Summary: An attempt to describe perhaps what went on within the inn on the first Christmas Eve. Could the innkeeper have been the hero of the hour?
Style: Light Comedy Duration: 8min
Actors: 1M & 1F
Scripture: Luke 2: 1-7
Sigal - the Innkeeper’s Wife
Orli - Sigal’s friend
Azriel - the Innkeeper
Setting: Inside the inn.
Sigal: (Seated at reception desk and talking on the phone) Yes, I know, I know. And I’ve heard that King Herod is on the lookout for baby boys. I know, I know, oh I know. And then there’s the senseless….or is it census? I’m never quite sure. We’ve never had one of those before so there are a lot more people in Bethlehem.
Azriel: (Entering with dollar notes in hand, and overhearing the conversation)….(muttering to himself) No, and we might be able to deal with all the extra people if you spent less time on the phone.
Sigal: (Into phone) One moment Orli. (Then putting her hand over the phone) What’s that Azriel?
Azriel: Oh nothing Sigal. (Then muttering offhand) Nothing a bit of assistance couldn’t solve.
Sigal: (Into phone) I’d best go now Orli. Goodbye. (Hangs up) What was that you said about assistance Azriel? I could do with some here. Where have you been while I’ve been dealing with all the customers? Not out gambling on the camel races I hope.
Azriel: (Quickly hiding money) Of course not dear. That particular avenue of pleasure has been closed off for me now.
Sigal: (Ignoring his comment) I was just talking to Orli about King Herod’s search for baby boys and how confusing the Roman census is.
Azriel: You’re telling me dear, there are a lot of extra riffraff in town that we don’t want staying here at Shonky Towers.
Sigal: Well it’s all business Azriel. We can’t make a profit without guests, and there are hundreds of people here in Bethlehem for the census.
Azriel: Well, you know best dear, but a better class of customer would be more suitable. Just don’t mention the census. I did once, but I think I got away with it.
Sigal: What is it with you and the Romans, Azriel?
Azriel: Well, what have they ever done for us?
Sigal: Oh don’t get me started. First there are the roads, and then there are those gorgeous robes with their plumes, and then there’s…..
Azriel: (Interrupting) Don’t go on about it Sigal. We just don’t want them knocking on our door.
(There is a knock on the door. Azriel jerks his head in that direction and looks worried).
Sigal: Could you get that please Azriel?
Azriel: (Panicking, wild-eyed) What if it is the Romans, or worse still Herod’s soldiers?
Sigal: Just talk to them Azriel, they’re only people. At least find out what they want. (Azriel reluctantly goes to the door UL).
Azriel: (At the door with back to audience). (Tersely) Yes, I see. One moment could you?
Sigal: Who is it, Azriel?
Azriel: (He closes the door and turns to Sigal looking helpless, then panicky) It’s some of those peasants from out of town, a man called Joseph with his pregnant wife on a donkey. They want a room. She looks like she’s ready to give birth any minute. We don’t want her dropping it on our doorstep!
Sigal: Well Azriel, you can’t leave them out there in the cold. That poor woman. It’s late in the day and the luxury suite’s still vacant. They could have it at a reduced rate. It’s better than no-one using it at all.
Azriel: (Resigned) Oh, I suppose so. (Starts towards the door, and then thinking again, and panicky) But wait Sigal, what if Herod’s soldiers come sniffing around? They’ll want to search the premises, and if the baby’s a boy he’ll be in great danger!
Sigal: Yes, you’re right Azriel, but we can’t turn them away. He’d be in even more danger.
Azriel: (Thinking, and then quickly, as if a light bulb has turned on) Sigal, what about the stable? Herod’s men wouldn’t think to look in there. (Pause) Would they?
Sigal: No, they wouldn’t. It’s still full of the stinking manure that I asked you to put on the garden.
Azriel: (Rolling his eyes and muttering to himself) Nag, nag.
Sigal: What was that Azriel?
Azriel: (Thinking quickly) I said bag. I’ll need a bag……for the manure.
Sigal: Well you know where to find one. (Azriel looks at her dumbly) And don’t keep our guests waiting. Just tell them we’re full. It’s telling a little white lie, but under the circumstances I’m sure that’s ok.
Azriel: Right. (Goes to door UL, and speaks to Mary and Joseph) Look I’m sorry, there’s no room in the inn, but you’re more than welcome to use the stable. I’ll show you the way if you like.
Sigal: (Talking out through the doorway UL) And I’ll bring some hot water and towels.
Azriel: (Disappearing out the door, offstage). Where did you say you’re from? (Slight pause)
Nazareth eh? Oh lovely.
(Sigal exits UR by the other door).
© Copyright Keith Lowe & Peter Gador-Whyte, 2016, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.