Hebrews vs Gentiles
© RGAA London 2000 with additional dialogue by James Linforth
First performed on 11 March 2000 at Otford Manor with an original cast of James Linforth as Paul, Alan Johns as Peter and Rory Anderson as Thomas
The setup is a radio commentary of a football match. You may therefore wish to have the players out of sight, behind a curtain &c. Paul should be played as a Des Lynam character, Peter like Gary Lineker and Thomas as Alan Hansen.
Paul …and if you’ve just tuned in, let me welcome you to the big match. After a week of speculation and hype, you’re just in time to grab a drink and get comfy as I introduce you to my fellow commentators for today’s Hebrews vs. Gentiles match – Simon Peter and Thomas. Well we’ve only got a few seconds before kick-off, but we’ve got time for a brief word. Peter?
Peter Thanks, Paul. It’s going to be a tricky game, but very exciting! We’ve got the classical style of the Greeks against the more rebellious football of the Hebrews – should make for a great contest.
Thomas Well, I’m not so sure. Both teams are looking a bit ropey and – at the end of the day – I don’t really think either of them will claim a prize on their own merits.
Paul: OK, well the referee’s just signalled the start of the match…
Peter: And straightaway Adam takes the ball. He’s making a great run, he’s a player who’s really got it all…
Thomas: And he’s fallen! Yes, he’s definitely fallen, and he’s got his spotless shirt covered in mud. I told you they were rubbish!
Peter: Yeah, but there’s plenty of time left and a little stumble like that’s hardly going to set the tone of the whole match!
Paul: Anyway the ball’s moving again and they seem to have got into their stride. They’re beginning to move it around and making a good recovery.
Peter: I don’t like to be negative, but the pitch does seem to be a little problematic.
Paul: What do you mean?
Peter: Well it seems to be very difficult to play on and it’s a lot of hard work.
Thomas: Ah think you’re absolutely right. And look, there’s a wee puddle forming on the pitch.
Paul: That’s not just a puddle – it’s growing!
Peter: This is absolutely incredible! It’s just getting bigger.
Thomas: It’s turning into a flood – the pitch is ruined and the players are being driven off. I told you it would be a disaster! You’d have to be able to walk on water to play here!
Peter: No. There’s still one of them there, who seems to have survived. And the flood’s receding now.
Paul: Well it’s been a fairly dramatic start to the match but play seems to be resuming.
Peter: Yeah, if you look at that young Hebrew player, Abram, there’s some talent there. It wouldn’t surprise me if he gets offered a transfer to different parts soon. He seems to have a lot of promise.
Thomas: Lot’s got promise?
Peter: No. Abram’s got Promise. Lot’s just tagging along. Anyway, with Abram onside, the Hebrews have to be the firm favourites.
Paul: It certainly seems that way. Well while we’ve been yakking there’s been a bit of action involving some of the Egyptian players but Moses seems to have taken the ball back.
Thomas: He’s an asset, no doubt about it, but he’s having a lot of trouble with his team mates – they’re causing him a huge amount of grief. No wonder he was so reluctant to skipper this team.
Peter: He’s getting so hacked off that – look – he keeps taking a couple of tablets.
Paul: Well that may keep things settled for a while, but on its own I’m not sure it’ll do the trick.
Thomas: Yeah Paul, tablets can only get you so far. Here’s one to watch – it’s a new Hebrew signing, a young lad called David… His career so far’s mainly involved playing with sheep and like most footballers he’s actually been convicted.
Peter: There’s a huge Gentile coming up now. On of the Gath boys – Goliath. I can’t see how David’ll get past…
Paul: But he’s done it – somehow he’s beaten Goliath at his own game!
Thomas: Really a quite remarkable performance – I told you he was good. But look what’s happened to the Hebrews now.
Peter: They certainly seem to be losing the plot a bit
Paul: They’re certainly struggling
Peter: They’ve got to come up with something if they’re to fulfil any of that early promise.
Thomas: Aye, that Hebrew manager wants to give them a bit of a lift at half-time. They’ve got huge amounts of zeal, but it just seems to be a wee bit misplaced. That graceful style of last season seems to have escaped them.
Paul: Anyway, that’s half time. We’ll be back after the break so you’ve just got time to put the cauldron on. Don’t go away.
Paul: Welcome back. Hebrews v Gentiles – Second Half. The Hebrews have had some inspired play, but are clearly missing something and have been struggling quite a bit. But will the Gentiles come good in the end?
Thomas: Yes, the Hebrews have got a real problem and they don’t seem to know what to do about it. They’ve lost direction.
Peter: Ah, but the Hebrew manager has made a move. He’s made a substitution, but it’s for a fairly new player from Nazareth who’s got a bit of a fair-weather fan club.
Thomas: Well, he’s certainly getting a bit of a reputation for unconventional play. The Hebrews can only hope that he calms down a bit or he’ll never be any use.
Paul: Jesus is all over the place. But he really is capable of the most inspired play I’ve ever witnessed, really miraculous.
Peter: His team-mates can’t even work out which way he’s going.
Thomas: I see what you mean. He’s playing off Abram and Moses but is completely avoiding Adam who looks like death.
Paul: In fact, Adam’s got the ball now and is charging straight for the Gentiles’ goal and is going to give them what they deserve…
Peter: But! Wow!
Thomas: I do not believe this!
Paul: Jesus saves it! A magnificent cross which puts the Gentiles in the clear! What an inspired substitution!
Peter: What on earth is going on? Whose side does he think he’s on?
Paul: This is really quite remarkable! And now he’s at his own end of the pitch and he makes another brilliant save!
Thomas: The crowd is going wild!
Peter: The Pharisees are tearing their hair out and the prophets are in stitches – they’ve certainly been proved correct.
Paul: This is not the way the game is meant to be played.
Peter: And Jesus is now being avoided by most of his team but bizarrely seems to be attracting a few of the Gentile players – including a bunch of Ephesians in full armour.
Thomas: This is quite a phenomenon! He’s getting all sorts of supporters from all over the place – and not just on the field.
Paul: No, indeed! In fact some of the crowd are on the pitch! They think it’s all over…