The "Z" Factor

By Nick Clarke


A light-hearted sketch about preparing for the birth of Jesus, and taking the Christmas message seriously. This sketch is based on the television programme "The X Factor", in which various amateur singers perform, hoping to be selected for stardom.


Zechariah (Z),
Angel (A) - any number,
Elizabeth (E),
Mary (M),
Relatives (R) - any number,
3 Judges (J1,2 & 3),
Television Host (H)
[Host and judges parts can be combined.]


H: Hello viewers and welcome to tonight's edition of the "Z" Factor, in which various no hopers will try to impress the judges with their musical talents. First I will ask the judges to introduce themselves:

J1: I'm Sharon, I'm quite a fair judge.

J2: I'm Simon, I'm a hard and cruel judge.

J3: I'm the Irish one, although today I won't be using my Irish accent.

H: Thank you judges, and now for our first contestants, who call themselves "Zechariah and the Angels"

[each character can clap, chant or "rap" their words to suit. A beat could be played if desired ]

Z: My name's Zach and I'm a priest,
Going to the temple to offer God a feast,
God's been good to my wife and me,
The only thing we lack is our own baby.

A: Hey there Zach, I've a message from God,
You and your wife need not be sad,
God's heard your prayers, you're going to have a son,
And once he's been born, you must call him John.

Z: Surely you're wrong, how can this be,
We're too old, as you can see.

A: God will do it, but as you doubt,
You're going to be silent, 'till the kid comes out.

J1: Ok, I think we've heard enough, and I'm sorry to say I'm not very impressed.

J2: No, you need a lot more practice, your lyrics don't make sense, and the beat is rubbish.

J3: I have to agree, a song about a couple of old geezers having a baby is weird, nobody would take it seriously.

H: So that's a "No" from the judges. The next performers are a female duet called "Elizabeth and Mary", let's see if they can impress the judges.

E: My husband Zach, he can't say a word,
But I understood everything he heard.
God's answered my prayers, given me a baby,
And we've been told, that one day maybe
God's Holy Spirit will live in him,
And he'll tell people to turn from sin.

M: I'm Liz's cousin, my name is Mary,
I'm pregnant too, now isn't that scary.
An Angel told me not to be concerned,
My baby's from God, that much I've learned.
When I visited my cousin, something happened that was odd.
Her baby leaped for joy, and we praised and worshipped God.

J2: Stop, stop, stop. I've heard enough.

J1: So have I. You were terrible.. and the song was so cheesy, you're even worse than the last lot.

J3: Too timid, not loud enough,…and more weird lyrics about God and babies.

H: So that seems to be another "No" from the judges. Lets see if our next act will be any better, they're a group called "The Relatives".

R: We're Zach's relatives, he's now got a son,
We're all wondering, what's been going on.
It's time to think what to call the lad,
Maybe Zechariah, named after his dad.
It's a family tradition to call him a name,
Of one of the relatives, make him the same.

J1: That's enough…we get the idea.

J2: Yes, you're ill rehearsed, very shoddy and you can't sing.

J3: And more weird lyrics….who cares what you name the kid.

H: So another "No" from the judges. Finally, Zechariah is returning to do a solo piece.

[ Z enters, says nothing, and walks around holding a sign saying "His name is John"]

J2: This is absolutely ridiculous, you were on earlier as part of a band and you couldn't sing and your lyrics were rambling and didn't make any sense…now you're back and you still don't make any sense.

J1: But at least you can't criticise his singing this time.

J2: Yes, but…

J3: And this time his lyrics aren't rambling

J2: True, the lyrics are certainly short and to the point…. But what is the point ?

Z: The point is that God's got a message for us all. God worked a miracle to let my son be born…and God worked another miracle with Mary's pregnancy…and both these babies are going to grow up to teach you very important things about God, which you should take seriously.

J1: Well if God's got a message for us, perhaps we should listen.

J2: Ok, maybe I've been a bit unfair.

J3: Maybe I'll understand the lyrics better a second time around.

H: Most unusual, this has never happened before, it looks as if the judges are going to re-judge the whole competition…..take it away Zach:

[All repeat their lines, but without any interruption from judges. At the end, all the judges clap]

J3: Yes, I understand the lyrics now…it does make sense after all.

J1: There's a lot more to the Christmas story than just a baby being born, God is doing something really special here.

J2: I agree, we should consider the Christmas message much more seriously.

H: So that finishes tonight's edition of the "Z" factor…if the judges think God's message should be taken seriously, then surely we should too…..and even Simon agreed…now that is a miracle !!


© Nick Clarke 2005, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.
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: