The Barber

 By Brendan Hayes


Jesus and Satan vie for the soul of a Barber in his shop.


Jesus (dressed in street wear, ie, jeans and t-shirt, sneakers, etc)
Satan (dressed in an all black suit, with a red cummerbund and bow-tie, and bowler hat)
Barber: The owner of the hairdressers which they are in.


A barber shop, anywhere. Satan is standing around, smoking a cigarette. He keeps looking at his watch. Within a few seconds Jesus enters. When he enters, Satan looks to run away, but sees no quick exit.


Jesus: Are you looking for something?

Satan: Ahh... No. Actually, I was just on my way out.

Jesus: Where would you go?

Satan: What - what do you mean?

Jesus: Aren't you here to get your hair cut?

Satan: Yes, Ahh - I mean, was. Yes. Now it's finished. I was just leaving.

Jesus: I don't think so.

Satan: You don't think I'm leaving?

Jesus: I don't think you've had your hair cut.

Satan: Well - you got me! Ha, yes, I just remembered I have an appointment... down the road somewhat. Good day.

(He tries to walk out past Jesus... He steps in front of the entrance. They look at each other.)

Jesus: It's been a long time.

Satan: So it is you.

Jesus: You got it babe.

(He walks back, and Satan cringes in his wake. He forces him back into a chair. Jesus stands over him.)

Satan: I thought... I meant... I - wasn't expecting you... yet.

Jesus: I guess not.

Satan: Well... why?

Jesus: Let's just say I popped in for a visit. Miss me?

Satan: The Son of Man doesn't just pop in for a visit. The last time you were here I lost millions of souls.

Jesus: Billions, even. Tell me, what have you been up to?

Satan: N-nothing.

Jesus: Really?

Satan: Well, not exactly nothing... but next to nothing. Hardly anything.

Jesus: It's over.

(At this point Satan takes a dramatic turn. His mood changes - and he picks up his character.)

Satan: You think you're so good, don't you. You and your father.

Jesus: No. We know we're good. And we know we're gonna win.

Satan: Not if I have anything to do with it.

Jesus: What's that meant to mean?

Satan: They like me! (He begins laughing hysterically.) They really like me! In fact, more of them follow me than do you! You don't stand a chance -

Jesus: I don't think you're understanding the situation. I'm back to bring them home. All of them. I care about them.

Satan: Yeah, right. I'm the one who got stuck living with them. What have you been doing? Sitting around up in your cozy hiding place, playing a few tricks, sending a couple of visitors every now and -

(The barber enters - with scissors, etc.)

Barber: Sorry it took so long, I couldn't for the life of me remember where those scissors were.

(Jesus is distracted temporarily by the barber, and Satan jumps on him. They roll around a little, Satan hits Jesus a few times - Jesus doesn't fight back - then, finally, the barber fires a gun in the air. They stop.)

Barber: What are you two doing? Get up. Get up!

Jesus: I'm sorry, we -

Barber: Shut it. Now sit down. Both of you! Over there.

(The barber points to two chairs across the room. They sit down. He pulls up a chair and sits down opposite them.)

Barber: Now you - in the suit - tell me what's going on. Why did you attack him?

Satan: He was taking what's mine.

Jesus: The world may be yours, but they aren't -

Barber: [to Jesus] You, quiet. [To Satan] Now what are you talking about? What was he taking?

Satan: Your soul.

Barber: Say again.

Satan: He wanted your soul. But, like I said, it's mine.

Barber: You're crazy.

Satan: I think you'll find I'm quite sane. And I want your soul. And I deserve it. After all, who gave you that car out the back?

Barber: What?

Satan: And the money for the swimming pool you just had put in.

Barber: How did you know about -

Satan: And the log cabin on the coast. But that's not all. I can give you so much more.

Barber: What, what are you talking about?

Satan: Anything you want. Name it. It's yours.

Jesus: Don't listen to him. He'll trick you. Just like he tricked Eve.

Satan: I didn't trick her. She wanted it!

Barber: Shut up! The both of you. I don't understand what your talking about. Tell me from the start. Who are you two?

Satan: That's a mere detail. What are names, anyway? What I can tell you is the story. From the very start.

Jesus: Don't listen -

Barber: [to Jesus] Quiet. [to Satan] Tell me.

Satan: Well, there was once a builder who built a house. Now, this builder had a dispute with one of his workers...

Jesus: That tried to steal his company.

Satan: (Ignoring Jesus) ...and he fired that worker. Now, he built this house - but then he gave the people who moved into the house a strict set of rules to live by. Things like you can't eat this, you can't have that, you can't do whatever - anyway, then, to top it off, he only gave a few of the people who lived in the house the rules. Hardly sounds fair, does it?

Barber: Not really, no.

Jesus: Well, that's one version. Something else needs to be mentioned, however.

Barber: What's that?

Jesus: That those people who he didn't give rules didn't care for his house. Or him. They were greedy, and lazy, and they stole from each other and killed each other.

Barber: Then they deserved to be left out -

Jesus: Yes, but do you know what?

Satan: Here we go.

Barber: What?

Jesus: The owner forgave them.

Barber: He did?

Jesus: He sure did. Not only that, but he sent his Son to them to tell them the good news. He gave them a second chance. He even threw out a lot of the rules to make it easier for them.

Barber: Why in God's name did he do that?

Jesus: Because he was God. And He loved His people.

Satan: Bugger it.

Barber: Hey?

Jesus: He was God. And I'm His Son. And over here - although he failed to mention it - is a thing who goes by the name of Satan.

Barber: You're kidding, right?

Satan: I'm afraid not.

Barber: Jesus -

(The barber goes to Jesus - before he gets there, Satan speaks to him.)

Satan: Where are you going?

Barber: To Jesus.

Satan: And?

Barber: He's the Son of God - and you're the devil.

Satan: Why does that mean you have to go with him? Ten minutes ago you were all for me. Now you've changed sides just because he told you he was God's Son. You know - I might win.

Barber: You could?

Satan: Oh yeah. It's not over yet.

Jesus: Yes it is.

Satan: You see, it's a numbers thing. Whoever has the most wins.

Jesus: You know that I've already won. I won two thousand years ago.

Barber: I'm with Him. It's pretty tough taking on the guy who created the Universe.

Satan: Oh yeah? Then why does he want you? Think about it.

Jesus: Because I care about you.

Satan: Oh yeah, right. Nice bit of caring. What has he ever given you? I don't know. But I can tell you what I've given you. Your car, your business...

Jesus: Possessions, they'll all vanish one day.

Satan: Yeah, well, what about that girl when you were seventeen, eh? The blonde with the big [The barber smiles] Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

Barber: He's got a pretty good point.

Jesus: Do you remember when you were twelve? You fell from a balcony, you hit your head, they all said you'd never walk again? Who healed you?

Barber: That was you?

Jesus: And when you were sixteen, and your father died, who was it that brought that girl into your life. The one you loved. The one you lost after the affair with the blonde?

(Satan sees the barber slipping away. The barber is looking straight at Jesus. Jesus is looking back.)

Satan: What about the time you needed money. You were almost living on the street. Who got you the job at the attorney's office?

Jesus: The job that had you thrown in gaol?

Satan: Who gave you thirteen women in two years?

Jesus: Who took every one away from you again.

Satan: Who made you feel good? I did! Who has cared for every desire that you've had the chance to dream of since you were born? I did!

Jesus: It was I who picked you up when you were down. It was I that carried you when you could not walk. It was I who... loved you.

(The barber walks over to Jesus to give him the gun. Satan looks upset - but tries one last time.)

Satan: What are you doing? No - you idiot! There's so much more I can give you!

Barber: It's not worth it.

(He gives the gun to Jesus. Jesus throws it away.)

Jesus: When are you ever going to give up?

Satan: I'm not. Not until every last one of them is burning in Hell. Revenge for what your Father did to me.

Jesus: Well then, we'll meet again. Because I'm not going to give up until every last one of them is seated with me in thrones of gold next to my Father. Amen.

(Satan sneaks away in one direction, Jesus and the barber walk off in another.)


© Brendan Hayes 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 purpose the play is performed. He may be contacted at: