Like the Manchester Passion, The Liverpool Nativity will put the story in a contemporary context and accompany it with songs from the city's pop legacy. The program will also use the story to examine issues of immigration and asylum. Over 300 actors and 150 technical crew will used and the hope is that the production will act as a springboard for Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture 2008.
Cast confirmed so far include Geoffrey Hughes (Gabriel), Cathy Tyson (Herodia), Paul Barber (a landlord), Andrew Schofield (a shepherd) and Jennifer Ellison (an angel). Mary and Joseph will be played by Jodie McNee and Kenny Thompson.
The Daily Telegraph are doing their utmost to stir up some controversy on it, wheeling out the vice-president of some obscure society to condemn it before it's even started, and listing the seedier previous roles that some of the cast have had. A more balanced report from a Christian angle can be read at Ekklesia, and both the recent press release,and an updated version of the original are also worth a read.
Liverpool Nativity will be broadcast at 8pm on BBC Three on Sunday 16th December 2007.