Papa Panov - A Christmas Musical
Papa Panov - A Christmas Musical
A Christmas Musical

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The Story Synopsis - Papa Panov - A Christmas Musical

Papa Panov - A Christmas Musical is a one act play, with a performance time of approximately one hour.

Story Synopsis
(In the text below, the words in bold type, are the titles of the songs; they are not links. )

Papa Panov working in his shopIt's Christmas Eve in a small Russian Village, around the middle of the nineteenth century.

The happy familyThe chorus introduces Papa Panov, an elderly shoemaker, living and working alone in his little shop. A flashback follows - back to the days when Papa Panov was neither old nor alone. In Happy Family we see Young Papa and his family enjoying life in the village, before the untimely loss of his family casts Papa into self-obsessed Despair.

Papa and the PriestAn encounter with a priest challenges Papa to read the Bible and think about living his life for Christ rather than focusing on his own unhappiness. From here his life turns around as Papa Finds His Way

The nativity scene from the Christmas storyWe come back to the present to find Papa feeling rather lonely on Christmas Eve. He decides to read the Christmas Story from his old Bible, and wishes that he could have been there to help Jesus at the time of His birth. Falling asleep, he hears a voice - the voice of Jesus - saying that He will visit Papa the next day. 

Papa Panov singsPapa responds with Jesus Will Come, which expresses his hope that he will recognise the Lord when He comes. Papa determines not to go to bed that night and sits up to wait for Jesus. 

Stepanich the roadsweeperThe first light of dawn brings Stepanich's Song, as Stepanich the road sweeper goes about his cold and lonely job. Papa offers him coffee to warm him up and tells him about about his "dream". 

The Young Lady and her babyLater, we hear a Young Lady's Lament as she walks through the village with her small child in her arms, on her way to the next village. Papa invites her in, gives the young lady some food and the baby a beautiful little pair of shoes. 

Granny Adveich fighting with IvanaNext we meet Granny Adveich who is embroiled in a fight with Ivana, a Little Thief. Papa separates the pair and teaches them about God's forgiveness. 

Part of the Villagers' DanceThe rest of the families in the village are enjoying a Christmas Celebration, but Papa Panov is back in his little shop feeling very sad. It is now evening and Jesus still hasn't come to see him. 

But Jesus has in fact visited him, as becomes clear when Jesus Is Revealed. As Papa has been helping all those who have needed it during the day, he has actually been serving his Lord.

The chorus join him for a joyous Finale.
The whole chorus at the Finale

  • This page is illustrated with photographs from the musical's premiere performances in England. 
  • All photographs by Penny Plimmer ©2000.

This work is based on Papa Panov's Special Day, text 1976 Mig Holder, published by Lion Publishing plc, and Where Love Is God Is, by Leo Tolstoy.

For more information on the children's book "Papa Panov's Special Day", please CLICK HERE to be taken to Lion Hudson Publishing Company's website (this will open in a new window). The print version was re-publsihed in 2003 after being out-of-print for quite a few years. is not affiliated with Lion Hudson Publishing.
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