Lead us not...

By John McNeil


The ways in which temptation overcome us are portrayed in this mime.


The Lord's Prayer


Grant, a (young?) man (no particular age).




Day 1: Grant is strolling along the street, when something in a shop window catches the corner of his eye. He continues several steps before backing up and taking a look. It is the lurid cover of a magazine. He gives a look of surprise, then with half-shock, turns his head away, and continues on his way.

Day 2: Grant same street. As he approaches the window, he remembers what he saw the day before, turns his head away and walks stolidly on. Several steps past the window, he takes a backward look, realises what he is doing, and exits.

Day 3: As Grant approaches the window, he puts his hand over his eyes to avoid seeing, but just past the window can't resist a peep through his fingers.

Day 4: Grant enters with a head scarf over his eyes, taps his way past the window. Is obviously struggling with inner conflict.

Day 5: Grant enters with a metal helmet (eg, from suit of armour, the more ridiculous the better) over his head, visor down. He has to force himself past the window. As he exits, there is a loud clang of metal on lamp post.

Day 6: Grant enters, gives himself a stern talking to, does his best to walk nonchalantly past. The pull is too much though, and he backs up to take a longer look in the window. Realises what he is doing, and berates himself as he exits.

Day 6: Grant enters furtively, clad in gabardine raincoat or similar, hat over eyes. As he approaches the window, he looks round to see if anyone is looking. He then ducks into the shop, walks nonchalantly around inside before sidling up to the magazine rack. Side on to the magazine, he flicks quickly through a couple of pages, pretending he's not really doing it. Eyebrows raise at what he sees. Struggling with inner conflict, he leaves the shop.

Day 7: Grant enters, clad as day before. He takes a more cursory look around this time before entering the shop hurriedly. He looks at several nondescript magazines/books before being able to contain himself no longer. He goes to the magazine, picks it up, scans it through rapidly but eagerly. Pulling hat further over his eyes, he goes to the counter, thrust the magazine at the proprietor, pays for it, tucks it inside his coat, and furtively leaves the shop. Exits.

Grant enters (a room in his house), devouring the magazine. Without looking, he fishes for a chair and sits. He holds the magazine to his chest with a smile, and rocks back and forward. He puts the magazine down, picks up another, which he reads with somewhat less enjoyment. Puts that down and picks up another, which he reads with the beginnings of distaste. As he reaches the end, his face crumples in despair. He tears up the magazine, throws it away in disgust, and breaks down in bitter weeping.


© John McNeil 1999
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: soul.communication@outlook.com
Or at: 36B Stourbridge St, Christchurch 2, New Zealand.