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The Annunciation. Gabriel (Tom Davey) visits Mary (Frances Marshall)

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Photographs : The Annunciation, Minster Millennium production.

Item type: Photographs
Archive reference: YMP/A/17/2/13
Date/year: 2000
Description: The Annunciation. Gabriel (Tom Davey) visits Mary (Frances Marshall) in the Minster Millennium production.  This opens the eight plays about the birth of Christ.
The Spicers play is the 12th in the traditional Rev. Purvis script. It opens with a Doctor praising Mary as embodying the predictions of a 'Mair od Israel'.  Then Gabriel sings, then visits Mary and tells her the news. Mary then visits her cousin Elizabeth, also pregnant, and they rejoice together.
The 13th play is the Pewterers and Founders play, majoring on Joseph talking about how he came to wed Mary and how he fears he has been misled. Other women in the house assure him of Mary's virtue. Mary says her child is of God's sending.  Gabriel then confirms this to Joseph, and tells him to take her to Bethlehem where the child will be born.
The 14th Tille Thekers play (Roofers) shows Mary and Joseph sheltering with the beasts and Jesus is born, bringing light to the dark stable. 
The 15th Chaundelers play shows three shepherds on a hillside, to whom angels appear.  The angels sing, and shepherds, and the news is given about the birth. They visit the stable and each give a gift.
The 16th play is the Masons, beginning in Herod's court, where he talks to his knights and son about justice.. The 17th play by the  Goldsmiths entwines with it, showing the three Kings meeting to follow the same star. Herod's Messenger finds them and brings them to the court, where they ask about the child born. Herod is angry about a rival but his Councillors persuade him to let the kings go on to Bethlehem but with intent to deceive them on their return. The Kings find the stable and the young family, and offer gifts. An angel appears to warn them of Herod's malice and they each go home to his own country. 
The 18th play is the Marshalls play (Farriers), showing Mary and Joseph praying then asleep.  Gabriel wakes Joseph and tells him to flee because Herod is coming to kill all boy children under two.  Joseph wakes Mary and tells her of the threat. They pack and flee anxiously to Egypt.
The play of the Hatmakers, Masons and Labourers involves Mary presenting herself at the Temple for purification, 40 days after the birth, in line with the law. The priest, Anna and Symeon all describe how she and the baby fulfill the prophecies of a maid bearing a child to redeem Israel. Mary and Joseph sacrifice two doves. An angel tells Symeon to hurry to the Temple to see the baby, his saviour.
The 19th play of the Girdlers and Nailers returns the story to Herod's court, where he is with his councillors.  A messenger tells Herod that he has seen three kings ride away to their own lands, after giving gifts to a boy they called Jesus. Herod is furious, and his councillors recommend he sends his knights to Bethlehem to kill all boys up to two years old. He does so. Four knights go to massacre baby boys in Bethlehem and four mothers appeal, and mourn, in vain. The knights return to Herod but admit they cannot be certain they killed 'that boy'. 

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