By John McNeil
play seeks to answer the question: If Jesus were born today, where
would we find the baby? A German version of this script can be found at
Any of the gospels.
The capital city of a small country.
3 Wise Dudes
City Mission Helper
Joseph & Mary
Other street kids
(Enter 3 Wise Dudes on BMXs or Mountain Bikes, singing as they pedal.)
We 3 Dudes from Kiwiland are.
Bearing gifts we've travelled afar.
Cross Cook Strait and on till daybreak
Wishing we'd come here by car.
Oh, star of wonder, star of might,
Star of beauty, she'll be right.
Star of glory, that's the story,
Following yonder star.
Dude 1: Well, if this is where the star has led us where on earth are we?
Dude 2: Beats me. But then, the instructions werepretty vague to start with. (Takes piece of paper from hispocket and reads.) “First star on the right, and thenstraight on till morning.”
Dude 3: You twit, that's the wrong play. We're looking for a baby king, not Peter Pan.
Dude 2: Whoops. Hold on a minute. (Searches his pockets again, brings out another paper.) Let's try this.
“Follow the star and you will find
A baby king who'll rule mankind.”
Dude 3: Better, but not much.
Dude 2: That's the secret of being a good prophet. Make it vague enough and something's bound to fit.
Dude 1: Don't be so cynical. You were happy enough to set out on this quest. We're nearly there now, so let's stop squabbling and get our bearings. We'll ask one of the locals. They're bound to have heard something. (He stops a passerby.)
Dude 1: Excuse me, sir/madam.We're looking for a baby king that we have been told has been born in your town. Can you tell us where we might find him?
Passer-by: A baby king? Haven't seen anything on the TV news about that. Are you sure you've got the right place?
Dude 2: This is where the star has led us.
Passerby: Star! Which star was that? Dustin Hoffman? Robin Williams? Julia Roberts?
Dude 3: What are you talking about? Are you sure you're in the right play? We're looking for a baby king.
Passerby: Well I don't know anything about baby kings. Perhaps you had better try the Prime Minister's office. First on the right and straight on till.....
Dude 2: Till morning! Yeah, we know that one. Thanks a bunch.
(Passerby exits, and the 3 Dudes do a circuit of the stage. During this and several other similar circuits at later stages of the play, a carol could be sung by the audience or choir. The 3 Dudes arrive at the door of the Prime Minister.They knock.)
PM: Hello, how can I help you?
Dude 1: Are you the Prime Minister of this country?
PM: According to the latest Gallup research poll, I am the most preferred person for the position of Prime Minister, yes.
Dude 2: We have been told that a baby king has been born in your city, and we are trying to find him.
Dude 3: We have some gifts that we want to give him.
PM: A baby king?You're looking for a baby king? Don't you read the opinion polls?
Dude 1: No, why?
PM: The latest Gallup poll shows that 51.5% of the population of this country want to become a republic. They don't want a king or a queen any more. And in my speech to the Westhaven Rotary Club yesterday I pledged on the basis of this mandate to lead us out of slavish adherence to an outmoded institution and into a new era in which we can determine our own destiny and forge our own identity.
Dude 2: No baby king, huh?
PM: Certainly not. Any king is, of course, welcome to apply for immigrant status, but he will be treated the same as any other applicant.
Dude 3: Where else in this place would royalty stay on a visit?
PM: You could try the Park Royal Hotel, I suppose. I hope you like that little pun.Opinion polls show that 65% of adults prefer their Prime Minister to have a sense of humour.Good day, and thank you for voting for me.
Dude 1: Good day. (They turn to leave.) A republic!That's how much they know about this baby king.
(They do a circuit, arriving at the Park Royal Hotel.)
Receptionist: Welcome to the Park Royal Hotel, gentlemen? How may I help you?
Dude 1: We're looking for a baby king that we've been told has been born in this city? Would he be parked here by any chance?
Receptionist: Be a little cautious making that sort of joke around here, good sir. We punished the last person who did by electing him Prime Minister.
Dude 2: Apologies. Ignorance seems to be a terribly catching disease in this town.
Dude 2: Granted. But can you please tell us whether you have a baby king here?
Receptionist: None have arrived since I came on duty. And none have been booked in, to my knowledge. But let me check the register. (Looks up book.) Let's see.We have a Koenig....Rex...Royaume...Regent ...but no king.
Dude 3: What about the stable?
Receptionist: I beg your pardon?
Dude 3: Is there anyone using the stable?
Receptionist: Stable? We don't have a stable. We have a car parking level in the basement, but no-one travels by horse any more. What made you think we would have a stable?
Dude 3: (Mumbles) Just something I read in a story once.
Receptionist: It looks like I can't help you, gentlemen. And unfortunately, neither can I offer you any accommodation. We're absolutely fully booked.
Dude 3: At least you got that part right.
Dude 1: Is there anywhere else you can suggest that we might find a baby king?
Receptionist: I would have thought the most obvious place to find a baby was the maternity hospital. Why don't you try there?
Dude 1: There are some times when even we wise dudes miss the obvious. Thank you, miss. Come on guys. To the hospital.
(They pick up their bikes and do a circuit, arriving at the maternity hospital. They go to the entrance, and peer at the notice by the closed doors.)
Dude 2: What does it say?“After hours admissions, press button.” Here we go. (He pushes the button) Let's hope it's the last place we have to traipse round after.
(Matron comes to the door.)
Matron: Can I help you?
Dude 1: I sincerely hope so. We've come a long journey, looking for a baby king that we have been told has been born in this town, and nobody seems to know where he might be stabled....er...stationed. Is he here?
Matron: Are one of you gentlemen the father?
Dude 3: Good grief no. We just want to bring him some gifts.
Matron: In that case, I can't let you in. Only fathers are permitted in after hours. Visiting hours for others are 2-4 and 7-8 daily. And (heavy emphasis), there is a maximum of two visitors permitted to each patient.
Dude 1: (Excited) So he's here! After all our searching, we've found him! Please, we must see the baby king.
Matron: I'm sorry, the rules are there for a purpose, and one of them is to allow mothers to have plenty of rest after the delivery of their babies. Visitors can be very tiring for a new mother and baby.
Dude 2: But the baby king. How is he? What's he like?
Matron: You do keep going on about a baby king, don't you. Well, if that's what you're looking for, you've come to the wrong place. We have no baby king here.
Dude 3: But you just said.....
Matron: I said nothing of the sort. I was merely explaining the rules. Good rules make a good institution.
Dude 3: But he must be here. We've looked everywhere and there's nowhere else we can think of to try.
Matron: Well, I can't help you. Perhaps you could ask at the police station. Good night.
(She closes the door. The 3 Dudes look helplessly at each other, not knowing what to do.)
Dude 3: I'm hungry.
Dude 2: And tired.Let's find somewhere to spend the night.
Dude 1: But where?We've got no money left. Only these gifts we've brought for the baby.
(A punk street kid comes along.)
Dude 1: Hey kid, where can 3 Dudes without any money get something to eat?
Dude 2: And spend the night.
Punk: Come with me. I'm going to the City Mission. They give free meals there and a place to sleep if you've got nothin'.
Dude 3: Sounds most excellent to me. Lead on, noble sir.
(While they do a circuit, enter City Mission helper, other street kids, Joseph, Mary and baby. They sing 2 verses of the carol, “What Child is This”)
Punk: Here you are. This is the City Mission. (They knock)
Mission Helper: Hi, can I help you?
Punk: I picked these Dudes up down the Square. We all need something to eat and a bed for the night.
Helper: Crumbs, it's going to be a full house tonight. Every man and his donkey seems to have come from out of town. You'll probably have to sleep on the floor. The last bed was taken by a young woman who's just had a baby. Hardly got in the door than we had to call the doctor. Seems okay though.
Dude 1: Did you say a baby?
Helper: Yeah, a wee boy.
Dude 2: A baby king?
Helper: Well, he's sure ruling the roost right now.
Dude 3: We've got some presents we'd like to give him.
Helper: That's a nice idea, seeing it's Christmas Day. Come on in.
(They enter, kneel before Mary & Jesus, and give their gifts. All sing, “O Come All Ye Faithful”.)
© John McNeil 1989
All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged.
In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed.
He may be contacted at: email@example.com
Or at: 36B Stourbridge St, Christchurch 8024, New Zealand.