Summary: A humorous, modern-day interpretation of Jonah chapters 1 and 2.
Style: Light-hearted.  Duration: 10min
Actors: 1M, 1M/F

JONAH: Jonah in wet clothes, wet hair, with green/brown thick ribbon (seaweed) round his neck and in his mouth, and with a torch and mobile phone in his pocket.
RODNAY: A fish – with shiny costume and/or mask or hat that makes clear he is a fish. He speaks with a posh accent, and in exaggerated poetic fashion, stressing any rhyming words in his sentences.
(Optional backdrop of a whale’s mouth)

[RODNAY is sitting on stage towards the back, inconspicuous.]
SOUND (if available): Crashing waves

JONAH: (SOUND OF CRASHING WAVE) throws himself onto the stage and ends up on his hands and knees centre stage coughing and spluttering. He pulls the “seaweed” out of his mouth and from around his neck] Yuk! Ergh! [He fumbles in the dark, finds his torch to look around with]  What is this place? Where am I?

RODNAY: [unseen by Jonah, RODNAY comes round to the front of the stage and whispers to the audience] He’s in the mouth of a whale!  [He walk  to back stage]

JONAH: [He takes bouncing steps around the stage, looking at the floor] What is this on the floor?  It’s all spongy and soft, a bit like a trampoline. [He jumps up and down]

RODNAY: [As before, walks round to audience] That is the whale’s tongue!  [Walks to back stage]

JONAH: [He touches the walls, drawing his finger along] These walls are really wet – this place has definitely got a damp problem!

RODNAY: [As before, to audience he opens his mouth and points to the inside of his cheeks, still with fingers in his mouth says:] That’s the inside of the whales cheeks! [Walks to back stage]

JONAH: [something drips (SOUND OF DRIP) on his head and he looks up, squirming away] What was that? [another drip (SOUND OF DRIP) falls  on his arm, he wipes it off, examines it and smells it] Eyuk! That’s revolting! What is dripping off the roof? It’s horrible.

RODNAY: [Comes out of hiding a little and says loudly:] Spit!

JONAH: [in shock looking around] Who said that?

RODNAY: Me. I bet you a fiver, that’s saliva dripping on your head.

[ May do pantomime To audience: Who said that? Was someone there? There’s nobody there is there? – Audience Yes! He’s behind you, etc]

JONAH: [Sees Rodnay, points in surprise and looks him up and down] You’re a fish!

RODNAY: Indeed I am. My name is Rodnay [pronounced Rod Nay] because the Rod has Nay got me yet!

JONAH: A talking fish! [He shines his torch in Rodnay’s face]

RODNAY: [He ducks away from the light] A Glowfish Cod to be precise, so you can turn your torch off now. [flexes his arm  muscles] With my great might, I produce light!

JONAH: Oh sorry [turns torch off, puts it in his pocket and gets his mobile out, holding it up, walking around to try and get a signal] My name’s Jonah. There’s no reception at all here. What is this place?

RODNAY: You, young man, you will turn pale to find out you’re in a whale!

JONAH: [looks around and sees where he is. Tries not to touch anything, treads gingerly on floor] Ooower! [ Looks down] So this is its……tongue? [Rodnay nods gravely. Jonah looks at the walls] and this is the….[puts fingers inside cheek with questioning look with fingers in mouth says:]. The inside of its cheeks [Rodnay nods gravely] and this stuff dripping off the….. [points upwards] is….?

RODNAY: Spit. Like I said.

JONAH: [Getting very upset with himself and the situation. Realises he brought it on himself] Oh no! [Starts to cry] It’s all my fault. I shouldn’t have run away from God.

RODNAY: Tut, Tut You ran away from God? No wonder there’s been thunder!

JONAH: [Still crying] Yes, he sent the storm to make me turn back. [explaining] You see, he told me to go to Ninevah and I took a boat to Tarshish.

RODNAY: But that’s in the opposite direction. [points one way then another]

JONAH: [He stops crying] I know. Still, at least I didn’t drown.

RODNAY: [To audience] Not yet! [to Jonah] Can you swim?


RODNAY: No problem for me, but tricky for thee! It’s a good thing Winston saved you then.

JONAH: Winston?

RODNAY: Winston is the whale in whose mouth you flail.

JONAH: You know him?

RODNAY: He’s an old friend of mine. Luckily he doesn’t eat fish, only plankton.

[(SOUND) a roaring sound. Jonah and Rodnay look horrified to see a wave of water coming towards them. They both roll backwards, buffeted by the water. SOUND: Gulp! They are now in Winston’s stomach]

JONAH: Rodnay, I thought you said Winston didn’t eat fish? Now we’re in his stomach right? Ugh!

RODNAY: Afraid so. That means we might be here for a few days, but at least you’ve got air to breathe – and I’ve got water [he ducks down to pass water over his gills and takes a deep breath] So…you were saying… …you didn’t want to go to Ninevah?


RODNAY: I don’t blame you. Ninevah! I once heard a bird say that place is absurd.

JONAH: Yes, it’s a very wicked place. God told me to go and warn the people there to stop being bad. But I didn’t want to because I thought they deserve punishing, not rescuing.

RODNAY:  And here you are, right on cue, you yourself now need rescue.

JONAH: As I said, I took a boat to keep me afloat – listen to me! Now I’ve started! Then there was a massive storm, so I told the sailors to throw me overboard.

RODNAY: That wasn’t very nice of them to throw you in the sea.

JONAH: They didn’t want to at first, but the storm got worse; we were under God’s curse.

RODNAY: So they threw you in, though you couldn’t even swim?

JONAH: Look, all this rhyming is make me really tired. [he yawns] I’m going to have a sleep

RODNAY: [Whispers to audience] So I won’t make a peep.

[They both settle down to sleep. “3 DAYS LATER” – sign across stage]

JONAH: [Jonah is eating seaweed. He jumps up angry and storms around the stage, addressing the whale] Oy you! Winston! I’ve had enough of this. We’ve been stuck here three days. Let me out! Can you hear me? I’m starving! There’s nothing to eat but manky seaweed. I’m soaked through [shouts] ALL THE TIME and [to audience] although I’m glad of Rodnay’s company, he is getting on my nerves. Still, it is what I deserves.  [angry at himself for rhyming] Aaargh!

RODNAY: Why don’t you ask God to get us out of here? I’m a bit fed up too, with this place and with you!

JONAH: I suppose I could. I’d have to agree to go to Ninevah though.

RODNAY: Well that can’t be such a bad experience compared with this!

JONAH: OK, I think I will. [He kneels down and puts hands together and looks up genuinely sorry] Dear God. I am really sorry that I didn’t do what you told me to. I should have known I couldn’t run away from you. I’ve learned my lesson. I will obey you and go to Ninevah.

[SOUND: There is a loud long noisy burp. Rodnay & Jonah are thrown out of the whale’s stomach onto dry land]

JONAH: Wow! Fresh air! I’m not even in the sea. God has put me straight on the beach. Thank you God! [He doesn’t notice that Rodnay is on all fours on the beach unable to breathe, coughing and spluttering. Jonah gets his mobile phone out and holds it up happy] I’ve even got a signal here! [He looks at a map on his phone]  From this Google map, Ninevah must be that way. [He points at phone, then off stage]  Right off I go! [He starts to walk off stage]

RODNAY: [Coughing, tries to shout to Jonah] Never mind your God. What about your Cod? Jonah come back! Help me! I can’t breathe - I’m drowning in the air. Put me back in the sea!

JONAH: [Looks round concerned and rushes over]  Sorry Rodnay [Jonah  pushes Rodnay back into the sea, Rodnay breathes deeply in relief. Rodnay moves away waving, Jonah looks sad and waves back]

RODNAY: Thanks. Bye bye Jonah, been nice knowin’ ya.

JONAH: Bye! [to audience]Do you think it’s far to Ninevah? I wish I had a racing car! [he exits] 

RODNAY: He waves again] Bye bye my dear friend! [To audience] And that is THE END.


© Copyright Pam Norman, 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.
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. She may be contacted at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.