Part 15 - Prison Break

by Jane And Mark Lewis
Copyright © 2011 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 (more or less) the same ever 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. In the later sketches (including this one), that occur after Jesus' ascension, we've slightly modified this format to adjust to Peter's new role.

This sketch was originally written to be the final part of a longer series to follow on from Part 14 - Cornelius. The sketch is based on Acts 12:1-19.

(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
(Note: We've always stuck with the same costumes so that the characters are recognisable though by the later sketches from Acts it doesn't really fit with the situation).


The scene is an unspecified house-church location - Peter and Elizabeth have just returned from Jerusalem to meet with a gathered throng eager to hear what had happened....

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 the 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.

Script (as performed)

Part 1

[Theme tune]
[Peter & Elizabeth are walking onstage as they speak]
Elizabeth:  Oh Peter I've never been to such an exciting prayer meeting!
Peter:  I wish I'd been there but you know I was rather tied up...
Elizabeth:  I know you were, [seeing the audience]. Ooooh hello everyone. We've been away for Passover Festival and just got back. Suppose we'd better tell you what's been happening. Peter I think you'd better start.
Peter:  Well just as the Passover was getting started I got arrested by King Herod, well not him personally obviously, his men like but anyway not a pleasant experience! He's got a bit of a reputation with a sword as we know.
Elizabeth:  Poor James the Apostle being killed - that was terrible. His brother John was so upset.
Peter:  Dreadful. Dreadful. So not looking too good for me either – there I am stuck in prison...
Elizabeth:  Again!
Peter:  Yes. OK!! Now because of what happened the last time me and the lads got arrested, Herod decided to put a 24 hour guard on me: 4 soldiers each on 4 shifts of six hours, just to make sure they don’t fall asleep and I didn't escape.
Elizabeth: Well they've had previous after all …..well you know like when Jesus rose from the dead!
Peter:  Yeah they weren't taking any chances they chained me up between two of them and the other 2 were on the door.
Elizabeth:  So we knew Herod couldn't put Peter on trial until Passover was finished. So we got together to pray at Mary's house (you remember Martha – Mary, the mother of John Mark, nice woman big hair). We were praying for days, there were loads of us. We prayed that Peter would know God's rest and peace.
Peter:  Aye. It were really peaceful and quiet in the cell - so I'd fallen asleep.
Elizabeth:  As you do. We however were still praying. We prayed for you to really feel the presence of the Lord.
Peter:  I certainly did - an angel appeared in a bright light and gave me a sharp poke in the ribs! I woke up with such a start but when I saw the angel I thought I was having a dream.
Elizabeth:  As you do.
Peter:  The angel said "Get up quickly and get dressed". So I said "Sssh keep your voice down you’ll wake the guards". Except I looked and they were asleep. Then I said, "How am I going to get dressed with these chains on?" Then the angel says "Don't worry about that, Peter, get your coat on it's a bit nippy outside".
Elizabeth:  Meanwhile we were praying that the Lord would release you from the clutches of Herod.
Peter:  So I tried to put my jacket on and hey presto my chains just fell off and guards still didn't notice and the angel said "Come on follow me" so I did.
Elizabeth:  We were praying that the Lord would lead and guide you and open doors for you to tell people all that had happened.
Peter:  Well the doors did open and the angel guided me out of the cell. So we walked past the guards, it was as if they couldn't see us. We walked through door after door. Finally even the gate to the city swung open and out we went into the night. So we were walking along and I thought it's really dark and I'm cold and the angel disappears and I'm standing on my own and suddenly I realised it weren't a dream. I was free just like last time. Anyway I thought the nearest house to get to would be Mary's house.
Elizabeth:  Anyway we were still praying and there's a knock at the door. So Rhoda the servant girl (you remember Rhoda curly hair, bit slow!) goes to the door then she comes to me and says "It's Peter" and I say "Yes love we're praying for him". She says: "But I recognized his voice", so I say don't be daft.
Peter:  But it was, it was me!
Elizabeth:  Yes I know that now but well we didn’t believe her. She is quite excitable you know! Next thing Rhoda's tugging my arm and saying "No really it's Peter". Someone said. "I expect it's just his angel" and I do remember thinking then why would an angel knock at the door?
Peter:  The angel had already gone - it was me!!  So I knocked again and again and again. 15 mins I was stood outside waiting for you to let me in! Why didn't someone just come to the door and check?
Elizabeth:  Because we were praying for Peter to be released from prison ... oh I see what you mean. Anyway she kept going on and on and someone was knocking at the door so loudly we could hardly hear ourselves praying.
Peter:  Well I'm sorry for disturbing your prayer meeting but it was me!
Elizabeth:  Yes I know so we all went to the door and well we were astonished because it was Peter here.
Peter:  This one [nodding to Elizabeth] got a bit excitable so I had to say "Calm down dear" and well I had to calm everyone down actually so I could tell them what had happened.
Elizabeth:  So if anyone tells you God doesn't answer prayer, I'll tell them he does. Right Peter?
Peter: Yes love.
Elizabeth:  This has been so exciting! They should make a movie out of this Peter.
Peter: They can do what they like love just so long as I can get a nice cup of tea.
[Theme tune - this should be the theme tune to The Great Escape instead of the usual Coronation St. tune]

Copyright © 2011 Jane And Mark Lewis. Email:

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