“Christmas is coming!” A cry that fills some people with joy, and others with dread… It is this ambivalent attitude towards one of the most significant public festivals in the English-speaking world that The Parlement of Foules – Bremen University’s English- and American-Studies drama group – has taken up in their latest production, a Christmas potpourri entitled The Twelve Tales of Christmas (any perceived references to a well-known carol are entirely intentional…).
For Christians, Christmas is a time of great celebration… unless, of course, YOU are the one burdened with preparing Christmas dinner for the enlarged family while also ensuring that the day goes as smoothly as clockwork for all concerned (except yourself, that is)… Shopkeepers see Christmas as the chance to boost sales and perhaps pay off remaining debts… but what about the poor victims of their salesmanship, receiving yet another unwanted gift (yes, what actually is this object I have unwrapped, what is it for???), struggling to look grateful when they would much rather be somewhere else?
Yes, Christmas has its up sides and its down sides, for (wo)man and beast alike. “Peace and goodwill” can suddenly be in very short supply… and yet, even the greatest anti-Christmas ranter will find a foot twitching at some (some…!) of the season’s musical offerings.
In the past, Christmas was less commercial, had more meaning, brought family and community alike together, and we have mined the (re-)sources from centuries past, taking elements from mediæval mystery plays (adapted to modern English!) and carols down the ages, as well as examining more contemporary views, those of the furious, the curious, and the frankly confused…
In short, The Parlement of Foules presents a show reflecting and collecting some of the many different facets of Christmas from across the English-speaking world, in drama, poetry and music, comedy and barely-averted tragedy: an evening that invites you to sit back and get into the Advent spirit! Who knows, you may even find yourself joining in one of the songs…
Schnürschuh Theaterhaus (Buntentorsteinweg 145), Bremen.
20th, 21st, 25th & 26th November, 2013.
Performances start at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6.30 p.m.
Tickets (€12; €8 for students and pupils) can be reserved with the theatre under (0421) 55 54 10. Please note that reserved tickets are to be collected 30 minutes before performances begin.
Drinks can be obtained before and after the performance as well as during the interval in the foyer of the theatre.