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 sketch was originally written to be part of a longer series to fit between Part 5 (The Reinstatement) and Part 10 (Pentecost) and is based on Acts1:1-11. Because we were trying to create the cliff-hanger for next week we've used dramatically licence to deliberately make Peter unsure of what the "gift" is referred to in the passage. This means that the theme of the Holy Spirit can be picked up in the next sketch.(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 should be dressed to suggest "fisherman". (E.g. wellies,
woolly jumper, water-proof jacket, etc.)
We use three devices to create a consistent "look and feel" to the Capernaum Street sketches:
Peter: [Entering, sounding a bit low] Hiya Liz! I’m home! [Slumps in a chair]
Elizabeth: Oh Peter you're back! I'm so pleased you're home! I've got a mountain of jobs for you and that Martha next door has been… [pauses when she sees Peter’s face] Peter? Is everything alright?
Peter: He's gone Liz.
Elizabeth: Who's gone? Where?
Peter: Jesus. He's … gone. You know back [points up & mouths ‘up there’]
Elizabeth: Oh Peter are you OK? Is everything OK?
Peter: No, well yes. I mean I don't know. I mean I shouldn’t feel OK. When I thought we'd lost him, lost hope, lost everything – I was gutted. But this feels different – he’s gone but I don’t feel hopeless. [Pause] Anyway apparently he's coming back.
Elizabeth: He said he's coming back?
Peter: [still thoughtful, distracted] No the angels did love….
Elizabeth: Angels! Again! Honestly you wait for centuries for them to turn up and all of a sudden they're falling over themselves. I think you'd better start from the beginning.
Peter: Well we've seen Jesus a few times over the last five or so weeks. You know since he…well - since everything.
Elizabeth: Yes I know. Last time you had breakfast on the beach….
Peter: Well he appeared to us again today. This time he wanted to go for a walk … up a mountain. As we were walking he told us “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” So we're walking and talking and then eventually we got to the top and well…er… he just kept on walking….
Elizabeth: What down the other side?
Peter: No. Er. He carried on walking up. You know Up. Into the sky.
Elizabeth: He did what?
Peter: Well he just sort of walked off up into the clouds.
Elizabeth: What? He disappeared into thin air?! I see - so walking on water isn't enough for him. Now he's got to go walking in the air! Next you'll be telling me you saw the Snowman!
Peter: What? No – just the angels. 'Cos these two blokes turn up - dressed in white - looking all – well, er angelic – and they said. 'Ey up guys what're'ya looking for Jesus for. He’s gone. But he'll be coming back the same way you saw him go!'
Elizabeth: Oh I wish he'd make up his mind. One minute Jesus is here then he isn’t then he is again and then he isn't and then he's going to be back again! [Pause] And that means you're here, and then you aren't and then you are again and then you're not and then. Oh…..this is hopeless!
Peter: Bizarrely Elizabeth I'm actually feeling quite hopeful!
Elizabeth: Why? I don’t understand all this Peter.
Peter: I'm not sure I do yet Liz but one thing I've learned with Jesus is - do what he says and eventually you’ll understand. Now he also told us to wait in Jerusalem for a gift.
Elizabeth: Gift? What gift?
Peter: We'll I’m not exactly sure - but I know its important and I think its going to be huge!!
Elizabeth: Jesus has left you a big present all gift-wrapped up in Jerusalem?!
Peter: No, no not a physical gift no. I think he means something altogether, wholly ... spiritual - but I don't really understand yet. But the thing is Liz - after everything I've been through. I trust him. If he says wait in Jerusalem for an important gift - then something important is coming and I need to be there.
Elizabeth: So you're going away – again! I don't understand. What is Jesus doing? what is all this about?
Peter: Again I don’t know Liz but I think its got something to do with going back to his Father.
Elizabeth: [slowly as if working this out as she goes] Right. So let me get this straight ... Jesus … has gone back home....to his Father…in order to get you a present...and it’s a surprise…and he’s sending it to Jerusalem....
Peter: Do you know - I think you could be dead right. I can't wait to find out what it is!...
Elizabeth: Ooh my head hurts. I need a brew. Fancy a cuppa.
Peter: Not half love – Tell you what I'll put kettle on.
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