THE PUSHY NEIGHBOUR (Luke 11:5-13)
- Narrator (in pulpit)
- The Father (Zack. Could also be mother, e.g. Rebecca, depending on gender of actor)
- The Neighbour (David, speaks from offstage. An Eric Idle type, wheedling and a bit nerdy)
- Several children (mostly non-speaking extras, names intercheangeable)
- Sleeping bags or duvets on the floor beside the organ or other obstruction.
Scene: A tiny one-bedroom flat. Sleeping bags litter the floor.
Enter the Father, visibly weary as he gently ushers in a number of children. As the Narrator sets the scene, they make their way to the bedding, where the Father starts getting the children into bed.
Narrator: It is midnight in Zack’s tiny one-bedroom flat, and he and his children are very, very tired. It’s a hard life for a single Dad. He’s been at work all day and half the night, earning money to feed them. And he’s already had a rocket from the child-minder for picking them up so late.
Narrator sinks down into the pulpit. (An older or less flexible person could alternatively turn 180 degrees so that his/her back is to the congregation.)
Father: [Tiredly] Come on all of you. No, nothing more to eat, Joshua, it’s bedtime now. No, you’ve had a drink, Mary. Oh, Daniel, do you really have to? Go on then, but be very quick.
One of the children goes round the corner for a few seconds while Father gets the rest settled and lies down himself on the inside, right against the organ. The child returns and gets into bed on the outermost side.
Father: Did you remember to wash your hands… Well done. Be sure to switch the light out. Night night everybody. Sweet dreams. [Children can optionally reply.]
There is silence for a few seconds. Then there is a loud knock on the door. Nobody reacts, and after a few more seconds the knock is repeated. When there is still no answer, the Neighbour shouts out.
Neighbour: Come on Zachary, I know you’re at home; I saw you come in [Pause]. It’s me, David. You know, your friend from next door [Pause]. Look, I need a favour.
Father: [In a loud stage whisper] What do you want, David? Look, it’s way after midnight. Why don’t you come back in the morning?
Neighbour: It’s no good, I can’t wait till morning. I need something now! Go on, mate, it won’t take a minute.
Father: Come on David, be reasonable. I’ve only just got the children to sleep. You’re going to wake them up in a minute!
A Child: [Wailing, half asleep] D-a-a-ddy?!
Father: [To child] Shhhh. It’s OK, Danny, go back to sleep.
Neighbour: Zachary, are you still there? I need something. My brother’s turned up after a long journey, and I haven’t got any food in the house.
Father: For goodness sake, keep your voice down. If you pop round first thing in the morning I’ve got some bread and stew you can have. But we’re in bed and I’m trapped on the inside. I couldn’t get up even if I wanted to.
Neighbour: He hasn’t had anything to eat all day. He’s feeling faint from hunger. Please help us. You’re my only friend in the street.
Father: [Coming to a decision and getting up onto his knees] No surprises there, if this is how your friends get treated. But I guess you’re not going to be quiet and let me get to sleep until I’ve sorted you out.
Father begins to pick his way over the children, who begin to stir and sit up and ask questions.
Narrator: [Drily, after popping up in the pulpit] And so, not for the sake of friendship, but simply to shut the pushy neighbour up and get his family back to sleep, Zack gives in and goes to the door.
All freeze for a few moments, then exeunt.
Sketch to be followed with Bible reading and a brief explanatory talk.