Spread the Love: The First Herald Angel by John Donald O’Shea

Written by Craig Mason

This week Lindsay and Craig spread the love for The First Herald Angel by John Donald O’Shea.


Welcome to Spread the Love. ‘Tis the season. Merry Christmas and happy holidays. So we decided to focus on one of our Christmas plays. The song you are listening to is from The First Herald Angel by John Donald O’Shea. The story is a very simple one. It’s the first Christmas and an angel seeks out a shepherd so she can take him to Bethlehem. Craig, what do you love about this play?

What I love about this play is that, yes, it’s a familiar story but it’s told from an entirely different perspective, that of a shepherd and his wife. And what’s really great is the characters are so believable and so well-drawn. They’re not stock people put into a situation. They’re real people in their own right. And I gotta say that my favourite character is the shepherd’s wife. She’s a skeptic; she doesn’t believe any of this stuff that’s gong on. She doesn’t even believe the angel really is an angel. It’s really an hilarious role. She’s described in the script as, “A carping woman” and she lives up to that for sure. Great character part. Lindsay?

Well Craig, I think you hit it on the head. A familiar story told from a new perspective, we love that. Well-drawn characters, character-driven stuff, we love that. So I’ve got two more things to add. The first is is that the play is very… it’s very simple and very straightforward and I just love that. It’s just the essence of storytelling. No overblown plot points; simplicity.

And on top of that it’s very simple to do. Anytime, anywhere, any place, that’s where this play can be put on. And lastly, the play is just so sweet. That’s what I think drew it to me first is that it’s really hard in these days to come up with a Christmas play that is sweet but not saccharine. And The First Herald Angel really succeeds with that, and that’s why we love it.

Alright, that’s it for Spread the Love. See you next week!

About the author

Craig Mason