Live Farm Nativity

I was very excited to be asked to take part in the Live Farm Nativity, Christmas 2018. This takes place each year at Kent Life Museum, Maidstone.

We had our first and only rehearsal on Tuesday 4th December, in a local Church Hall. Our director Kellie explained how it was all going to work and the hall was divided into different areas, where the different scenes would take place. My role was to be the Inn Keeper.

The story was to be narrated by Kellie and we were also told that there were to be a few animals, mainly donkeys and sheep. I found it quite difficult to visualise how it would all work partly because I was unfamiliar with the layout of the farm and also the restricted rehearsal space. I was also thinking of the saying “never work with children and animals”. I knew that there were several children in the cast as angels and shepherds and we were performing on a farm!!

The performance took place on Sunday 9th December and we had good weather. We arrived an hour before the performance was due to start, put on our costumes and then were taken to our assigned areas where the scenes were to take place. The audience walked to each scene, following Kellie, as she told the story. We also had a group of musicians so carols were to be sung at each scene.

The farm is an ideal place for this kind of activity as it has so many buildings, sheds and animal pens that can be used. We had a very stubborn goat by the stable and just before the scene began it decided to block the path where Mary and Joseph were to walk, and would not move. It took quite a bit of coaxing to move it and it did have rather large horns!!

The Shepherds scene was in an enclosure the other side of the farm from us. Initially there were quite a few sheep and the shepherds were feeding them. By the time the angels arrived the food had run out and the sheep had wandered off!! We did have some very muddy angels as it had been raining the day before and well, we were on a farm!!

One thing that did add to the fun was the Christmas Train that was running back and forth the whole time we were performing. It’s flashing lights and hoots always seemed to come at the wrong time.

The performance was very well attended and great fun to be in. I look forward to doing it again in 2019.

Jan Mileham

January 2019 Article