“I like the sound of it,” Denver Anthony Nicholas begins, as we ask him why his play all set to be staged this weekend is titled Forgetting Christmas. How does one really forget Christmas! Denver explains, “I wanted to do a Christmas play for many years, but not your run-of-the-mill, carol happy kind; I wanted to do something that is based around the time of Christmas, but that could also have a little bit more ‘naturality’ to it.”
Forgetting Christmas is the story of faith, hope and love. Deep, heartbreaking and incredibly heartwarming, this one follows the journey of a family who attempt to address their truest emotions and honest feelings that simmer inside each of them. It is about how a family copes with a tragedy that happened in their lives a year back, on Christmas. Now, three days before Christmas (as the play is set), all those emotions come to the surface again. Elaborating on the plot, Denver says, “There’s one person in the family who wants to actually forget Christmas, that’s one of the reasons why I think I picked that title. This person has lost faith in God, and everything around because of the tragedy. But the story is as much about other members of the family who hold on to their faith. But above all, it’s all about love — the love they have for one another, and in themselves.”
Written in 2020, the play was to premiere in December of 2021, but for some reasons, that did not happen. While writing the play, Denver also travelled back in time to the first Christmas he spent after losing his father. “Christmas is a season of joy, but we’re all struggling too; we all have so many things that are deep within us. I remember the first year after I lost my dad, and how it was to spend Christmas without him. So, when I was thinking of writing a story for Christmas, I immediately went back to that emotion. You know, we were still celebrating Christmas, but I think everybody was also having their own moment of grief.”
Forgetting Christmas is not about forgetting Christmas, it is about finding faith, hope and love, with a message that life is not all about rainbows and roses, but when tragedy strikes, you have to pick yourself up and find a way to move forward, rather than move on. The play is infused with a lot of music, including country and Gospel music.
The 100 minutes play with a heartwarming story does have its fun moments. Denver says, “When you write a play, you don’t want people to come and just get totally depressed. You’ve got to tell a story, which could maybe make you cry a few tears, but at the same time also give you a few laughs because at the end of the day, it is still entertainment. So Forgetting Christmas has a bit of comedy in it.”
Tickets at Rs 200 onwards.
November 19, 4 pm & 7pm.
At Alliance Française of Madras, Nungambakkam.