by David Ruddock
A humorous nativity play based on a reality TV competition - with three kings (Henry VIII, Herod, and the new born Jesus) competing to be your King.
Simon the producer,
(Setting: In the living room, television studio, and down on set in Israel)
(Three grannies sitting on chairs facing audience, each with cup and saucer.)
Granny 1: (Looking around) Are you sitting on it then?
Granny 2: No!
Granny 3: Nor me. (feels something under her) - oh wait a minute - Sorry Betty, it's here. (hands Betty a remote. Granny 1 points remote to audience)
Granny 1: (Tuts, disappointed) Bargain Hunt. (Sarcastically) 'What a bobby dazzler' - I'll give you bobby dazzler. (Points remote to audience)
Granny 2: (Tuts, disappointed) Snooker. (Pause, watching) I bet he goes for the red (Pause, watching, turning to Granny 1) I told you so!
(Granny 1 points remote to audience)
Granny 3: (Tuts, disappointed) I'm a Celebrity - get me out of here. (Laughing) More like I'm a Celebrity - help me pay off my mortgage. I've never even heard of these guys.
(Granny 1 points remote to audience)
Granny 1, 2 (Together): (Excited) The K-Factor!
Granny 1: Brilliant! Hey did you see last week - I was in stitches!
Granny 3: The K-Factor? What's that?
Granny 2: Audrey, don't tell me you've not heard of the K-Factor. It's only the best show on telly at the moment! It stands for the King Factor
Granny 1: Yeah, it's really great. At last we get a chance to vote for our King.
Granny 2: You should have seen last week. Prince Harry was disqualified - for cheating! No wait - for fighting - I forget.
Granny 3: So, who can we vote for?
Granny 1: Well, we're down to the last three - next week is the final.
Granny 3: Is Charles in it?
Granny 2: What - Mr Charles from Wales? No! Out in week 1 - some issue with Camomile tea - I think.
Granny 3: Camomile tea?!
Granny 2: No wait - that's it- he had a chameleon for a pet.
Granny 3: What about Harold?
Granny 1: He would have still been in, but he knocked himself out walking into a lamppost!
Granny 2: (Knowingly) Blind in one eye!
Granny 3: Oh. So who is in it?
Granny 1: Well you might as well just wait and see - it's just about to start.
Granny 1,2,3: Excellent! (All sit back and sip tea together.)
(Audience prompt is holding up a sign saying CLAP)
Presenter: (Interrupting)...and to find out how our next contestant got on last week... (pause) ... you'll have to join us after the break.
(Audience prompt is holding up a sign saying GROAN)
Clapper boy: And ...CUT
Simon: Great! Do we have the next contestant here? Oh here he comes.
Harry: (Rushing in; wearing cricket top and cap; out of breath; in posh voice) Simon, my good man. You've started without me.
Simon: (Surprised) Harry? What are you doing here?
Harry: I was knocking a ball with some chums, when they told me you were starting the show. So when do I come in?
Simon: Err, Harry. You were disqualified last week!
Harry: Oh - right oh then. Jolly good. (Leaving) Good show!
(Presenter raises eyebrows and makes a 'loopy' gesture with hand.)
Simon: You're not wrong there
Presenter: (Laughing) Probably got into one fight too many!
Simon: (Turning to Clapper) Hey you. Can you find Henry the VIII for us - he's late again. (Clapper runs off) This is madness - I should have listened when friends told me not to work with royals.
Presenter: I thought it's not to work with animals.
Simon: You're right! Animals or royals!
(Clapper boy runs back in shock)
Clapper: Henry's trying to behead Janice from Hair and Make-up!
Simon: (In despair) Not again! (Calling off stage) Henry, (sarcastically) your highness, your presence is required
Henry: (Enters) Yes - you called?
Simon: Henry, you're on in (looking at watch) 2 minutes! Will you get ready!
Henry: One more order out of you - you minion - and I'll divorce you!
Simon: But we're not married!
Henry: Oh. Yeah. Then I'll marry and divorce you - I am King you know.
Simon: (To himself; Sighing) Let's hope not! (To Henry) You'll have to wait for the vote to see if that is true.
Henry: Anyway - where do you want me? (Moving to centre stage)
Simon: OK. That's great. Let's roll.
Clapper: (Announcing) Scene 42 - 'King Henry VIII and his six knives'
Simon: (Hands up in despair) It's wives not knives.
Clapper: Sorry Simon. Scene 42 - 'King Henry VIII and his six flies'
Henry : Flies! I'll give you flies (chases Clapper off)
(Audience cheering at the CLAP sign)
Presenter: (Returning) Well folks, you've just heard from Henry VIII. Though I'm not sure that beheading your wives will go down well with the voting public - but the choice is yours. Now the time has come to meet the final two candidates. Ladies and Gentlemen. Please put your hands together for King Herod!
(CLAP sign goes up)
(Presenter and Herod are sitting down for interview)
Herod: (Repeating question) What would my kingdom be like? Well, let me paint a picture of what life would be like with me as your King. (Lifting arms dramatically) In my Kingdom...
Servant: (Rushing in, interrupting) Sir - I'm sorry Herod sir. But you have visitors.
Herod: Don't disturb me now, you little wretch. Can't you see that I'm busy? (Back to presenter) As I was saying: If you make me your King ...
Servant: (Interrupting again) Sorry Sir. It's just that they came straight in without knocking - and - well - I don't think that they are from these parts.
3 Kings: (Come in, singing, dancing with a funny 'Walk like an Egyptian' walk) We three Kings of Orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar...
Herod: (Crossly) Can I help you? I'm rather busy at the moment, can't you see that I'm being interviewed by the BCBC
King 1: I'm sorry young man! We have important business. We're here to see the King.
Herod: Well - (surprised) I am the King - or at least I will be when you let me finish making my appeal to the great, the wise, the discerning public (gestures to the audience with a wink)
King 2: I don't believe that you can be! We have evidence to say that another King has just been born - he can't be more that a few years old - and its definitely not you.
Herod: (Angry) What is this! Are you trying to jeopardise my place in the final. This is an outrage!
King 3: Well, we're clearly in the wrong place. (To the others) Come on; let's be on our way.
3 Kings: (Start to exit with 'Egyptian' walk; singing) We 3 Kings of orient are ...
King 1: (Interrupting; To the others) Guys, come on, we're not actually Kings are we? Let's sing it properly (other two nod in agreement)
3 Kings: (Singing. With funny Egyptian walk) We 3 wise men of orient are, bearing gifts we ...
King 2: Hey, that's not right either - we're not from the orient. We're from southern Arabia. (Leaving) Next time let's sing...
Herod: (When they've gone) I can't believe my ears. Oi, servant boy - get the captain of the guards. (To himself) I won't have this challenge to my Kingship. I'll kill them. (With mad laughter) I'll kill them all. (Exit rubbing hand together)
Presenter: (Faces audience) Some very unusual tactics being employed there. Contestants trying to kill each other. Lets see how the public respond to that! But before you cast your vote, let's hear from the third and final contestant. (Donkey braying off stage) And may I warn some of the middle class viewers, you may find some of the smells in this scene rather offensive. (Exits holding nose closed from smell)
(Audience prompt is holding up a sign saying LAUGH)
(In the stable, Mary and Joseph with animals)
Mary: (Disappointed) Joseph! (Waving hand in front of nose because of smell) You could have found somewhere - well - a little cleaner? (Pushes cow out of way who moos, and knocks into other animals who cluck and bray)
Joseph: I'm sorry Mary, it's the only place I could find at such late notice. You know that the town is nose-to-tail with donkeys. Everyone is back in town, now that Herod wants us to vote for him in the K-Factor!
Mary: It's crazy I know - just think, little Jesus here - a king! You'd have never have thought it.
Joseph: Yeah. I wonder what kind of king he will be like... (drifting off)
(2 narrators come on, one either side; others freeze)
Narrators (together): In my kingdom, the first will come last and last will come first. I will bless the poor in spirit; I will bless those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. And even though I'm king - I too will have no place to rest my head.
Mary: Joseph! (Hushed listening) What's that noise? Can you hear something?
Joseph: It's coming from outside! (Calling off stage) Hello! Can I help you!
(Two shepherds come in - straw in mouth of each)
Shepherd 1: (With broad farmer's accent) I'm sorry to disturb you good folks - it's just that we was told there was a King around here somewhere. We was going to place our vote for Mr Herod see....
Shepherd 2: (Interrupting) but we got this message - like - from angels. Though Giles here doesn't believe me
Shepherd 1: (To shepherd 2) Well you shouldn't be surprised - all you do is lie around looking up at the stars, sucking on straw. (Back to Joseph) Anyway - see - I thought to myself I'd be blowed if I were going to vote for that beastly man, and if Giles' story were true, I'd - like - vote for him to be my King.
Shepherd 2: (Leaning over crib) I wonder what kind of King he'll make
Narrators: In my kingdom I will go out to search for just one lost sheep out of my whole flock. I am the good shepherd, and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
Joseph: (To the shepherd) Are there more of you outside?
Shepherd 1: No, it's just us.
Mary: Well, where's that singing coming from?
3 Kings: (Still off stage; singing) We 3 wise men of southern Arabia are, bearing gifts we traverse afar ...
King 3: (Coming in) What does traverse mean anyway?
King 2: (Notices he's arrived). Oh hullo! We're here already.
King 3: (Excited) It's just like we saw! A king would be found under the star from the east.
King 1: So he is the one who will be King
King 3: Yes!
King 2: I wonder what kind of King he will be...
Narrators: I created everything, both visible and invisible. I am the image of the invisible God. In my Kingdom, though I am King, I will make myself nothing and become a servant.
Presenter: Well you've heard from the final 3 contestants and the now it's back to you. Will you vote for the loveable Henry VIII - you'll be safe as long as he doesn't want to marry you? Or will you go for Herod - the power hungry tyrant with blood on his hands? Or will you make Jesus the servant your King? Folks the choice is yours.
Copyright David Ruddock, all rights reserved.
This script may be used without royalty payment, provided no charge is made for entrance to the performance. In return, the author would like to be told of any performance. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org