Monday Rewrite: Extraordinary Circumstances

2 Angels (1 & 2); Barabbas (B)

1 stands with a clipboard, 2 is off stage. Barabbas (B) strolls in.

1. Next! (Barabbas approaches Angel 1) And you are?
B. Barabbas.
1. Right. Barabbas. (Looks at his clipboard) Unfortunate name that really, I mean who’d want to be called after that brutal savage who… Oh! You ARE… that… brutal savage! Well… er… (Nervously) he…he…hello there. Let me just check the list a moment. I doubt if you’ll be on it though, I mean… oh! Oh yes. Goodness! Here you are. Right down the bottom. Ah! But look. There’s a note next to it, I’m afraid your claim has not been successful Mr Barabbas.
B. Why not?
1. Well it says here it’s due to… (Makes speech marks with fingers) extraordinary circumstances. To be honest that could mean a whole raft of things, it covers a multitude of sins! (Grimaces) Companies on planet earth use it all the time so they don’t have to provide compensation. Up here though, it’ll be legit. Trust me.
B. What?
1. Never mind. Any reason you might just be aware of why your claim may have been rejected? Anything at all? Any history of er… law-breaking perhaps? Threatening behaviour? Bodily harm? Being naughty?
B. Yea. Course.
1. Which?
B. All of them.
1. Well, there you go than! That would do it. Sorry, but I’ll tell you what, if you take that lift there it goes down about a thousand floors. Keep going down, you’ll feel the temperature rising, and don’t stop until you get…
2. WAIT! (Angel 2 arrives, gasping for breath) I’m not too late am I? You haven’t rejected his claim, have you? He’s not in the lift already is he?
1. Who?
2. Is this him? Barabbas?
1. Er… well.. it might be… but he can’t come in. His claim’s been rejected.
2. Why?
1. Well, it says here it’s due to (makes speech marks again) extraordinary circumstances. But I think we all know what that means.
2. What do you mean?
1. You know – (mouths it melodramatically and makes speech marks again) extraordinary circumstances.
(2 shrugs)
1. (Bluntly) His CV’s full of violence and unlawful behaviour – so I think there’s probably a clue in that!
2. Hmm. Really? Extraordinary circumstances you say? (Looks at clipboard) Yes I see. (Looks up and smiles) Well Mr B, it’s your lucky day.
B. What do you mean?
1. (Panicky) Yes! What do you mean?!?
2. Well, due to other (makes speech marks with fingers) extraordinary circumstances the gates of heaven have been thrown open. Your claim is perfectly acceptable.
B. Thrown open?
1. THROWN OPEN!!! (Horrified)
2. (Smiling) Yes.
B. To the likes of me?
1. To the likes of HIM?!!! (More horrified)
2. Absolutely. You’ve both got it now.
1. But he isn’t a good person.
2. Nope.
1. So what are you talking about? What (speech marks) extraordinary circumstances?
2. Jesus of Nazareth. You know, that incident down in Jerusalem? That crucifixion? Completely cut through the bureaucracy. One person paid the required entry fee for all. His claim’s valid.
B. Oh I met him. Amazing bloke. In fact, he saved my life, he took my place.
2. We know.
B. So I can come in?
1. No!
2. Yes!
1. (Sighs) Huh! Well…I suppose so, though if it was up to me…
2. Ah but that’s just the point, it isn’t. In you come Mr B. That’s your place over there. Fourth mansion on the right. Enjoy.

(1 Corinthians chapter 15 verses 21-22)

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