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Archive for February 9th, 2020

Scene 1

 

(A pasture with a pen at the distance and the flock behind a makeshift fence. On a pole King Herod’s standard can be seen. Clear night sky and corner lighting up before dawn. In the foreground two groups of shepherds either sitting or standing leaning on their staff, one or two at mid-distance standing watch with their crooks as spears.)

One in the mid-distance looks around.

One shepherd:

‘We stare as hounds of the night-

Nothing a-stirring

What pother

Herod has stuck us here,

So king’s ease is our bother-

I feel a chill coming already (clears his throat)

(Spits out) Not a sneak-thief in sight’.

 

Second shepherd:

King Herod can sleep this night.

For pittance we keep our stance

But our station leave no allowance-

We take the hit for him every night;

Stalking pestilence, frost, hail and dust storm. These are our care,

Toiling and snivelling

We spit blood, for all we attend king’s flock.

Third :

Hungry I am; On king’s business I could relish a mutton leg right now

Saved from oven …

First shepherd:

I smell fragrant lilies from north…

Third shepherd

Surely you are hallucinating, as I am with hunger.

Among whining and puling yokels

We tread with churlish pride; But the honour of office

Has never killed the wolf around the throat

Thirst is the thing I fear.

All together:

Our fires are out and our satchels are empty; soon the light shall break out, Another night done.

(A gasp from all)

The sky is all of a sudden flooded and strains of music at distance come louder. The shepherds make gestures wildly finally pointing to distance.

A grand fanfare of trumpets. They stagger and slump down totally disoriented, They shriek musically:

“A burst of stars,/ My eyes have seen!

Are they angels/ My eyes have seen!

Clad in white and their form/ terrible, terrible!

Why are they here?/ trouble, trouble!”

 

Suddenly stillness cuts sound. (They form themselves into a circle.)

They screech: Oooh! To its accompaniment they snap their fingers in a steady beat-

(They chant):

Hover’ng, and, we are shivering

Not with cold, Not from hunger;

Heavenly choir we are all ears

Light of salvation, shine on.

(They kneel without breaking the circle in fear not daring to look up)

(Darkened stage)

Luke 2:8-20

 

(Angel of the Lord in a blaze of light alone while kaleidoscopic colours bright flash round and round; and staccato beat of drum punctuated by strains of majestic music is heard in the background.)

(Off stage)

Do you hear footfalls,

I fear the worst!

Night in thousand pieces break loose

And the starburst right before our eyes

Lo and behold! Gate of heaven

Swung open. Blessed Patriarch

Will you descend or climb?

My blood runs cold!

 

The Angel:

Fear not! Give Heed

The Shepherd

Of your souls shall speak anon,

What the Holy One has before time

Decreed and Dispatched

For your solace, Assuredly.

(Offstage)

Shalom, Shalom Shalom

Angel of the Lord:

For unto you is born

This Day, In Bethlehem

Christ the Babe shall be found;

Seek no further than

The manger,-it must be thus

For flocks to find rest

So shall your souls sate;

Manger is not the thing,

Nor swaddling bands but

The Babe is sent under your care

Look to your weal

As God’s gift your own.

(A choir sings):

Glory Glory Glory

To Father in Heaven

Who decreed

and duly thus delivered

Hark ye, Hark Ye All men:

On Earth, peace

And Good Will

Toward All

Glory Glory Glory

To Father in Heaven

Who decreed

and duly thus delivered

By your leave.” Music stops and light fades.

(Darkness)

(dim lights come on)

Shepherds lurch unsteadily,

“It is time

We followed our star:

Light of salvation like a wave

Broke upon us.

 

One shepherd:

Together we move

To Bethlehem We follow

The star that is gone

Leaving an afterglow

Never shall we shake this off

Are we not blessed?

Second:

Oafs we are but blessed

Surely?

(They exit)

 

 

 

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