A primary school in Berkshire is this year focusing its nativity play on the period just after the birth of Jesus where paranoid dictator King Herod orders the killing of every male baby in Judea.
The school insists it is a section of the Christmas story that is often hastily brushed aside.
The play will reportedly feature pupils playing the infants and a selection of teachers playing the soldiers mercilessly slaughtering them in a thirty-minute set piece, using genuine swords and gallons of fake blood to realistically depict the massacre.
Due to the graphic violence depicted in the play, the showing will be strictly for adults only, a decision which has raised eyebrows amongst parents and school governors.
Headteacher Simon Williams defended the subject matter, saying, “Everyone knows the basics of the standard nativity story, as we hear it year after year.
“Mary, Joseph, angel, donkey, no room at the inn, shepherds, wise men, baby. We get it.
“But the other day I read a little further in the Bible and it turns out Herod went a bit mental after hearing rumours of the new-born King, and ordered every male baby in the land to be killed.
“I know, crazy right? And it’s a lot more interesting than the stuff we normally put on.”
He continued, “It’ll be good to do something different, something to alleviate the tedium of the annual nativity play, and I reckon the harrowing spectacle could raise the bar and set us aside from the other schools in the area.”
He added “Besides, the kids love it and we won’t charge an entry fee.
“Everyone’s a winner.”