Pharisee by James Archer
This monologue is based on the Pharisee in Luke 7:36-50, although this should not become obvious until towards the end. It needs to be adapted so that it is as true to life for the narrator as possible if the audience know him/her. The power is in the element of it being close to the bone for the narrator as well as the audience. When originally performed it was in the context of a family service, which explains the start and finish. Please note that younger children will not understand the irony, and the points may have to be brought out later.
Would the children like to come up to the front, because I’ve got something I want to talk to you about. I want to tell you about myself, and something that happened last week.
You know, I shouldn’t boast, but I’m a pretty important chap here in the church – I’m church treasurer. They don’t make you treasurer unless you’re completely trustworthy. It means I’m on the PCC as well – whenever they need advice about anything to do with money, they ask me. And, as you can see, I sometimes lead services and teach – I’ve been specially approved by the bishop. I mean, you can’t let any Tom Dick or Harry teach God’s people, can you? You never know what they might say. Still, I don’t think the bishop had to think too hard when the vicar approached him on my behalf.
And then I work for the church too. Yes, I gave up a well-paid job in the City to work for the church – wasn’t that good of me? Central Services Director, they call me – see, I’ve even got the badge to prove it. Very important – a director at the centre of the church. And I love it. Specially meeting all the bigwigs. You know, I’ll even be seeing an Archbishop next week.
Well, those are my official positions, but I also do a lot informally to keep the church on track. You know, last month, I overheard a couple of people talking about the vicar’s hairstyle. Not very polite they weren’t. Still, the vicar really appreciated it when I told him what they’d said – he needs to know what’s going on in the church, so I’m like his eyes and ears. If there’s anything dodgy going on, he can rely on me to find it out.
And that’s why I had a supper party last week – to do some undercover detective work on a possible trouble-maker. Well, it was pretty obvious that he was setting up a cult – huge crowds followed him, hanging on his every word, expecting something amazing to happen – fools! Like most of those people, he seemed to spend most of the time talking about himself.
I was really pleased when he accepted my invitation and said he would bring along a few friends – at least he realised how important I am. But what friends! I hardly needed to look further – you can tell a lot about a person from his friends. Most of them were just common peasants, but one of them …….. Well, I was so shocked, I can hardly talk about it even now. I mean, I’ve never had a bimbo in my house before – never! Ugh! A right tart, she was – all over him, wouldn’t leave him alone, showering him with kisses, weeping on his feet and then wiping them with her hair – disgusting! It put me right off my food. You could see he was enjoying it too.
And then, he had the cheek to criticise me – me! Told me I should have greeted him at the door and made a fuss of him like She was doing. Said God thought she was better than me. Preposterous! In my own house, too. He’ll give the whole church a bad name if we don’t stop him. Still, he put his foot in it at the end, so I should have enough evidence to nail him – very satisfactory.
Anyway, that’s enough from me for now. Time to remind ourselves what we believe, so let’s all stand to sing the Creed, We believe in God the Father.
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