Miracle on Merseyside - Liverpool remakes the nativity
Saturday December 15, 2007
The Virgin Mary comes from Knotty Ash, one of the angels used to be in Brookside, and Herod is a woman.And there are similar amusingly worded comments. I have been meaning to blog on this for a while, but it's good to see that Matt Page, as ever on top of these things, commented back in November, on Bible Films Blog. More here when the reviews start coming in tomorrow.
This version of the Christmas story, to be played out on the streets in the centre of Liverpool and broadcast live on BBC3 tomorrow night, has a cast of 300, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, a technical crew of 150 and is produced by the BBC team responsible for last year's Manchester Passion.
It's a risky enterprise: Manchester United are playing Liverpool at Anfield that day, which could make for a lively post-match crowd looking on when Jesus is born in a real ale pub named after the first chief public health officer to be appointed in the UK.
Christmas weather in Liverpool can also be unkind so producers have not only given the angel Gabriel a decent part but beseeched him to arrange a meteorological miracle around St George's Hall and the Walker art gallery.
They have also taken the precaution of pre-recording the part of the story that unfolds on the Mersey ferry. But Mary and Joseph will still have to cross the river in real time.
If a force eight is blowing, Jesus's first glimpse of the world he has come to save could well be Birkenhead . . .