Part 11 - Who's the greatest?

by Jane And Mark Lewis
Copyright © 2006 Jane And Mark Lewis. Email:



Capernaum Street grew out of our desire to write our own "soap opera"-style series of sketches which would be based on a UK soap opera (in order to feel familiar and engage people) and have cliff-hanger endings (to encourage people to come back for "next week's exciting episode").

Then one of the series we were doing in our Family Services was on the life of Peter. As Peter was a "Northerner" (as far as those in Judea were concerned) we decided to write a series tenuously based on Coronation Street. As Peter lived in Capernaum, the title of Capernaum Street wasn't too difficult to come up with! We were then faced with the constraints familiar to many church drama groups - a lack of resources and a Hollywood special effects budget. These seem necessary given the miracles Peter witnessed. Then we had the idea - what if Peter "came home from work", as it were, from his "day job" as a disciple of Jesus to relay all his experiences to his wife Elizabeth (OK we made up the Elizabeth bit but we know Peter had a wife because he had a mother-in-law - see Mark 1:30). This would mean only two people were required and no special effects!

Capernaum Street was born and the format has remained the same since. Each episode Peter returns from his day with Jesus to recount everything that's happened to Elizabeth in an "up-North"-kitchen-sink-type-Coronation-Street style.

This is Part 11 of the Capernaum Street series and relates the events of Mark 9 immediately after the Transfiguration. In fact chronologically this follows straight on from Capernaum Street 2. Just for a change in this sketch Peter is at home and it is Elizabeth who arrives home.

(Note: the Part numbers refer to the order the sketches were written in and not necessarily the order of events in Peter's life!).



  • Peter, apostle of Jesus.
  • Elizabeth, his wife.

Peter should be dressed to suggest "fisherman". (E.g. wellies, big woolly jumper, water-proof jacket, etc.)
Elizabeth is a house-proud housewife and should be wearing a house-coat, have her hair in a scarf and have a duster to wave around for emphasis.


The scene is the kitchen in Peter and Elizabeth's house. You can get away with just a table and at least one chair.

We use three devices to create a consistent "look and feel" to the Capernaum Street sketches:

  • The characters are always dressed the same in every sketch (see above).
  • For each performance we project the Capernaum St. sign (illustrated above) on a data projector.
  • We use, what turned out to be, a very successful device for indicating the start and end of each sketch: the Theme Tune. We both play the first few bars of the theme tune to Coronation Street on kazoos.


[Theme tune]
Peter:  [seated] Hiya luv.
Elizabeth:  [arriving carrying shopping bags] Hello, the shop's were packed. Everyone's after loaves & fishes it's the latest craze, can't understand where these recipe ideas come from. One minute it's lamb hot-pot the next, it’s tuna bagette in a basket!
Peter:  Ah...I think I might be able to help with that one.
Elizabeth:  So, How was your day?
Peter:  Oh alright. Jesus has been talking about "rising from the dead" again. It's does my head in!
Elizabeth:  Why don't you ask him about it, you're part of the "inner circle".
Peter:  That's what I thought! He always takes us: me, James & John whenever he goes to do something special. We were just discussing it today with the other disciples! ... He wasn’t supposed to overhear. How does he know what we are saying? We were 200 yards away and he can still hear us.
Elizabeth:  What were you talking about?
Peter:  Well who was the greatest!
Elizabeth:  Well you of course. He should make you managing director!
Peter:  It's not that simple is it. He said whoever wants to be the greatest should be the servant of all.
Elizabeth:  With your own donkey and fishing fleet, Servant! What does he mean servant.
Peter:  I don’t know. He got this child and said that whoever welcomes one of these children welcomes me.
Elizabeth:  That's it then you’re stuffed.
Peter:  What do you mean I love kids!
Elizabeth:   You're never here how much time have you spent with your own kids in the last two years. Don't answer that!
Peter:  But I , you know I had to...
Elizabeth:  I think this Jesus has got a good point there.
Peter:  And another thing! We are Jesus disciples, we were the ones he called. What was the point in spending two years day in day out learning how to cast out demons, heal the sick and preach the good news. Then today we come across this Johnny-cum-lately who’s been casting out demons in his Name.
Elizabeth:  Do I know him?
Peter:  Who?
Elizabeth:   Johnny Comelately. Has he just moved in at number 43? Martha met his wife, she's really nice.
Peter:  Who do these people think they are? They haven’t been with Jesus, they haven’t had the training, they haven’t been through thick and thin with Jesus, left their livelihoods and family to follow Him, trekked half way round the country.
Elizabeth:  So what did Jesus say about them casting out demons.
Peter:  He said it was OK. I mean he's spent years building his reputation, training us so that he's got a quality team.  He's eroding the brand Elizabeth! Letting any old person do things in his Name.
Elizabeth:  Peter what's wrong with old people doing things for Jesus
Peter:  What? No not old people, any people.  No, Liz. Look Jesus has just been saying some strange things, how he's gonna die and rise again, how if we want to be the greatest we have to be servants and welcome children and let other people who aren't disciples do things in His name.
Elizabeth:  [pause] Oooh Peter. What if this has has got something to do with that transmogrification that happened last week. What of he’s going to let himself be killed, rise from the dead ascend into heaven and then leave you and anyone else who belives in Him to carry on building God’s Kingdom!
Both:  [look at each other]  Nah!!!!
Peter:  That's just about the most ridculous thing I've ever heard.
Elizabeth:  Yeah I know, sorry I don't know what came over me. I think I'd better stay off the herbal tea! Talking of tea do you want a brew?
Peter:  Yes, please. I think I'll go and find the kids and see if they want to come fishing with me tomorrow.
[Theme tune]

Copyright © 2006 Jane And Mark Lewis. Email:

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