Journey of the Magi
St Peter’s Church, Belper
Tickets: available at the door £8 adult, £5 concession, £20 family
Booking: contact the Parish Office directly opening hours Monday – Friday 9am -3pm.
Tel: 01773 828772
Or book online for a small fee of 50p.
Post: Parish Office, 6 Chesterfield Road, belper. DE56 1FD
Inspired by T.S. Eliot’s poem, Journey of the Magi, the performance helps audiences reflect on not only the famous journey the wise men made following the star to Jesus, but also the ‘journey’ each of us makes every year in preparing for Christmas Day. Through exploring images in the poetry, we have devised a presentation of some of the all too familiar processes we go through and witness, in dealing with the expectations and realities of the festive season. It is both serious and entertaining, using favourite Christmas tunes such as Merry Christmas Everybody. There is something in it for everyone, being fun, but also provoking consideration for change.
The Journey Of The Magi
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
and running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kiking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arriving at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory.
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.