Part 17 - Palm Sunday

by Jane And Mark Lewis
Copyright 2019 Jane And Mark Lewis. http://www.pottedjam.org Email: sketches@pottedjam.org

Contents

Background

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 drafted in response to a request from a church who use our sketches, the idea is to try to show that the expectation of the disciples was that Jesus would be recognised as King - this was God's Kingdom coming in reality, just not the way they thought!

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

Rating

Characters

  • 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 and this one in particular it doesn't really fit with the situation!).

Staging

The scene is a room in a house. Peter is sat at a desk....

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 entyers looking hot and bothered and exhausted...]
Elizabeth:  [entering] Oh Peter, there you are, goodness are you alright??
Peter:  It's crazy out there today Liz - It's mad.
Elizabeth:   I know - I haven't a clue what I'm doing staying here in Jerusalem - I don't know my way around or where all the shops are and it's all so busy.  The traffic is terrible!!
Peter:  No I meant...Well actually I think I might know why all the traffic has been so bad.
Elizabeth:  Oh I see - what have you done Peter?
Peter:  No, not like that, it's Jesus!
Elizabeth:  I might've guessed.
Peter:  Liz, this is big, he rode into the city today on a donkey!
Elizabeth: A donkey! What did he do that for? Why a smelly old donkey - he'd be quicker walking! - especially the way the traffic was today - it was gridlocked!
Peter:  No, listen you don't understand.  Listen, let me start from the beginning.
Elizabeth:  I think you better had!
Peter:  Right well obviously we were on our way here to Jerusalem, that's why I'd told you to meet us here. Anyway as we're approaching the city Jesus told us to go to a certain place and we'd find a donkey there - a colt that no-one had ever ridden. He told us to take it and if anyone questioned us to say "the Lord needs it".
Elizabeth:  So now Jesus is telling you to steal donkeys?
Peter:  No borrowing with permission, because sure enough when we got there - there was the colt and as we untied it this bloke says "Oi! What do you think you're doing?" and so I said "The Lord needs it". "Oh OK, no worries then that's fine" he says "say hi from me".
Elizabeth:  So Jesus had arranged it all?
Peter:  So it would seem. Anyway we all threw our cloaks over the back of the donkey and Jesus got on it to ride into Jerusalem.  And then it all went a bit crazy.
Elizabeth:  Why, what happened?
Peter:  Well when we got to the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, you know where I mean, and suddenly a crowd starts gathering and shouting praise to God. "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord" "Glory to God in the highest" and they're ripping down palm branches from the trees and waving them and people are throwing their cloaks and the branches on the road in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem.  It was this huge spontaneous noise and praise and excitement - well for us in the crowd anyway.
Elizabeth:  Why?
Peter:  Well as you can imagine the religious leaders weren't too impressed and they shouted down at Jesus from the city walls for him to tell us all to shut-up, and do you know what he said?
Elizabeth:  No what did he say?
Peter:  He said, "I tell you the truth"
Elizabeth:  He says that a lot doesn't he!
Peter:  "I tell you the truth, if they all keep quiet the very stones on the ground will join in!"
Elizabeth:  I bet they didn't like that!

Peter:  No judging by the faces they pulled - not at all.
Elizabeth:  But you still haven't told me - why is this so important - what's with the donkey?

Peter:  Oh Liz - it's prophecy isn't it.  There's a prophecy in Zechariah about the king arriving into Jerusalem - on a donkey!
Elizabeth:  Since when do you know anything about prophecy?
Peter:  Since spending the last three years with Jesus Liz! Listen, you know.  I think this could be it.  He's obviously gearing up for something.  I think this could be the moment Liz when God's Kingdom really comes. Jesus will be King and I'll be there as one of his team.  This is big, really big, it's huge.....
Elizabeth:  That's so exciting dear, but I expect you're ready for nice cup of tea after all that fuss...
Peter:  Oo grand! Thanks luv! ....
[Theme tune]


Copyright 2019 Jane And Mark Lewis. http://www.pottedjam.org Email: sketches@pottedjam.org

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