Monday Rewrite: The Big Show

You can find a downloadable version of this piece and the four previous Christmas pieces by clicking this line.

The scene is the nativity. Mary and Joe sit quietly, Mary holding Jesus as a group of shepherds gaze on. One of the shepherds, a youngster, starts to shuffle a bit, looks around, then clears her throat.

Shep. When’s it start then?

Joe. When’s what start?

Shep. The big show?

Joe. The big show? There’s no big show.

Shep. Well, I expected a bit more than this. (Indicates the stable)

Joe. He’s a brand new baby. He sleeps, yawns a bit, cries, fills his nappy. What else do you want?

Shep. But the angels promised us a big show. They said he’d be amazing. Does he do any tricks?

Joe. Tricks? Course he doesn’t. Frankly we’re just glad Mary didn’t give birth in a ditch. It’s been a bit of a frantic night.

Shep. Will he do something tomorrow? I mean, we were promised peace on earth. This isn’t exactly what I’d call a bit of fast-paced bit entertainment.

Joe. Fast-paced entertainment? This isn’t the latest blockbuster movie you know.

Shep. Got any refreshments then? Hot dogs and burgers? Soft drinks?

Joe. No we haven’t got any refreshments!! We’ve got a new baby, grateful hearts, weary bones… oh  and a big star up there in the sky.

Shep. Ah yes, now I’ll admit that’s impressive. That’s a very good special effect. Does it do anything?

Joe. No! It just stays up there, lighting up the stable a bit.

Shep. Oh… really? To be honest I’m surprised with this place. Shouldn’t a king have a place with a few less cobwebs?

Joe. Well we tried to book a palace but they were all full.

Shep. Really?

Joe. No! Course not! And anyway, I doubt you’d have got anywhere near us if we’d been in a posh place with pile carpets, look at the state of your sandals! Look what you’ve trodden in.

Shep. Oh yea. (Sighs) So what now then?

Joe. Now? Now we take him home and look after him while he grows up, has a normal, if relatively poor, childhood.

Shep. I was thinking about fireworks… some pyrotechnics to round things off?

Joe. No! There’ll be no fireworks. Nothing dramatic whatsoever. Just so long as Herod doesn’t hear about the birth of a new king.

Shep. Ooh! Will he be coming then?

Joe. I hope not. There’ll be trouble if he does. We may well have to run for our lives if that despot shows up.

Shep. What’s that noise? Hey! Some action at last. (points off stage) Look at these posh folks coming, all smarted up on them camels. (The other shepherds stand, bow and start to leave) Wait a minute! Where are you lot going? It’s just getting exciting. Come back. Don’t you want you to rub shoulders with posh people? (The shepherds go)

Joe. Apparently they don’t.

Shep. This is confusing. I thought this was the start of something big.

Joe. I’m sure it is. A quiet revolution. One day at a time. Now unless you want the big excitement of changing his extremely full nappy…

Shep. Ugh. No thanks.

Joe. See you later then. Maybe pop back in about 30 years? See what he’s up to then? Look out, mind that pile of camel’s du… oh dear, too late.

Shep. Ugh! Oh no… Oh well, bye then. Hope we haven’t lost any sheep while we’ve been away. We did have a hundred, but if one’s run off that’ll only leave 98… or is it 97…

Shepherd wanders off counting on her fingers.

You can find a downloadable version of this piece and the four previous Christmas pieces by clicking this line.

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