Summary: A sketch retelling the story of Jonah from the perspective of a modern newsroom.
Style: Dramatic/light. Duration: 10min (in two parts)
Actors: 1M, 3M/F
Presenter: Good evening. News is just reaching us of an extra-ordinary rescue in the Mediterranean Sea off Cyprus. Sailors from the S.S. Fleeing-from-God en route from Joppa to Tarshish, are reporting that one of their passengers fell overboard while the ship was being battered by heavy seas. As they watched, a huge whale swam up to the passenger, opened its mouth and then began to carry the passenger towards land. Marine experts say that while there have been stories of dolphins coming to the aid of drowning people, this is the first reported incidence of a whale assisting someone in distress. We hope to bring you more on this story as we hear about further developments. In the meantime we are returning to our regular weekly programme ‘Sunday Worship’.
Drama (News report from inside the whale)
Presenter: We are interrupting Sunday Worship to inform you of the latest developments in the whale story. Our intrepid reported Mark Haysom has managed to get inside the whale and is able to bring us a live interview with the passenger swept overboard from the S.S. Fleeing-from-God. Can you hear me, Mark? [fade up sound of the sea in the background]
Reporter 1: [dressed in full scuba-diving gear – leaving a pause as if still listening through his ear piece to allow for Satellite delay] Er, Yes, I can hear you, Rosie. About 20 minutes ago I managed to smuggle my way inside this enormous beast and am here with Jonah from Joppa, who was swallowed by this whale moments before he drowned. [turning to Jonah] Jonah, tell me what happened.
Jonah: Well, I was trying to get as far away from Israel as I could. So I went to Joppa and hopped on this boat to Spain.
Reporter 1: [cutting in] Excuse me, but why were you running away?
Jonah: God said he had plans for my life that I didn’t really like. Said he wanted me to be the person who would tell the people of Ninevah that he loved them. I mean, who’d want to go to Ninevah – [said angrily] tush, God forsaken place. I’ve got better things to do with my life than trying to save those heathen people.
Reporter 1: [coming in quickly to stop Jonah ranting] So you got on this ship, er…[looking at this notes] ..the S.S. Fleeing-from-God…
Jonah: Yeah, that was a mistake. I should’ve seen from the name. Anyway, no sooner had we left port than we were in this massive storm with waves bigger than the boat and everyone was arguing about whose fault it was. Next thing I knew I was in the water.
Reporter 1: You got swept overboard?
Jonah: I suppose you could say that…with a bit of assistance! Anyway, I’m not much of a swimmer and I lost all hope of seeing dry land again.
Reporter 1: You were drowning?
Jonah: Not ‘alf. I was being sucked right under then suddenly this massive whale gave me a friendly nudge and then carried me up to the surface in his mouth! I just about had time to draw a breath and he swallowed me.
Reporter 1: And do you feel closer to nature as a result of this remarkable rescue?
Jonah: I don’t know yet. I’m not out of trouble yet, am I ?
[at this point there is the sound of coughing/ clearing of throat and Reporter 1 & Jonah begin to sway unsteadily on their feet]
Jonah: Uh, oooh! What’s happening?
[sound of a massive spit! Mark and Jonah throw themselves forward onto the floor. Presenter reappears]
Presenter: [looking a little perplexed and holding her earpiece]. Er, we seem to have lost the transmission from [name of Reporter 1]. We will try to get you more on that remarkable story but in the meantime it’s back to the studio.
Link to confession – we all run from God sometimes. Don’t always follow his will for our lives so are not the people he meant us to be:
Drama link to reading
Presenter: We can now bring you a further update on the whale story that is attracting so much attention around the world. We still don’t have a link to our reporter [name of Reporter 1], but our Middle East correspondent [name of Reporter 2] is on the ground in Ninevah where some extra-ordinary events seem to be unfolding as we speak. [name of Reporter 2] tell us what is happening there with you…
Reading Jonah 2: 10 – 3: 10 [Reporter 2].
Presenter: Thank you [name of Reporter 2] It seems that remarkable story has a happy ending and that Jonah is now living out a “Porpoise-driven life”. Goodbye!
© Copyright Ian Wallace, 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.