Published: Friday 1st December 2017
A 98-year-old donkey, an 87-year old shepherd and two wise men with the combined age of 163 will star in a nativity play with a difference at Castleford’s Newfield Lodge Care Home and will be shown live on ITV's This Morning programme on 15th December.
The 64-bed residential home, will be staging their own nativity play – Newfield Nativity the Musical. But instead of a traditional nativity play with school children taking the leading roles, the stars of the show will be Newfield Lodge residents and staff – and they will be telling the traditional Christmas story with a modern twist.
Alongside much-loved carols and traditional festive tunes, audiences will be treated renditions of hit songs from The Lion King, and popular artists including Take That and Beyonce. Newfield Lodge residents Roy Schofield, aged 89, and Terry Walton, 74, will take to the stage as wise men, Ken Stringwell, 87, will play a shepherd and 98-year-old Mary Maskill will star as a donkey.
Front of house manager, Jenny Hodson, said everyone was really excited about the play. “It’s the first time any of the residents or staff have been in a nativity play since school and it’s the first time we’ve done a large production like this here at Newfield. It’s created a real buzz around the place,” she said.
“We decided it would be a great idea to stage a nativity that everyone could get involved in and it’s really taken off, everyone has just really got behind it over the last few months".
“Our caretaker has been busy designing the stage sets and lighting, our residents have been busy making crowns and other props for the play during their weekly art and craft sessions and we’ve all been rehearsing like mad for the big day. It’s starting to feel a little daunting the closer it gets, but it’s going to be a fantastic day.”
Newfield Lodge Care Home manager, Paula Mountjoy, said in addition to having lots of fun, residents has gained a lot from being involved in the project. She said: “We’re passionate about providing stimulating activities for our residents here at Newfield Lodge. Many of our residents have some form of dementia and it’s vitally important to keep them active and as engaged as possible on a daily basis.
“They’ve loved being involved with a big project like the nativity play. It’s given everyone a real focus and something to look forward to. “We’re hoping as many of the local community as possible will come along and support us on the day – it’s promising to be a great show.”
The play will take place on Saturday December 16. Tickets for the play are on sale now and cost £5 for adults and £3 for children. The cost includes a buffet from 2pm, with the show starting at 3pm.