The Oxen A Play for Christmas


Walter J. Essex from Thomas Hardy's poem 'The Oxen'

Published by SchoolPlay Productions

Large Mixed Cast
Intrigued by the legend of the oxen kneeling on the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, Ralph, Lizzie and Laura go in search of the truth of the legend

On their nocturnal journey they meet an array of people who all end up at an isolated barn where the setting works its own 'magic'

A play for Christmas which contains the essence of the seasonal message, freely adapted from an idea in Thomas Hardy's poem The Oxen

Cast : 23 speaking parts (10 m, 13 f). Some doubling possible. Suggested Age Range : 8 to 14 or 16. Ideally there should be a contrast between the 'children' and the 'adults'. Running Time : 45 minutes

Music - There is a lullaby for one voice accompanied by a recorder

Set - Can be performed adequately with a basic 'unit' set, with changes of props and lighting to suggest the various locations. However, there should be some suggestion of the period, c.1900

An appropriate representation of the exterior of the barn in the final scene is desirable

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