Fringe Box



We Wish All Our Readers A Very Happy Christmas!

Published on: 24 Dec, 2012
Updated on: 24 Dec, 2012

Here at The Guildford Dragon News we wish all our readers a very happy Christmas. A big thanks go to you all, for reading our stories and articles, adding replies and contributing to this new online news website that was launched in March this year.

A scene from this year's Wintershall Nativity – and yes, a real baby plays the part of Jesus!

A scene from this year’s Wintershall Nativity – and yes, a real baby plays the part of Jesus!

Our Christmas picture comes from the Wintershall Nativity, performed on evenings last week from Wednesday to yesterday (Sunday, December 23).

Taking place both outside and inside the Holly Barn Theatre on the Wintershall Estate near Bramley, it is a gentle reminder on the true meaning of Christmas.

The Wintershall Nativity is the brainchild of Peter Hutley MBE. Other outdoor plays by the Watershall Players include Life of Christ and the Guildford Passion, the latter performed in Guildford High Street each Easter.

The first Wintershall Nativity was performed in 1990. Peter said: “I had been trying to buy the barn for two or three years and at one point said to my children’s amazement that if I was ever able to buy it, I would do something for God.

“We thought about it and someone said that as it was coming up to Christmas, why not perform a play. Someone’s girlfriend said her sister wanted to be an actress so she played Mary and we brought a very large torch to use as a spotlight and we pushed the cows out of the barn, put down some fresh straw and borrowed a live baby. We have had live babies playing Jesus ever since.

“We acted out Joseph, Mary and the shepherds and kings and it wasn’t really very good, so I decided to put my mind to it and rewrote it.

“After a few years we decided it was too much fuss cleaning the barn out for the play after it had been used for cattle, and we decided to make the nativity an annual event and turn the barn into a permanent theatre. It had been open, so we built an end wall, and laid on very high voltage electricity, putting in half a mile of cabling. I wanted to do it seriously because of the public demand for the performances. We had to get the whole thing properly licensed by Waverley Borough Council, with emergency exits and fire extinguishers and lighting checks. We are now licensed for an audience of 600.

“Members of the Wintershall Players have recently performed the parable of the Good Samaritan during Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Conversation For Change at the Fairfield Hall, Croydon, on October 23. The message there is the same as the final dialogue in the Nativity: it is all about love.

“The greatest thing for everybody in the world is that you should treat your neighbour as you would want your neighbour to treat you. Jesus extended this to everyone – people you will never meet. That is the message I want to get through, as well as providing a gentle reminder to people about what Christmas is all about and why we celebrate it.”


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