by Jake Cake
Humorous nativity play with modern day elements.
|Opening Scene. Scene 1.
Black screen. Opening bars to Beethoven's 9th Symphony would work well here:
(Words appear on the screen, one by one synchronised with the classical music....)
(DADADA DA DA DA DA!)
Stills of the judges appear one by one on the black screen, including Herod (who is the equivalent of Simon Cowell) with arms crossed and looking very aloof.
(DA! DA! DA!)
Enter the judges. They wave and sit down as the noise of the crowd settles (canned applause etc.) Stage right and the equivalent of Ant and Dec ushering young girl onto stage.....
Judge: Hello, and what's your name?
Mary: I'm Mary. (shy)
Judge: How old are you, Mary?
Mary: I'm sixteen.
Judge: And what are you going to do tonight, Mary?
Mary: I'm going sing -------- (a fitting pop song).
Judge: OK, Mary, good luck and off you go.
The backing track kicks in and then Mary launches into the most awful and tuneless singing. The camera pans between the judges expressions and the audience and "Ant and Dec". (Heads in hands, embarrassed looks, glazed looks...etc.)
The judges tell Mary "no" and Herod (Simon Cowell equivalent) is particularly scathing. (Will script more lines for this.)
Straight after Mary a Roman soldier walks onto the stage and barely gets to introduce himself before he gets pelted by various objects (the more obscure, the funnier) with shouts of "Get off - gentile scum!!!" The Roman soldier quickly runs off the stage, ducking under a barrage of projectiles.
There will be an interlude between some scenes in which a young rapper will narrate by "spitting bars" while being filmed walking familiar parts of East Bristol (St George Park, Kingswood High Street etc....) We would need a young confident guy to do this, probably from the youth group:
It's da land of Israel before AD
Da birth of our saviour, da Man JC
A story of a virgin, a star, and a stable
Shepherds and wisemen, and an Inn keeper called.....(pauses to find a rhyme)..Mabel (shrugs).
Mary at home being tucked up in bed by her mother.
Mary: Will I ever do anything great with my life, mum?
Mum: What do you mean by "great", Mary? Do you mean making your mark so that the world adores you? Or do you mean something truly great which brings glory to God?
Mary: I want to do something for God. But how can He use me? I thought I could make it in the music industry, but it's just not working......
Mum: I know, Mary.....maybe you should have got the message with the X Factor auditions before....
Mary: Oh don't remind me!
Mum: ......I mean that went viral on JewTube.....
Mary: (Annoyed) Thanks mum!
Mum: Trust God, Mary. No matter how insignificant your place in His plan seems, without you, it is not complete.
Mary: (Grateful) Thanks mum.
Mum: Things are going well with Joseph. He's a promising young man and I believe that God will work His purposes through you both when you are married. (Excitedely) It's so close now!!
Mary: Let it be with me as The Lord wills.
Lights out, mum leaves the room. Mary is in darkness. Suddenly a light fills the room, accompanied by 9th Symphony excerpt, and Mary, scared, pulls the duvet over her head. Scene fades out.
Let me tell you bout a girl
her head in a whirl
she gonna ave a baby
an their aint no maybe
cause God sent His messenger from eaven
and she's gotta bit of a situation
Joseph and his apprentices are playing cricket with a stump of wood and a mishapen ball. It's quite rowdy, when Mary suddenly rushes in through the door....
Joseph: (Composing himself and pretending not to have been playing cricket. he holds up the makeshift cricket bat...) ......And that, lads, is a piece of wood!....Oh hello, Mary!
Mary: Joseph, I must speak to you in private, now!!
(Mary drags Joseph into another room.)
Mary: I don't think your going to believe this, but.....
Joseph: Wait.....(Joseph goes over to the closed door and bangs on it hard. There is a sound of someone going "OWW!" on the other side.....) Back to work please guys!!!
Mary: I had a strange experience last night, and I wasn't sure if it was a dream.....an angel from heaven said that I will have a very special baby boy......
Joseph: Well, he will take after his father! (Looking pleased with himself.)
Mary: Er....he most certainly will Joseph! And...uh....I'm already pregnant!
Joseph: How did that happen?!?!....no, really - how DID that happen??? I know I kissed you on the cheek the other day, but that's usually quite safe!......Anyway, how do you know you're already pregnant??!!
Mary: (Holds up a pregnancy test) I can't explain it Joseph!
Joseph: Houston, I think we have a problem! (Camera just pans onto Joseph's face, his expression looking confused and not being able to believe what he is hearing and seeing.)
I aint bein rude
but Joseph is a dude
gotta reputation to keep
but his girl's in trouble deep
her story sounds funny
and he aint a happy bunny
Da boy needs confirmation
a divine revelation
dat his girl is true and is for keeps
from a messenger while he sleeps
It's morning, and Joseph jumps out of bed urgently.
Joseph rushes off, shrouded by a duvet. Runs down the street and bangs on a door. Mary answers.
Joseph: Mary! It's ok, I believe you!
As Joseph is talking a man (like a postman) approaches him and hands Joseph a letter.
Posty: Joseph the carpenter?
Joseph: That's me!
Posty: It's a census summons. You and your family are ordered to travel to your town of birth.
Joseph: When is it?
Posty: In exactly nine months time, sir!
Joseph: (sarcastically) Fantastic!
(Wording comes up on the screen - nearly exactly nine months later......)
Joseph: (To a very pregnant Mary) Mary are you ready? - It's time to ride....
Intro of Welcome to the Jungle by Guns n' Roses plays and Joseph and Mary are kitting up with elbow pads, knee pads, and crash helmets....song gets into the main riff and Joseph and Mary are shooting through St George's park on scooters. A few shots like this and then suddenly cut to a brief scene (without the music) of a donkey in a field, doing nothing and just stood there. If we can find a dejected looking donkey, that would be perfect. Cut back to the main scene with the rock music and Mary and Joseph tearing it up on the scooters.
Joe and Mary
ad to go on a jolly
but no gaff to be found
da girl's about to drop!
an Joe's head's about to pop!
Mary and Joseph approach the Inn. Both are clearly stressed.
Joseph: Don't worry, Mary, there's got to be room at this one....
Mary: We've tried about ten already!
Joseph knocks on the door and a man opens it. He is wearing a safety glasses and a face mask.
Joseph: Uh...we need somewhere to stay - very pregnant little lady with me!
Basil: It's a condition, not an illness, you know!
Joseph: (Looking at the safety glasses and face mask)...what's with the....?...(motions over his mouth)
Basil: Personal Protective Equipment - PPE young man! I am the Health and Safety officer of this establishment! Germs everywhere!
Joseph:....and the glasses?
Mabel: (A woman arrives at the door and chimes in.....) That's to stop people poking him in the eyes! He's so annoying!! Hello, My name's Mabel, and this (motioning to the man) is my husband, Basil. Come on in my dears and let's see what I can do for you.....Oh and look at you!! (looking at Mary's bump) You must be about to drop my girl! (Turns to Joseph, as not to neglect him)...and you the expectant father!
Joseph: Uh....sort of....
Mabel: (Frowns....and then proceeds to look at her bookings.) Now let me see....Penthouse suits...gone. Luxury Plus accomodation.....gone. Standard Luxury accomodation....gone. (Joseph and Mary are looking increasingly despondent) Standard accomodation.....(long pause)....gone. Basic accomodation......gone (now Joseph and Mary say "gone" each time Mabel does) Economy sub-basic....gone(x3) .....uh...that only leaves the stable.....
Basil: Can't do that, it's a breach of Health and Safety legislations!
Mabel: Basil, please would you kindly pass me the accident book?
Basil: (Hands Mabel the accident book) Why, has there been an accident?
Mabel: Not just yet, Basil....Whoops!!! (Mabel turns and whacks Basil in the face with the accident book. He goes straight down onto the floor with an audible thud. Mabel drops the accident book on top of him...) Don't forget to document that one, Basil dear! (Turns to a stunned looking Mary and Joseph) I'll show you to your stable!
As shepherds wash their socks by night
living in darkness hoping for a great light
da usual routine of babysitting sheep
staying alert and fighting off sleep
but dis aint no ordinary shift
cause news is comin bout da greatest Gift
Introducing the shepherds. (They are called Rod, Jane and Freddie from Rainbow.)
Scene opens with a shot of the head and shoulders of a traditional looking shepherd surveying the distance. He lifts his hand into the shot and in it is a can of energy drink which he swigs down. He goes to join two other shepherds who are sat down knocking back energy drinks. There are about a dozen empty cans at their feet. The energy drink is referred to by name as Red Bully, of course.
Rod: What's it all about, lads?
Rod: Oh, sorry, I forgot you were a girl.
Freddy: What's what all about, Rod?
Rod: Everything. Life, the universe, and everything! What do you reckon, Jane?
Jane: I think you've had too much "Red Bully" thinking like that this time of night, don't you reckon, Freddy?
Freddy: Maybe the known universe is just some fungus beneath the toe-nail of some celestial being?
Rod: It often feels like that!
Jane: I just live each day for itself. I don't worry about anything.
Freddy: Yeah, well this is living, innit! Watching sheep!
Jane: Well, you never know what is around the next corner.....
Rod: Corner? There are no corners around here, we are stuck on a hill!
Jane: ...but you never know if something....awesome might happen at any moment! We need to live in expectation of great things!
Rod: Freddy, have you had anything awesome happen lately?!
Freddy: Um.....(thinks...then brightens and sticks his finger in the air....)....my new profile picture on "spacebook" got 17 "likes"!
Rod: So that's a "no", then!?
Jane: That's the trouble - in this day and age we are obsessed with trivia!! Every silly little thing is "awesome" - "awesome" cake! "awesome" session at the gym, "awesome" coffee morning with the "over fifties" club.....Do we really know the meaning of the word "AWESOME"?!?!
Freddy: I've got a headache!
Rod: I've got some awsesome painkillers for that!
Suddenly everything is lit up.....Hallelujah Chorus by Handel plays and the scene fades.
Mary is in labour and in pain......
Mary: Owww!.....(to Joseph) - This is all your fault!!!!
Joseph: (Does a double take...) No it's not!!
Mary: That Ox keeps looking at me!!!!! Make it go away!!!!....
A mobile ring tone goes of and after a few rings the wailing and the drama stops and all three characters (including Mabel acting as mid-wife) look into the camera as if somebody in the audience is responsible.
Mary: How rude!
Joseph then fumbles beneath his garment and pulls out a mobile.
Joseph: Oh sorry, it's me!
Mary tuts and resumes yelling and the drama continues as Jospeh shouts into the phone.
Joseph: What? No, I never took out PPI....this is not a good time my wife is giving birth....no, she has never taken out PPI either....no, you can't speak to her!!
A star in the night sky
and men from afar ask why?
gemmed up gents
following astrological events
this means something awesome
an dese guys are gonna get some
Introducing the wisemen. (They have the same names as the Three Musketeers.)
Athos is looking up into the night sky and making marks on a piece of "parchment".
Porthos: How's it going, Athos?
Athos: Not too bad, Porthos. (Athos holds up the sheet with a bunch of crude stars drawn on it. There is a big one in the middle. Porthos examines it, looks up into the sky and scratches his head.)
Porthos: Well that's odd? (Turns to Aramis) Is that one usually there, Aramis?
Aramis: That one what?
Athos: That star Aramis - we study the stars, remember?!
Aramis: Oh I don't know - they all look the same to me!
Porthos: Athos, pass me the ancient tablet.
Athos: (Hands Porthos an old Ipad3 (for example) which he has been leaning on to draw the stars on the sheet), Yea here you go...
Porthos turns on the ipad and does a bit of scrolling.....
Porthos: Ah! This star is very significant - it heralds the birth of a new King!
Athos: Wow, that's amazing......I'm hungry, can we have tea now?
Porthos: No! You don't understand - this King will be the grestest king ever!!! We must depart with haste to see Him!
Athos: Amazing!.....Uh, stop at McBurgerHut on the way, yeah......?
The wisemen run to hail a taxi.
Porthos: (To the driver) Follow that star!!!
King Herod is da boss in da chair
an he waves his hands like he just don't care
but there's tidings coming his way
an it aint gonna be his day
cause there's a new kid in town
an Herod aint giving up his crown
Approaching Herod's Palace. The wisemen stop for a breather.
Aramis: We've been travelling for ages - what time of the day is it?
Athos:(Elaborately waving his arms above his head motioning towards the sky) I shall determine the time of day by reading the position of the sun.....
Porthos:(Draws back his sleeve and looks at a wrist-watch) It's half past three....come on, let's go and see King Herod. (Athos stops waving his arms around and looks dejected.)
The Wise Men at Herod's palace.
Aramis: We are wise men from the East! (Points, but in wrong direction. Athos repositions Aramis' pointing arm, spinning Aramis one way....)
Porthos: No! That's not right - it's this way...(now spinning Aramis in the same clockwise direction but pointing somewhere else....)
Athos: I don't think so!!! (spins Aramis around again....)
Porthos: Wait a minute...where's North first?? (Aramis is beginning to look a bit unsteady on his feet from the spinning....)
Athos: Uh...I don't know....(Athos and Porthos look at Herod for a clue...)
Herod: (Sighs and indicates with his finger....) The North Porch is that way....
Porthos: OK. Bear with.... Never. Eat. Shredded. Wheat....there, that's East! (....Aramis has been spun once more..)
Athos: We are wise men from the East!! (Athos' line is punctuated by Aramis swaying and then falling over.)
Herod: So, you've come to see a great king? (Herod clearly thinks it is himself as he studies his fingernails.)
Porthos: Yes, King Herod. A Great King!
Athos: We were wondering if you could point us in the right direction!
Herod: What?? (clearly insulted)
Porthos: We were following a star....
Athos: But we appear to have....mislaid it....temporarily...
Porthos: ...and as you are the man in the know....networking and all that, we thought you might give us a pointer?
Herod: A pointer??!! (getting more wound up)
Athos: Yes please!
Herod: I'll give you a pointer alright!!! (starts shouting)How dare you come into my palace
and insult me!!! I'M THE KING! THE BIG CHEESE! THE DADDY! THE GREAT "I AM"! THE GODFATHER! THE MAIN MAN!! THE BIG FISH!!!!! (Herod stands up and in a rage chucks something random (really random - like a rubber chicken) at the wise men just as Aramis has got back to his feet. The projectile hits Aramis on the head and he promptly falls over again. Herod is shouting and lost in his self adoration...then he just runs out of steam and slumps back into his chair.)
Athos: (long pause) Whooaa!! Where did that come from??!!
Porthos: (Taking on a new approach to flatter Herod's ego...) Yes, Great King!...and...and only a great king like yourself will know the whereabouts of another Great King...because you hob-nob with all the greatest kings, your worshipfulness! (bowing).
Herod has composed himself.
Herod: So, you've lost a star.....(looks out of the window at the night sky at the billions above.....)
What does it look like?
Athos: Kind of shiny.
Porthos: Bright! Very bright - brighter than the rest, and it appeared out of nowhere.....
Herod: Hmmmm.....well I'm sure it will turn up again....I cannot help you right now so I will send you on your way.....and when you find this "king", kindly let me know his whereabouts so I can.....come and worship him myself...(Herod is toying with the edge of his sword.)
Athos: Ok, King Herod...nice sword. (They leave and drag Aramis out together.)
Da wisemen go their way
said dey see Herod another day
but dat boy is trouble
gotta burst his bubble
an angel comes on da scene
to speak in a dream
The wisemen are asleep, all dressed in onesies.
Aramis wakes with a start, sits up and describes a random and nonsensical dream, and then Athos wakes up and sits up alongside Aramis.
Athos: Well in the dream I just had a shiny geezer just told me we shouldn't go back to see King Herod.
Porthos now sits up as well. Each wisemen is wearing a onesie but as each one sits up, each onesie is crazier than the first.
Porthos: That's ok then - didn't like him much anyway!
Super economy accommadation
for da King of our salvation
laying on a bed of straw
da stars bow in awe
only a select few have invitations
to see da King of all nations
Final Scene. Scene 12.
In silence but accompanied by music. (The famous bit from Beethoven's 9th). The tone is reverant. There is a light shining up out out from the manger, illuminating faces, and everybody in turn comes and kneels, presenting their gifts - use different camera angles. Looking to arouse emotions here after all the comedy.
Once the classical nativity scene is complete, with all of the charcters looking in adoration upon the manger, freeze the frame.
Scene fades out leaving a black screen and the words HAPPY CHRISTMAS (or something like that) appear accross the screen.