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This Christmas at Holders

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

This Christmas at Holders

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The spirit of Christmas permeated the verandah of the historic Holders House last Sunday for the second night of the Xmas at Holder’s production.British actor, singer and director Bruce Morrison combined songs, poems, letters and carols in a package which delighted those gathered in the intimate St James setting.
He sang popular carols including Ding Dong Merrily on High, I Saw Three Ships and What Child is This along with lesser known pieces such as See Amid the Winter Snow and The Spirit of Christmas.
Morrison also showcased his acting skills in a humorous passage from A Christmas Dinner which is one of the scenes from Charles Dickens’ first published book, Sketches by Boz.
His one-hour set included the reading of Jane Welsh Carlyle’s 1846 letter to her sister which detailed her first attempt at stuffing a turkey.The audience also got something of a history lesson as the charismatic Morrison related how December 25 was chosen as the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
In addition, he shared William Tynsdale’s translation of the Christmas story in the Gospel of St Luke.As the night grew increasingly chilly and the raindrops felt heavier, the warmth of Paula Hinds’ voice spread through the audience.Hinds began with a classic rendition of O Holy Night before encouraging the audience to join in the singing of O Come All Ye Faithful.
She then employed Caribbean rhythms to put a unique spin on Go Tell it On The Mountain. This was met with rapturous applause by the audience. Hinds also performed Joy to the World and the jazz-infused Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
The a capella gospel group G-Syndicate maintained the high standards set by Morrison and Hinds with an energetic performance of Run, Come Quick.They then performed the more traditional Hark the Herald Angels Sing before moving on to Never a Baby like Jesus and departed from the script to perform Michael Jackson’s Heal the World.  
First tenor Akyem Barrow had the audience completely engaged when he took the lead on This Christmas.The greatest applause was, however, reserved for the sextet’s performance of the Twelve Days of Christmas.In a humorous take on the popular song, the 12 days were presented out of order and mixed with other carols.
While the audience was recovering from this unexpected twist, Morrison and Hinds joined the group to close the show with We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

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