Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir was featured on Sky Arts on 6th December 2020 in a musical special filmed in collaboration with director Charlie Parham, creative consultant Coky Giedroyc and Seek Films. The special is now available to stream on Sky Go and NowTV from now until 5th January 2021
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Watch the trailer
Read our preview feature in the Observer
Shepherds in flowing robes. Ornate crooks made of hazel. Snow-white sheep... It’s a beautiful story, but it’s a fairytale.
Let us introduce you to the Night Watchmen. Lowly, poor and dispossessed people. Outsiders. They were the first to witness the birth of Jesus, not the shepherds from advent calendars and advertising campaigns.
But their story has been forgotten.
In THE NIGHT WATCHMEN’S NATIVITY, Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir rediscovers truth, hope and inclusivity in one of the most famous stories of all time. By reimagining the Nativity from the point of view of the lowly shepherds, this film gives a voice back to the outsiders at the heart of the Christmas narrative. The real Nativity was terrifying: the young family were threatened by a racist and genocidal regime and the family was homeless when the mother gave birth. The shepherds themselves, the family’s first visitors after the birth, were at the bottom of the social pile. In today’s terms, this is a story about teenage pregnancy culminating in a birth on the streets.
Powered by urgent storytelling, a bold aesthetic and breathtaking music, the musical special was adapted for screen from the choir’s original version created for live performance. The film features four pertinent gospel and soul classics, interweaved with original spoken word and “sung scripture” – an innovative way of weaving improvised song and speech around scripture.
Please note that this project was filmed prior to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Performers: Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir, with spoken word by Wizdom
Choir Directors: Clarence Hunte, Chris Bullock
Director: Charlie Parham
Creative Consultant: Coky Giedroyc
Producers: Emily Carlton & Daphne Schmon
Musical Director: Peter Yarde Martin
Book by Miko Giedroyc
Recorded & Mixed by Anthony Leung
Co-Production Company: FELT PRODUCTIONS
Production Company: SEEK FILMS