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 ever since.
This sketch represents a departure from the normal format as Peter doesn't appear in it. This was partly because we wanted to emphasise the distance involved in the healing (so Peter needs to be away with Jesus) and also so that people could finally meet "that Martha next door". Based on John 4:43-54. As this is one of the more obscure references a Capernaum Street sketch is based on, its worth saying that the series has grown from sketches written to fit specific Family Services we were involved in and the collection has therefore grown rather organically (rather than having set out with the goal of writing sketches for all the key points in Peter's life with Jesus).
(Note: the Part numbers refer to the order the sketches were written in and not necessarily the order of events in Peter's life).
We use three devices to create a consistent "look and feel" to the Capernaum Street sketches:
[Elizabeth arrives looking breathless or tired as if she's just arrived from a long walk and flops into a chair]
Martha: [Knocking] Coooeeee! Elizabeth?
Elizabeth: That'll be that Martha from next door. [Calling out] Come in Martha.
Martha: I just saw you get in so I thought I'd best come straight over.
Elizabeth: Well I'm glad you did. You won't believe what's happened...I'm just going to have a cuppa want one?
Martha: Aye, please...So, tell all then.
Elizabeth: I'll just pop the kettle on.
Martha: Where have you been? What’s happened?
Elizabeth: Well you know Marcus Lucius - the royal official lives in that posh house on the edge of town?
Martha: Ooo. Yes.
Elizabeth: Well I know his cook, Sarah.
Martha: Isn't his son really poorly? At death’s door I'd heard. Poor lamb.
Elizabeth: Yes he was really ill but not any more.
Martha: You don't just recover from serious illness just like that!
Elizabeth: No. Of course you don't. That what I was going to explain....
Martha: I'd heard Marcus Lucius was so distraught he'd left the house and gone up to Cana 'cos he couldn't bear to be there when it happened you know - [whispering/mouthing] he died.
Elizabeth: Well you're half right. He did go up to Cana but he went to find someone. He went to find Jesus.
Martha: Oh fancy that.
Elizabeth: But ... he hasn't been back here - to the house. I'd have known about it. I mean Jesus couldn't have come here and us not know about it, could he?
Martha: Oo no. Well how can he have healed him then?
Elizabeth: He did it in Cana.
Martha: What they carried the poor little mite all the way over there!
Elizabeth: No. Here's the thing. Marcus begged Jesus to come to Capernaum and heal his son but Jesus just told him to go home and that his little boy would be alright.
Martha: Fancy that. I’ve never heard of such a thing.
Elizabeth: And when he got back he was alright.
Martha: A miracle!! Fancy that.
Elizabeth: I still don’t understand how it could all have happened yesterday and I didn't know about it.
Martha: Well that's two miracles in one day isn't it?
Elizabeth: [ignoring the jibe] I think I’ll make that cup of tea now. Did you say you wanted one?
Martha: Oh please. White with two sugars.
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