Seasonal celebrations are an important focus for communities to get together to enjoy each other’s company, share stories, sing songs, have a few laughs, and bemoan their lot in life.
The Pappinbarra Players’ lively and entertaining presentation of ‘At Winter’s Turn’, an adaptation of a medieval Mystery play, ticked all these boxes.
The play was in two parts: the first, inside Hollisdale Hall, was an encounter between three shepherds and a low life sheep thief (Mak) seeking to rise above his station and his ever child-bearing wife (Gill).
The second, a tableau based on the story of the nativity, was held around a ring of fires outside.
Inside the hall, audience members were invited by seasoned director, Adrian Guthrie, to make themselves at home and to view and participate in the action in any way they felt comfortable.
The shepherds bemoaning their lot, bawdy tales and songs old and new well rendered by Farmer John, the shepherds, and kids and adult choirs all had part in the action. Audience feedback reached its max with Mak’s mad wander through the crowd seeking a suitable ‘lamb’ to take home to his ailing wife.
The shepherds quickly followed hot on his trail. Mak and Gill’s attempt to put off the inevitable denouement was in vain and he was shamed and punished.
The play then moved from farce to the visitation (Mystery) theme with the appearance of a small angel to the shepherds and their journey following the star to Mary and the infant in a stable.
The play was extremely well cast and all got on top of the rhyming stanza format. The direction stayed true to the spirit of the original and the challenge of involving so many community members (over 30) paid off.
All then enjoyed a locally catered midwinter feast and entertainment.