A question asked by a child on Christmas Eve – “what would happen if Angel Gabriel met Santa Claus?” was the inspiration behind A Tale of Two Christmases, Crossbridge Theatre’s latest production.
The script was written by Chris Wyatt, who died last year, and it was one of his children, when very young, who asked him that question.
Chris, a science teacher and devout Christian, started Crossbridge Theatre Company in 2015 and staged its first show, The Prisoner, at Centrestage the same year.
The company has been producing shows ever since, although the death of their leading light struck them hard.
Current chair Linda Marais acted in the theatre’s first show and has taken on the role of production manager for A Tale of Two Christmases. She says the company is passionate about doing justice to Chris’s final work, and will definitely continue with more productions in future.
“We feel strongly about Crossbridge’s role within the community, to bring challenging and inspirational material based on Christian principles to the stage,” Linda says.
Director of A Tale of Two Christmases, Nikki Kent, says Chris told her that when he was very sick, he remembered the question that his young son had asked and realised this was a dilemma of modern life – the Christian Christmas versus the commercial Christmas.
Chris gave the play to the theatre’s committee at the last meeting he attended, and Nikki did some further work to prepare it for the stage.
The cast of 30 ranges in age from six to 80 years.
Linda says the show involves neighbouring families, each with their own perspective on Christmas.
It is a musical, featuring some well-known carols and Christmas music.
“You will laugh and cry and sing with us,” Linda says. “And don’t miss the moment when Santa and Gabriel meet!”
She says Chris’s family has been invited to the performances, and his children who are now grown up, will get to hear how that question, posed all those years ago, was answered in the play.
A Tale of Two Christmases is suitable for the whole family. It is on at Whangaparaoa College, from December 9-13. Tickets from www.universe.com and there will also be door sales. Info: www.crossbridgetheatre.com or look for Crossbridge Theatre on Facebook.