New producers bring fresh passion to open-air Nativity

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An iconic Nativity play that has caught the imagination of people from all over the UK is set to enjoy a new lease of life with a new production team.

Preparations are under way for this year’s Fife Nativity, which will be held for the third year at Fife Animal Park near Collessie.

Formerly known as the Lochiehead Nativity Play, the open-air event was established 18 years ago by Charlotte de Klee.

It was previously held at Mrs de Klee’s farm at Lochiehead, Auchtermuchty, and features real animals and ‘ordinary’ people making up the 40-strong cast.

But now Lochiehead Farm is up for sale and Mrs de Klee has handed over the reins to a newly-constituted committee headed by Springfield couple Eugene and Jill Adams, whose daughter Chrissy, now five, had the starring role of baby Jesus when she was a newborn.

The production, which has been compared with the famous Oberammergau Passion Play in Bavaria, attracts hundreds of people every year, who follow the cast around the fields and hills of the Howe as they re-enact the events surrounding Jesus’ birth.

“The play was originally held just for family and friends but now it has become established as an essential part of the Christmas calendar, with people coming from all over to see it,” said Eugene.

“It grew so big that it was moved to Fife Animal Park as it was more accessible and has more parking and other facilities.

“It is a really family-friendly event and whether people are Christian or not it provides a welcome escape from the consumerism of the festive season and reminds us of the real reason why Christmas exists.”

The Nativity story may be a simple one but staging the play is a sophisticated and costly exercise, and the committee has embarked on a series of fund-raising ventures, the next of which will be a coffee morning in the Tayside Institute, Newburgh, on October 18.

Meanwhile, a new website is being established which for the first time will allow people to book tickets online.

The production will take place on December 20, 21 and 22, with two performances on the Saturday and Sunday.

For tickets, to donate or to take part, visit www.fifenativity.co.uk