Coming to TV screens on Sunday 17 December, 9pm, Radcliffe’s very own Danny Boyle travels to Bethlehem to capture a festive performance of the nativity quite unlike any other.
In March this year, graffiti artist Banksy opened The Walled Off Hotel in the little town of Bethlehem – a place under Israeli occupation, overlooked by a vast security wall and with checkpoints controlling the roads in and out.
Now, in a bid to bring some festive cheer to what Banksy calls “the least Christmassy place on earth”, the artist has decided to stage an Alternativity – believed to be the birthplace of Christ himself. But as a famously anonymous graffiti artist who has never put on a play, he is going to need some help – and who better than celebrated Oscar-winning film director and maestro behind the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, Danny Boyle?
Accepting this unorthodox request from a man he has never met, Danny admits the closest he has ever been to the Middle East is a fortnight in Majorca. Thrown in at the deep end, he travels to the occupied Palestinian territories to create a spectacular show from scratch.
Shot over six weeks, this enthralling documentary follows the action as Danny overcomes the many restrictions to assemble a cast and crew, meeting local children, theatrical performers and a great many donkeys along the way.
How will Danny tell the story of the most famous journey ever made – in a land where movement is severely restricted? Will he find a donkey? And, as if the challenge wasn’t big enough already, can he fulfil Banksy’s request to make it snow?
Patrick Holland, Controller BBC Two, says: “It is brilliant for BBC Two to be working with Danny Boyle, Banksy and the creative team who together are making this alternative nativity. It promises to be a challenging and provocative exploration of a story of that speaks to young and old alike.”