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 obviously relates to Peter's experience of walking on water with Jesus. Its based on Matt 14:22-33 as this is the account that mentions Peter walking on water too. The sketch (and stage area) needs careful preparation to get the full comic effect as things get very wet (see below)...
(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:
[Peter comes in soaking wet, his clothes need to be obviously wet and in particular his wellies need to be half full of water.]
Peter: Hiya luv.
Elizabeth: [who keeps her back to him] Humph!
Peter: What a night! Did you hear the gale!
Elizabeth: Yes I heard.
Peter: [Looking around] Where's t'bucket?
Elizabeth: Under the sink where it always is!
Peter: What's the matter with you? [gets bucket]
Peter: Oh aye. I know you Elizabeth. Come on spit it out. [sits down]
Elizabeth: Well, that Martha next door came and told me that you and the lads left that nice man Jesus on the other side of the lake and he had to walk all the way here on his own!
Peter: Ah. [takes off a boot]
Elizabeth: Well did you leave him?
Peter: Aye. [pours out water from boot into bucket]
Elizabeth: You mean he had to walk all the way over here round the lake in the middle of the night in that awful storm!! Shame on you.
Peter: No, I mean yes, well not exactly. [takes off sock]
Elizabeth: Did he walk round the lake or not?
Peter: No definitely not. He did not walk round the lake. [wrings out sock]
Elizabeth: So you went back for him?
Peter: No not exactly. [takes off other boot]
Elizabeth: He got a lift with someone else?
Peter: No. [pours out water in other boot into bucket]
Elizabeth: So he did walk here then?
Peter: Yes. [takes off other sock]
Elizabeth: But you just said he didn't.
Peter: I said he didn't walk around the lake. [wrings out sock]
Elizabeth: Oh right. So I suppose he just walked across it did he.
Elizabeth: I don't believe it!
Peter: [standing] That's exactly what happened. We couldn't believe it neither. We did leave without him 'cos he asked us. He wanted a bit of time to himself. So there we were in the boat rowing really hard against the wind. Next thing we know we see a ghostly figure on the water. It was right scary. Our knees were knockin' so loud you could hardly hear the wind! Then this voice called out "don’t be afraid lads, its me, Jesus". It weren't a ghost ? it were Jesus!
Elizabeth: Oh well I suppose that's....[He reaches out to touch her as she turns to look at him]. Ugh! Peter you're soaking wet! ... You do look a sight. Serves you right for not waiting for Jesus. [finds it very funny, starts laughing]. What happened? Did you fall in?
Elizabeth: [laughing] No, no don't tell me Jesus comes walking towards the boat sees you and says "Follow me!!" and you did.
Elizabeth: [realises what's happened] You did didn't you! You tried to walk on water. You daft hap'eth
Peter: I did walk on water. Actually. There was Jesus walkin' towards us. So I said, "Here Jesus, if that's really you call me out to join you". So Jesus says, " 'Course Peter, come on over". So I looked straight at Jesus, got out t'boat and there I was walking on water. Me, walking on water. Then I took my eyes off Jesus see [starts to get embarassed] then the waves started to look awful big, that's when I started to sink. [Pause] Jesus had to pull me out.
Elizabeth: Oh Peter. Wait til I tell Martha next door.
Peter: Oh no you don't Elizabeth......please?
Elizabeth: Alright I won't. [pause] I'm sorry I laughed. Only you’ve got to see the funny side. [starts helping him off with wet clothes] Look I think it took a lot of courage to step out of the boat and believe you could walk on water. There are a lot of people who think they can but not many have tried it. You're one in a million luv. How about a nice cuppa to warm you up?
Peter: Oh yes please love!
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