Joseph, Mary and lit­tle talk­ing trees


Most will know the story of Mary, Joseph and the baby in a manger, the three wise men and a bright shin­ing star, but few will re­call talk­ing trees in the mix.

Mem­bers of Te Mana Huarahi, Idea Ser­vices’ Tawa branch put their own spe­cial spin on the time­less Christ­mas tale for their end-of-year pro­duc­tion, The Mag­nif­i­cent Lit­tle Fir Tree, last week.

Idea Ser­vices, a branch of the So­ci­ety for the In­tel­lec­tu­ally Hand­i­capped, aims to en­hance the skills and con­fi­dence of peo­ple with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties.

Fam­ily and friends turned out in sup­port of the 14-strong cast, all with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties, who had been re­hears­ing since April.

The Mag­nif­i­cent Lit­tle Fir Tree told the story of how mod­ern-day Christ­mas trees came about and their sig­nif­i­cance to the tra­di­tion.

Te Mana Huarahi team leader Priscilla Ei­man said it was a ‘‘ Christ­mas pro­duc­tion with a dif­fer­ence’’.

‘‘This branch caters for older ser­vice users with higher needs,’’ she said.

‘‘We con­cen­trated on the trees this year. We started with the olive trees, then we learned about the palm trees, then the fir tree.

‘‘At first we thought it would be the biggest chal­lenge ever. We had our mo­ments but we also had some hu­mor­ous mo­ments.

‘‘The script changed ev­ery week. It just de­pended on what came to their minds at the time, but it has been a lot of fun.’’

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