Fish and loaves

By Michelle Pitman


The proprietress of Ophelia's Kitchen is shocked to the core when the disciples put in a hurried order for food for 5000.


Ophelia, the proprietress of Ophelia' Kitchen


(Scene:  Kitchen bench with cooking paraphernalia. Ophelia, the cook is busy mixing and singing to herself).
(To congregation) Oh hello there!  Welcome to my little enterprise.  I call it Opheliaís Kitchen.  Iím Ophelia.  Would you like a little supper prepared. Maybe a wedding feast.  I can help you.  Just the other week I catered for a wedding in Cana.  Met some interesting people there, I can tell you!  The Master was there too!  I got to meet him, you know. He actually came out to my kitchen and Ö well thatís another story.

Speaking of the Master, I got a note from him recently.  Heís ordered a special late night passover supper for 13.  Funny thing is he doesnít need it until a year or soís time!  Talk about forward planning!  I wish some of my other customers were as organized! He made it quite clear that this meal is going to be too important to ignore.  Humpf!  Iíd like to be a fly in the soup for that one!

Oh! Please donít worry.  I run a tight ship here Ė it was just an expression.  Iíd die of shame if anyone suggested there were flies in the soups I make.  Thatís probably why Iím so busy, up at the crack of dawn baking and mixing.  Itís not dull.  I love it Ė but I do wish my husband would take a bit more interest in the business!


(Lightly) Ooh!  Excuse me, another customer, just wait there, Iíll talk to you in a moment.


Hello, Opheliaís Kitchenís.  How may I help you?   (pause, then conversationally)   Peter!  How are you, love?  Howís the Master?  Yes.  It is a busy life isnít it?  (Pause) You want some catering done?  O.K. just hold on pet, Iíll get my book.

(About to put phone down but is held up by the other person on the line)

What? Urgent. TODAY! The Master wants to feed a hungry crowd.  Yes! I know what thatís like Ė you should see my family when they want to be fed Ė talk about crowds.  My goodness! It certainly sounds like youíve got a rowdy bunch there!  (Laughs)  Oh, youíre such a tease Peter, 5000 indeed.  No.  No. Stop. Peter. Listen love, please - jokes aside.  I need to know just exactly how many people Iím to cook for.

(Pause. A look of abject bewilderment). You canít be serious! You really do want me to cater for 5000 people - today?

(Look at congregation totally shocked)

Iím not sure I can help you, Peter love.  You guys wouldnít have enough money to pay for a job this size, besides I just donít have the equipment, leave alone the ingredients. (Pause)  Yes, Iíll wait dear.

(To congregation - indignant)  Would you believe that man!  5000 people today.  Not even that scurrilous Greg the pie maker up the road could do it.

(Into phone) Hello Ė yes Iím here. That you again, Peter?  (Pause, then laughs)  Oh Peter, thatís very sweet, but 3 fish and 5 loaves would barely feed my family of 4, even if I made fish soup!  You canít possibly feed a crowd on that, but do thank the little boy for offering.  Yes, Yes Iíll wait (rolling eyes in frustration).

(To congregation)  Just wait 'til I tell you this one. The Master wants me to cater for 5000 people on a hill in the middle of nowhere with a handful of fish and damper.  If I could pull that one off Ė Iíd make front page of the Galilee Times - probably win Caterer of the Year.  Ah! If only!

(To phone) Oh, youíre back!  (listens)  What is going on Peter!  I can hardly hear you for the noise.  Whatís happened?

(pause)  Theyíre all eating!  WHAT?  BUT HOW DID THE MASTER DO THAT? (flustered)  ITíS IMPOSSIBLE Ė Stop joking me around Peter Ė it canít be true.

(pause)  Matthew, oh Matthew tell me, is Peter telling me the truth? Ė He is!  (pause then incredulous) TWELVE BASKETS! LEFTOVER? BUT THATíS A MIRACLE!

(confused, shocked, bemused, breathless) Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.  (hangs up phone)  Oh dear.  Oh dear.

(To congregation) Iím sorry, I have to go. There are twelve baskets of leftover fish and damper that need my attention.  (Gets up to go). You would never believe me in a million years!

(Grabs a basket and exits)


© Michelle Pitman 1998, all rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any
entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what
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