The Light of the World

By Jeremy Moodey


A  monologue in which a clerk at the gates of Heaven interviews a potential (but imaginary) entrant.

Scripture reference

Matthew 5:1-12 – the Beatitudes.


One – the clerk.


(The stage is bare apart from a rather officious looking individual sitting behind a desk with a pen and paper. He is the clerk at the entrance to Heaven, and he is interviewing potential candidates.)
Clerk: NEXT!
Oi! Where do you think you’re going?
There’s one born every minute, isn’t there? You may think you’re going to Heaven, but if you’re not on my list, you’re not getting in. Now, kindly take a seat. (He indicates to an imaginary seat on the other side of the table.)
Thank you. Name please – or, as, I like to say, who on earth were you? Ha ha ha!
(Brief silence)
Mr Spiritually-Proud? Double-barrelled eh? Well, we’ve got all types in here. First name?
(Brief silence)
(Sniggers) Horace? No wonder you were in a hurry to leave! Anyway, let’s see who I’ve got on the list (he looks at the list)….ah yes…..Spiritually-Alive, Spiritually-High, Spiritually-Mature. Ah! Here we are. Mr Spiritually-P…..
What did you say your name was? Mr Spiritually-Proud? Oh dear. I’ve got a Mr Spiritually-Poor on the list, but not a Mr Spiritually-Proud. Sorry, but I can’t let you in. NEXT!
(Imaginary protestations)
Look, I’m sorry but you’re not on my list. I’ll show you! (He shows the list.) Spiritually-Alive, Spiritually-High, Spiritually-Mature, Spiritually-Poor, Spiritually-Right-On, Spiritually-With-It. But no Spiritually-Proud.
(Brief silence)
Look, you may have gone to church every Sunday, you may have given lots of money to charity. You could have all Sir Cliff’s records for all I care. But you’re not on my list. And if you’re not on my list, you can’t get in.
(Brief silence)
Oh, please don’t cry! Look, you’re making a puddle!
(Brief silence)
Look, calm down. I suppose I could try to get you in. The Boss has got a bit of a soft spot for the down-trodden, the unfortunates in life. You’ve just got to answer a few questions, OK? First of all, have you ever mourned? Have you really wept when you’ve lost something that was dear to you?
(Brief silence)
You cried your eyes out when Tottenham got knocked out of the FA Cup? Well…er…what I meant was, has anything really terrible happened in your life?
(Brief silence)
Your wife once bought a Barry Manilow record? Well…er…perhaps we should move on to the next question. Now, are you humble?
(Brief silence)
You’re the humblest person in the world? Er…OK…that’s not quite the answer I was looking for, but I’ve got a got a few more questions…er, let’s see…ah yes, what is your greatest desire?
(Brief silence)
Liz Hurley? No, no, that’s not what I meant. Isn’t your greatest desire to do what God – I mean the Boss – wants? No? Oh dear. Look, here’s another question. Have you ever been merciful to others?
(Brief silence)
Well, you know, really helped someone who really needed it?
(Brief silence)
You once bought a present for your mother-in-law? How nice. What was it?
(Brief silence)
A chair? How lovel…..(pause) but she wouldn’t let you plug it in? Erm, look, we’re not doing very well here. Here’s another question…Are you pure in heart? (pause) Well, given the present you gave to your mother-in-law, probably not. Ummm…I know, have you ever worked for peace?
(Brief silence)
Ah, you once broke up a fight? How courageous! How did you do that?
(Brief silence)
You smacked both of them in the mouth! Er…Look, I’ve got one last question. Have you ever been persecuted for doing what God requires? (Pause) No, don’t answer that. I’m beginning to get a feel for your answers now. Look, Mr Spiritually-Proud, I’ve tried very hard, but there really is no way I can let you in. You may well be Spiritually-Proud, but you haven’t got a lot to be proud of, have you? You’ll just have to…
(Phone rings. The clerk answers.)
Hello? Ah, Boss! (He suddenly stands bolt upright.) No, I was just interviewing…a Mr Spiritually-Proud…yes, that’s the one, a hopeless ca…oh, you know him?…he was insulted and persecuted for your sake? People told lies about him because he stood up for you? Oh, no Boss, I was coming to the same conclusion myself…yes, that’s it, I was just about to let him in…thank you, Boss…have a nice day.
(He hangs up)
Well, I’ll be…Well, Mr Spiritually-Proud, the Boss thinks you’re the bee’s knees. In other words, you’re in. Off you go then.
(He lets him in)
(With head buried in paper)
Name please? L-I-z H-u-r-l-e-y. Liz Hurley.
(He looks up)
(He falls off chair)


© Jeremy Moodey 2003, all rights reserved.
This drama 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.
Contact Jeremy at j_moodey<at>