A three-humped camel may not be the first character you think of when it comes to the nativity story. Clearly, Godfrey Humps is a work of fiction. But what a wonderful addition he is, serving to carry the Three Wise Men as they make their incredible journey to Bethlehem from the East. His positive, kind, helpful and excitable disposition – not to mention his propensity for shouting “Hooray” at the top of his voice – enables us to see afresh the wonderful story of the birth of Jesus, born in a barn lit by its very own star. Complete with angels, shepherds, donkeys and an innkeeper, ‘Hooray In A Manger’ will delight children and adults alike, and remind us all of why we continue to tell this most enduring and enchanting of tales, each and every year.
As the people of Bethlehem take to their beds at the end of another day, in a faraway land three wise men are busying themselves for a journey. They have a lot to carry, and are very grateful when an exuberant three-humped camel arrives, offering his services (GODFREY HUMPS).
Meanwhile, Caesar Augustus, flabbergasted that nobody knows how many people are living in his lands, orders everyone to return to the town of their birth to be counted and verified. Mary and Joseph depart for Bethlehem, but with Mary heavily pregnant, the going is tough (MARY’S JOURNEY).
As Godfrey and the Three Wise Men continue their journey westwards, Mary and Joseph arrive in Bethlehem with not a spare room to be found (THIS TOWN IS FULL).
On the hills above Bethlehem, some shepherds are shocked by the visit of an angel, telling them of the birth of a saviour, a newborn king (THE SHEPHERDS’ STORY). They follow a star, shining brightly, towards Bethlehem.
With Godfrey and the Three Wise Men edging ever closer, Mary and Joseph finally find a place to stay. In a stable, amidst the animals, baby Jesus is born (HOORAY IN A MANGER).
The Three Wise Men join the shepherds at the stable, offering gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (NEW BORN KING). Godfrey, in particular, is overjoyed at all that has occurred, and everyone joins with him in celebrating the new arrival in true party style (LET’S DANCE).
There are 24 speaking roles within Hooray In A Manger. This number could easily be increased or reduced depending on your needs, and there is plenty to do for a much bigger ensemble. The editable WORD script, available for £9.95 when a performance licence is also purchased, will make the adapting process straightforward, with the opportunity also existing to create new lines if felt necessary. Do get in touch if you would like to discuss ways of making the script work for your cast.
Narrator/s - Divide up the narration as you see fit. Bear in mind that most of it is written in rhyming couplets, so giving each speaker two lines at a time might work best.
Godfrey - Lovable, excitable, but very dependable, Godfrey Humps is a camel with a big personality. He could be formed of four people – one as the head, three as the humps – or by an individual performer.
Three Wise Men - Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar travel with Godfrey on the long journey to Bethlehem, bearing gifts for baby Jesus.
Mary & Joseph - Resolute and patient, Mary and Joseph have 9 lines each.
Donkey - A non-speaking role, but ever-present and dependable.
Caesar Augustus - Roman Emperor. A formidable figure
Minion - One of Caesar’s soldiers.
Town Crier - His/her strong voice spreads the news of the census.
Shepherds - There are lines for three shepherds.
Sheep - Non-speaking roles. But could certainly bleat.
Gabriel - The angel who visits the shepherds, having already visited Mary.
Innkeeper - Infamous owner of the stable.
Travellers - There are three named travellers – Elijah, Josiah and Phoebe – who are heading to Bethlehem for the census.
Townsfolk - The people of Bethlehem. Key ensemble players.
Additional angels, shepherds, travellers and minions could be included too