Peace Child – Alpha Omega Script

Peace Child – Alpha Omega

– a Journey to Faith –

Before you start – Read the Lesson Plans:

Go through the questions that each lesson raises about the story with your cast – if possible doing some home work assignments on the 6 x issues the Lesson Plans cover:   

  1. War and Peace
  2. Stewardship of the Earth
  3. Religion and Science
  4. Rights and Responsibilities
  5. Culture and Stereotypes
  6. Intergenerational Dialogue
Setting:

Chorus on risers behind the Orchestra; bare stage for the actors in front of the Orchestra; Storyteller Stage Left; Back projection screen if wished;

General Lighting Principles:
1. Use only Follow Spots – and general area illumination of the Choir when they are singing;
  1. When any actor is singing, both follow-spots are on them;
  2. When the Storyteller is speaking, she has both follow-spots on her
  3. When Chorus is singing on their own, the Follow-spots swing back to highlight them

 

S C R I P T

Opening: Lighting / Action: Black Out! The Story-teller enters carrying a candle; she reaches her lectern – the follow spot comes up on her face, picking up on the light created by the candle. She then blows it out, and the Spot light grows to illuminate her head and shoulders She moves to her lectern and opens her Story Book. She starts softly – her voice building a crescendo over the narration.  Music: low build on the organ – rippling louder, louder – then subsides.

Storyteller:  [Confidentially – gently, to the audience. Telling them a story – the oldest story in the world]
In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth
And the earth was without form and void;

And darkness was upon the face of the deep
And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters
And God said, Let there be light, and there was light
And God saw the light that it was good,

– and divided the light from the darkness
And God called the light day, and the darkness he called night
And the evening and the morning were the first day
Out of darkness came light
Out of light came life.
Out of life was born the living world.
Unto the living world came humankind
Human beings stood between heaven and earth, alone and naked
Not knowing or understanding the world about them
For they were without knowledge of these things.
And they cried out to heaven from whence their spirit came

Lighting / Action: The lights come up for the Orchestra and chorus; The Chorus stand – the soloist comes forward walking

 into the spotlight vacated by the Storyteller.  Music: Drum roll –  Chorus sing:   “Aaaah – aah – ah –aaah – ah-ah – aaaaaah!”  The song begins:

  1. I WHO AM I

Soloist:        I, who am I? What is this world?

Why am I here?

I, what am I? What is my cause?

What must I be?

Is there a reason for living?

And having a place of our own?

What power conceived me?

Abandoned me to the unknown?

 

Chorus:       We, who are we? What is this place?

Why are we here?

We, who are we to be so lost

And all alone?

Is there a reason for living

And having a place of our own?

What power conceived me

Abandoned me to the unknown?

 

Soloist:        I, who am I? What is this world?

Why am I here?

Storyteller:  So –  here I am, living in the relatively prosperous, relatively unpolluted world of 2056 – and do I have any clue of who I am, or why I’m here? Of course not! BUT – I have faith that I am here for a reason, and that, just by asking these questions, I get closer to that reason. I want you to come back with me to a night over forty years ago. [Enter Charlotte – scared, searching] The night that changed my life forever. A train carrying toxic chemicals was derailed near my home town. They believed it was a terrorist plot and they evacuated the whole city. I got left behind. Although I was a non-believer, somehow, I felt safe taking refuge in this Cathedral.  I was scared! Really, really scared! I knew I could be dead any minute – and those questions echoed in my mind….

Lighting / Action: The Storyteller crosses the stage past Charlotte; the follow spot follows with  her – until she crosses Charlotte – when it stays with Charlotte and follows her as darts about the stage – looking angry and scared.  The second Follow Spot picks up Christopher and Aaron as they run in down the aisle – swinging about, reflecting their panic! Charlotte calms down, watching them. She smiles as they fiddle with their mobile phones.

 Aaron:        It’s dead – there’s no signal!

Chris:          They’ve switched off all the circuits.

Aaron:         Why?!
 
Charlotte:   Something to do with a guided missile’s homing device
 
Chris:          So it is a terrorists attack?
 
Charlotte:   Don’t know. Churches don’t have TV – in actual fact this place doesn’t have much of anything?
 
Aaron:              Has anyone seen the vicar?
 
Chris:               Bishop, idiot! – Cathedrals have Bishops, Deans, Canons – no vicars.
 
Aaron:              Sorr-ree!  I don’t believe in all this stuff – or God –  remember!

Chris:               Ssh! don’t say that – not in a cathedral. 

Aaron:         [Lighting / Action:  The Follow spots swing about wildly, as he and Chris chase about – checking on doors] There must be a phone somewhere!! I have to call; my Mum  will be going crazy looking for me!  You’re sure there’s no one here!??
 
Chris:          [trying in another direction]  There must be some one! [Shouts]  HELLO!! ANYBODY THERE??
 
Aaron:         HELP!!!!
 
Charlotte:   [quietly] Ssh…. there’s no one here! Can’t you see everything’s locked up.
 
Aaron:         So what happening outside?
 
Charlotte:   All I heard was a sort of ‘woomph’ – could have been a bomb dropping out of a plane over at the Lakenheath air base. Happened before, remember?
 
Chris:          But would they evacuate the whole town?  Maybe its chemical warfare?
 
Aaron:          – or a plot by muslim Terrorists!
 
Chris:          In Ely??
 
Maryam:     [Lighting / Action:   Follow spot picks her up as she ENTERS down the aisle) Oh Yes! It’s always us, isn’t it?  Always “Muslim Terrorists” – never anyone else!              Only ‘Muslim terrorists’!
 
Aaron:         I’m sorry –
 
Maryam:     Don’t worry. I’m  used to it.  I’m Maryam.
 
Aaron:         Aaron
 
Charlotte:   Charlotte.
 
 Chris:         Chris. So – why did you come here?
 
Maryam:     Like, maybe this is safer. It’s a ghost town out there.
 
Aaron:         Do you know what happening outside?
 
Maryam:      No idea! I was just taking a walk down by the river. Came back: the whole town was deserted!
 
Chris:          I was by the canal fishing.
 
Aaron:         I had a detention. They forgot about me.
 
Charlotte:   I was waiting for my boyfriend.
 
Maryam:     So – we all got left behind.
 
Aaron:         Seems like it
 
Maryam:     It’s fate!
 
Aaron:         I want to go home
 
Maryam:     Me too. This place gives me the creeps! [Lighting / Action:  They head out;  Spot follows]
 
Chris:          Wait! [He follows them, grabbing Aaron] This cathedral could be the safest place to be! Let’s stay here; at least until they sound the ‘All Clear!’ [They start to walk back – the follow spot continues out with Maryam;]
 
Charlotte:   – or until we all die!
 
Maryam:     [Lighting / Action:  She stops – follow spot still on her. She turns in the aisle, then starts walking back, thinking:] We’re dying anyway! Even if we survive, the way this world is going our generation will be the first generation to be worse off than our parents?!  I’ve heard people say we’re the ‘Last Generation’!

Chris:          [Pause] Is that true?

Aaron          Come on! We’re much better off!  My parents didn’t have I-pods!!

Maryam:      Soon, we’ll be worse off – much worse off. Oils running out, Climate change – our world is dying

Charlotte:   A nuclear holocaust would just accelerate the process that’s happening anyway: world population is spiralling out of control – resources are depleted. [She indicates the process with her hands.] There’s just no way that this small planet can feed 8 – 10 billion people; Face it: it’s over!  We’re toast!

Maryam:     We deserve to be!

Aaron:         [pause] I won’t believe that, I don’t believe it at all: I’m not going to die today!               [FREEZE]

Storyteller: And we didn’t. We survived – but they were right about our world. Our fate was our own foolishness. Like a cancer, we destroy that which bears our existence. We tear down our trees, we kill our seas, we destroy life’s natural beauty. We level the earth to build monstrous habitats, and factories to make useless products. We fill our minds with futile knowledge. We rob the earth to feed our vanity, depriving tomorrow’s child of its right to a future. [Music: she carries on over the music intro.] All this we do in the name of righteousness. But justice has its price, truth its fashion. Men may rule, but Gold is master.

  1. WORLD

Chris:          World – look at the way we are

Look at the things we do

Look at the words we say

Life! – look at the way we live

Look at the love we had

Look at the things we’ve made

 

Chorus:       Gone, gone are all those lovely days

Gone are all the peaceful ways

All that’s left is old and grey

And our world is fading

Our world is dying – today!

 

Chris:           Can’t you see the tide is changing?

Don’t you know that truth is fading?

People coming out from under

Slowly rising to the thunder

 

Charlotte      Listen to the shouting people

Broken churches, broken steeple

There’s no one for them to follow

Every one’s a God tomorrow

 
Duet: Chris/Charlotte:    Can’t you see the world is dying?

Repentant people all are crying

Law and order has been drowned

Chaos rules and has been crowned!

 

Chorus:       World – look at the way we are

Look at the things we do

Look at the games we play

Life! – look at the way we live

Look at the things we build

Look at the love we’ve killed

 
Gone, gone are all those lovely days

Gone are all the peaceful ways

All that’s left is old and grey

And our world is fading

Our world is dying – today!

 

Scene TWO:  

Maryam:     A big part of my world feels dead already! It’s hard to be a muslim in this country.

Aaron:        Deal with it. My family’s Jewish: people have been hating us for centuries!

Chris:          I don’t think we hate other religions. We’re just a bit uncomfortable with people of different faiths.

Charlotte:    All religions are dangerous: look at – the crusades, the Spanish Inquisition!  People have used religion as an excuse to kill people for thousands of years: Islam is no different.

Chris:          So what does that make you?

Charlotte:    [Firmly!] An atheist! My family’s supposed to be Catholic, but none of us went to church much – except at Christmas and weddings….

Maryam:      So – if that bomb goes off at Lakenheath, or the poison gas starts to seep under the doors, that’s it!?  No here-after?

Charlotte    No!  No Heaven! No hell! Do you really believe that when you die you’ll go to heaven and meet – er – Allah

Maryam      I do. My whole family does!

Aaron:        Can you guys please talk about something other than dying!!

Charlotte:   It’s hard not to think about it when it could happen at any second.

Aaron:        And she thinks I deserve it!

Chris:          All the more reason to think about something else. Think back to your earliest childhood  – your mother’s smiling face; you – lying on the grass, feeling the sunshine on your back. The scent of flowers

Aaron:        Paradise?! 

Chris:          Yes!! Paradise: Think about it: if only we could find our way back to that?           [FREEZE]

Storyteller: Life, for me, when I was a young child, was a paradise. Maybe that was just my innocence unfolding into the reality of the world I was living in. But I have come to understand that the world can still be Paradise – I still believe in it as place full of potential for beauty, for peace, for harmony.

Lighting / Action:  Both spotlights swing back to pick out the Children’s Chorus. Music: they start to sing –

  1. PARADISE

Children:    Here is a world so beautiful and green

Where the sun is shining and the waters run clean

Here in this world where we all have to stay

A paradise, a heaven, where our heads we will lay

 

I am so smiling – eyes that seeing

I am so happy – ears that hear

I have a mouth for speaking, tasting

I have a nose to smell the air!

 

Chorus:       We are a people so happy – we say:

“We love this world and here we will stay”

We hear that voice deep inside our soul say

“Listen to the music of life’s sweet call!”

 

Children:    I am so smiling – eyes that seeing

I am so happy – ears that hear

I have a hand for touching, feeling

I have a mind to see that’s clear!

 

Treble          Here in this world where we all have to stay

A paradise, a heaven, where our heads we will lay

 

Scene THREE:

Charlotte:  But we screwed up, didn’t we?! We got ourselves thrown out of Paradise! “On thy belly shalt thou go! Eat dust and die!”

Chris:          That was the serpent, stupid.

Maryam:     Yes but she’s right: Christians, Jews and Muslims share the same creation story: we all agree that human beings disobeyed the will of Allah and so Paradise was taken away from us.

Aaron:        But – we haven’t done so badly on our own, have we?

Chris:          We could have done a lot better!

Aaron:         I was thinking about cars, our play stations, mobile phones;

Charlotte:  Nuclear bombs, Hedge Funds, mega-cities… There’s no limit to mankind’s inventions! That’s the problem! Our inventions are helping to destroy us and –        [FREEZE]

Storyteller:  – big business and advertising have tricked us into believing that every generation could live better than the last. But then, almost too late, we realised that our fragile planet could not support eight, ten – fifteen! – billion people demanding ever-increasing luxury and not run out of resources. Along with the wonderful benefits, our passion for inventions had also signed humanity’s death warrant.

Lighting / Action:  Both spotlights swing back to pick out the Full Chorus. Music: they start to sing – 

  1. INVENTIONS

Chorus:       Make a wheel, then spinning it round

It may carry the world

Make a fire – yes building it high till

It burns to the ground

Make a blade and call it a spade

To dig through the earth

 

Creatures of Invention – yes we are Man!
Heading for destruction with our own hands

Nothing can stop us

We’ll make our own star dust

Nothing can stop us…

 

So spin that wheel, faster and faster

It will carry us far

Stoke up that fire, yes higher and higher

Till it burns to the sky

Make a bow, put in an arrow

Let it fly through the world

 

Heading for destruction with our own hands

Plenty of money, more milk and more honey

Who needs to work?

But what of the spade, digging so hard?

What’s left but soil and the earth?

 

We are Creatures of Invention – yes we are Man!
Heading for destruction with our own hands

The wheels are all turning

The fires are all burning

We’re living for learning

Learning, learning, learning….

Storyteller: Learning, learning….  What is the use of learning if it becomes a tool by which one person can dominate another?  What use is the world of humankind if brother is against brother, sister against sister, and the family divided? What use is a world of material things if it brings only jealousy and separation? What use is wisdom………..

Lighting / Action: Spotlight swings across to Charlotte before fading as lights come up on stage;

Charlotte:    – if we can’t even learn to love each other?

Chris:          I like that!  You’re right: love is the answer – the love of a man for a woman, a parent for a child: the love of one’s family. I have love like that.

Maryam      The Holy Qu’ran says: “If you love – Love Allah!  For Allah will love you and forgive you – for Allah is oft-forgiving and Most Merciful!”

Chris:          Go for it! If only we could learn to love each other! Connect! Be friends! We’d have peace!  We’d have time to work out the world’s other problems!

Charlotte:    Dream on!

Aaron:         My Dad loves me!  He bought me an X-box

Chris:          Love is the only dream we have left.                                             [Music FREEZE ]

Lighting / Action: Both spotlights pick out Chris and Charlotte come forward to sing, hamming it up for Aaron

  1. Dreamer

Chris           Dreamer – you are my dreamer!

Lady – you are my love!

You are everything I ever dreamed I’d have

Charlotte     Dreamer – you are my dreamer!

Lover – you are my friend

We’ll always be together

Though this world may end

 

Chris           Where-ever I go – I’ll watch over you

Charlotte     Where-ever life takes us, I’ll be with you!

Chris           Dreamer – you are my dreamer!

Lady – you are my love!

You are everything

I ever dreamed I’d have

 

Charlotte     Dreamer – you are my dreamer!

Man – you are my friend

I’ll always be beside you

Until the end

 

Chris and Charlotte Love is the answer – Faith makes us strong

Heaven our reason – tomorrow we’re gone

No plans to make – nowhere to run

Never stop trying – reach for the sun

 

Love is the answer – Faith makes us strong

Heaven our reason – tomorrow we’re gone

 

Chris           Woman my woman, lady my friend

Charlotte     We’ll be together until the end

 

Scene FIVE:

Storyteller:         Ah! – Love! Who does not dream of love! And who can truly feel fulfilled in their lives without it? To share your life with someone; to make a home; to have children. Love is a sanctuary. I know in my life, the times I have been happiest are the times when I was in love, and was loved in return.

Lighting / Action: Spotlight swings across to Aaron before fading as lights come up on stage;

Aaron:        – my parents divorced when I was five.

Chris:          But stayed friends, right. 

Aaron:        You’ve got to be joking! It was World War III in our house for as long as I remember! They can’t stand the sight of each other….

Charlotte:  My folks split up too. They got really good at hating each other!

Maryam:     Mine are still married. But I can’t say they love each other.

Chris:          I’m sorry! Am I the only one here who has happily married parents! [Wanders  off]

Aaron:         What does that tell you about love? Mine almost killed me!

Chris:          Seriously!

Aaron:        Yes!! One day, my Mum and Dad were fighting, and Dad threw a plate at Mum – not realising there was still a knife on it. It missed her eye by inches!

Maryam:     Love as a Muslim, tells you a lot about the power of family: OK – so my mum and dad aren’t passionately ‘in love’ with each other – but me and my brother, my gran and my granddad, my uncles, aunts, cousins – we all support each other. Pray for each other! We’re there for each other. It’s love of a kind. It works! My family is what keeps me alive….

Aaron:         So how do you feel about Christians and Jews then?

Maryam:     I don’t think much about that.

Aaron         Oh really until something goes wrong and then you can openly say you hate us. Right.

Charlotte:  This is how wars start?

Chris:          I can’t believe we still have them! People killing each other because their governments tell them too?!  I wouldn’t!  I wouldn’t go – conscientious objector, that’s me!!

MUSIC starts – Trumpet. They all FREEZE. Lighting / Action: The Storyteller stands both spots tight on her:

Storyteller:    War! – the ultimate folly. After all those years so-called civilization and learning, why were we still engaged in the insanity of war? Hundreds of thousands of women, children and men,  losing their lives through an almost infantile pursuit of power – a futile search to be God’s favoured ones! Religious fanatics, seeking to increase their own prestige by sowing hatred amongst the faithful – leading us directly to Armageddon.….

  1. WAR

Storyteller: [over the music] And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity. The sea and the waves roaring, men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

Chorus:       We’ll fight our way to distant hills,

A bloody battle have

We’ll raise our sword and kill them all]

We’ll raise our countries flag!

We’ll kill our brothers, kill our friends,

Kill each other till the end!

We’ll kill our women, Children too,

Kill them all until we’re through

Kill them all until we’re through.

 

God save our land, long live our flag,

On to the war we go – praise to our dead

But who says we’re right, who says we’re wrong

Honour and pride – to this we belong!

Storyteller:  [over the music] When the heaven is split asunder and when the planets are dispersed And when the seas are poured forth and when the tombs are overturned. Each soul will know what it has sent before, and what it has left behind. Oh man! What has made thee careless concerning thy Lord the Bountiful?!

Chorus:       Oh come and save us!  Oh come and save us!

Oh come and save us from what we do!

Our world is through!

 

But who can save us!  But who can save us?

But who can save us from what we do?

 

Charlotte:   God – where are you?

 

Scene SIX:

Storyteller:      God? In that scenario? Nowhere. Humanity self-destructs on a nuclear addiction! Life! – obliterated in a few short minutes. But the planet survives! Out of the rocks and crevices, new atoms, new molecules emerge. New life forms are created. The cycle of life begins again. Millions of years pass – new human beings evolve. They build their own civilisation which probably also self-destructs. On and on until the world flies too close to the sun and all life is incinerated for ever. Our world becomes lifeless, like all the other planets in our solar system. But – how do you get out of bed in the morning if that’s all you believe….?

Lighting / Action:  She turns – and crosses past Charlotte to her chair; The spot holds on Charlotte then fades;  

Charlotte:   How could anyone believe in a God who allows humanity to self-destruct like that??

Chris:          You’re right. It’s hard! But then He hasn’t !

Charlotte:   Yet!

Aaron         I heard about this worm in Africa that eats its way into a Child’s eyeball, making it blind. But it doesn’t stop there: the worm burrows on into the Child’s brain, sending it mad – then killing it. Why would a God who loves us make a worm like that??

Maryam:     Only Allah knows. We can never know the wisdom of Allah’s ways.  But he is all-knowing and merciful and we just have to trust and have faith in his wisdom. In my family we pray together 5 times a day to remind ourselves that Allah is there.

Chris:          Five times a day – most Christians barely manage once a week on Sundays!

Maryam:     [to Aaron]  Do you pray?

Aaron:        We all prayed when my grandpa died. We all sat round and said Kaddish –it brought us close together.

Charlotte:   [Alone with the other three lined up against her] You’re all mad! Do you think anyone hears your prayers?  Do you really think there’s a God up there who’s listening to you and will come crashing down from heaven and say: “OK guys – relax! God’s here! I’ll sort all this out…”??  He didn’t do that on 9/11 did he??

Aaron:        [Moving to Charlotte’s side]  He didn’t do it at Auschwitz [‘ow-shvitts’] either.

Chris:          [Stopping him]  Hang about – it absolutely did happen! God on earth – His Son, Jesus Christ. Born in a manger. Dying on the cross to save us from our sins – then rising from the dead to live with us, in our hearts, for ever. It’s real! For me. OK – I’m a Christian! Sorry!

Maryam:     No need to be sorry! – I’m impressed!

Chris:          Really – as a Muslim, I thought you’d think me some damned infidel!

Maryam:     That’s your word. For us! The prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him)  respected Christians –  Jews too. He called them the people of the book!

Chris:          I didn’t know that.

Aaron:        Neither did I. [Maryam, Chris and Aaron all find themselves on the same side of stage, facing Charlotte]

Maryam:     [to Charlotte] What would it take to restore your faith?

Charlotte:    A miracle! I guess I always wanted to believe. I just wish –

Maryam:     What? – that God would show himself to us sometimes?

Charlotte:    Yes!  With Him not being there – visible, tangible – reason steps in and tells me it’s all nonsense…. Do you know what I mean?

They all nod.

Chris:          “There exists more faith in honest doubt than any of your creeds.”                 

Lighting / Action:  Soloist comes forward, spotlight on her. Music: she starts to sing:

  1. Father in the Sky

Charlotte      Father in the sky

Won’t you tell us who you are?

Won’t you say a word to me – that I can understand

You have me in your hands

 

Charlotte & Chorus:    Father in the sky

Have you forgotten where we are?

The clouds grow darker every day

And I am so afraid

I never was so brave….

 

How can I carry on

And still believe in you

When every hope has vanished

Long ago  –  in spite of you

 

How can we carry on

How can we face you now?

When everything we tried so hard

To do was lost somehow

How can we face you now?

 

Charlotte      How can I face you now?

 

Scene SEVEN:

Maryam:     [Going to her, putting her hand on her shoulder. Aaron is really nervous)

Aaron:        There’s still no signal!

Chris:          No internet, no wi-fi. Nothing!

Maryam:     God doesn’t need wi-fi!

Aaron:        Why are you guys are so obsessed with God? Whatever happened this morning, no Father in the Sky is going to come down and help us. We’re on our own down here – so can we start thinking about how we’re going to get out?

Chris:          We just wait, I guess – until some one sounds the all clear?!

Aaron:        And you think we’ll hear that in here?

Chris:          I reckon.

Charlotte:   You know – it’d be embarrassing: If I died now and went to Heaven, how would I explain to God missed the evacuation ‘cos I was waiting for my boyfriend!

Maryam:     I don’t get the sense that God embarrasses easily. He’s seen human beings make such a mess of things so many times, none of this will phase Him!

Chris:          It’s some mess now, isn’t it?

Charlotte:   Sure is! Thinking about environmental issues like Glaciers melting – sea-level rise – billions of environmental refugees – big cities like London underwater all in our lifetime. God’s got a big job on his hands.

Aaron:         Not God! Us!! We should be much more angry!

Maryam:     Anger doesn’t get you anywhere!  Faith that Allah is there to guide us makes everything possible.

Chris:          Don’t you get that? Faith helps! Faith inspires! Un-faith is – ? – is depressing!

Aaron:         I don’t find it depressing – what I find depressing is a lot of sad old people mumbling prayers in a Synagogue every Shabbat.

Chris:         I thought you said you liked saying Kaddish?

Aaron:        That was different! I like the Jewish festivals– Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah. I’m even studying for my Bar Mitzvah

Charlotte:   For the money, right?

Aaron:        No! Not just for the money! It’s tradition. It makes my Mom and Granma really happy to see me studying the Torah.

Charlotte:  But a few cheques and a Hanukkah Menora is not going to save the world from Global Warming.

Chris:          She’s right! That’s not really God’s problem: it’s our’s – we have to sort it out.

Charlotte:   Do you know it took two hundred million years for Mother Nature to make the oil on which our civilisation depends. And our parents and grand-parents have burned it all up in a couple of centuries. I hope God has an answer – ‘cos I know I don’t!

Chris:          You’re sounding like an Eco-terrorist! So what do we do? Go and blow something up?

Charlotte:   If your God doesn’t have an obvious answer, doesn’t make you just a little bit angry?

Maryam:     Yes! Ach! – Politicians! They strut around like supermen, passing their funny little laws, telling us what to do, how to do it – but their main concern is how to get voted in and stay in power – not what kind of a world they are leaving to future generations.

Charlotte:   [To Maryam, building on what she has just said!] We should arrest them! For murdering our future – and our Children’s future. By their inaction on climate change today, they are planning the murder of several billion people in cold blood!

Aaron:        How’s that?

Chris:          The ice fields in the Himalayas: they feed all the major rivers in South-East Asia. When they melt, all those rivers will dry up and two billion people will need to move or die!

Aaron:        Two Billion People!?  Wow!

Chris:          (Jumps in – to Charlotte] Can you blame us for trusting an unseen God over a seen politician?

Maryam:     You’ve got your Supermen politicians but, without Allah – God –  they’re all you’ve got!

Aaron:        So – Get Angry!! (they all start shouting need to ensure there is a build up to song.)

They FREEZE.  Lighting / Action:   The Spotlights swing back on to  the Chorus. Music: they start to sing –

  1. SUPERMAN

Chorus:       Where you gonna run to, Superman?!

Where you gonna hide, where will be your land?

What you gonna say now, Superman?!

Who’ll be the fool in your masterplan?

 

What you gonna do now, Superman?!

What have you done to God’s promised land?

What have you done with this beautiful world?

Where is your guiding star?

What have you done with this God-given Grace?

Who do you think you are?

Yes – who do you think you are?

 

Where you gonna run to, Superman?!

Where you gonna hide? Where will be your land?

We’ll wake up one morning and the world will be gone

With all of our beautiful dreams

 

We had so many chances but we threw them away

And now we’ve sold our souls to the Devil’s cause

How did we lose control?

And how we gonna pay the toll?

 

What you gonna say now, Superman?!

Who’ll be the fool in your masterplan?

What you gonna do now, Superman?!

What have you done to God’s promised land?

Where you gonna run to… – Superman?!

 

Scene EIGHT:

Chris:          OK – so we point the finger. But how do we know that we would do any better?

Charlotte:    We couldn’t do much worse!

Maryam:     I absolutely KNOW that I couldn’t do any better. No one can without the help of Allah! They think they can. That’s the difference between us.

Aaron:        You think some God is going to send down some one to sort it all out??!

Maryam:     Some how, Yes! Mahatma Gandhi said: “The way of truth always triumphs in the end!” And it does: Hitler was defeated. The British left India – Nelson Mandela was released…. God always sorts it out eventually….

Aaron:        How?

Chris:          He just does!

Charlotte:   You know you don’t believe that?!

Chris:          I absolutely DO believe that!

Charlotte:   [To Maryam and Chris – and then to the audience!] But it’s a fantasy! You’re hallucinating! All that stuff about babes in mangers, prophets leaping off a rock – dying and going to heaven, sitting on a cloud playing a harp with the angels! It’s all fairy stories!  It’s such a distraction.

Maryam:     It’s NOT a distraction! For me, Allah is the answer to all things. To truly live –is to live the five pillars of Islam: Shahada – the testimony: “There is no true god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger.”; Salat – Pray five times a day in Arabic; Zakat – Give Charity; Ramadan – fast;  and the Hajj – make pilgrimage to Mecca. That is my world! My Certainty! My Faith – My Life!  I cannot think – without it, because without this I am nothing  …. Nothing! Whatever happens to me, nothing will diminish my faith.

Lighting / Action:  Spotlights up on Christopher as he moves to her, touches her shoulder. Music: he starts to sing:

  1. I BELIEVE!

Chris:           If the sun lost its shine

And the trees started to die

Yes – I’d still be full of hope

I guess I know the reason why

 

If the wind grew too old

And the seas started to dry

Yes I would still be full of love

Don’t ask – don’t ask me why!

 

Yes I still believe in God

I still believe in us – his people!
And if you really want to know

I still believe in this His land.

 

Chorus + Chris: We believe in God

We still believe in us – his people!
And if you really want to know

We still believe in this His land.

 

Chris:          So don’t turn your head away

Don’t give up on who you are

Just keep on loving more each day

And the world will shine for you

 

I guess it’s all in the mind

What you feel is what you see

So within your heart just sing these words

Come sing! – come sing with me!

 

Chorus + Chris & Maryam: We believe in God

We believe in us – his people!
And if you really want to know

We still believe in this His land.

 

We believe in God

We believe in us – his people!
And if you really want to know

 

I believe – yes I believe

I believe – yes I believe

I believe in this His Land!

 

Scene NINE:

Awkward silence…. Charlotte and Aaron have stood through the song, not singing

Maryam:     You do get it, don’t you?

Charlotte:    Of course I get it. [Slowly and firmly, very deliberate] But I still say it’s dangerous and irrational: that power of religion led George W. Bush to pursue his illegal war in Iraq; the Pope to say that condoms spread HIV-AIDS, Mullahs to send young suicide bombers to their deaths… It’s against all rational common sense.

Aaron:        I agree!  When you’ve got all these problems, hoping a God you can’t even see is going to sort them out – it’s just mad, isn’t it?

Maryam:     I might not see Allah but I know that he is there. I don’t see the wind – but I can feel it!

Aaron:        I don’t feel God anywhere! Can’t we go home now?!

Chris:         (puts an arm round Aaron ) We’re safer here. Trust me. Your Mum will send some one back to look for us, won’t she?!

Aaron:        But we don’t know where she is. She doesn’t know where we are!

Charlotte:   No – but we’ll hear the car

Chris:           – or a helicopter.

Maryam:     You’re right! I’m sure we’re going to be saved!

Chris:          Now – or in general?

Maryam:     Both. In every big crisis humanity has ever faced, God has sent us the leader we nee

Chris:          Yes like Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King – they were strong because of their faith!

Charlotte:   I don’t see many of them around right now

Chris:          We need to find them – have them inspire us with hope!! Like Martin Luther King! Imagine if he’d stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and, instead of saying: “I have a dream!” – said: “I have a nightmare!” No one would have listened….

Charlotte:   Whatever it was, it worked! People listened. I’m inspired by him!

Lighting / Action:  Spotlights up on Chris and Charlotte. Music: they start to sing –

  1. I have a vision

Chris           I have a vision, I have a dream

                   I have the answer or so it seems.

 

Don’t you see the truth, to fight is not right,

We shall have our rainbow, we will have our sunlight

If we unite!

 

Charlotte      There’s a way you see, where no one gets hurt

There’s a way with love if you try!

There is hope and faith to keep you alive

In your darkest day, just pray!

Chorus         Reach out with love, gather all your courage,

Reach out with love, seek a brighter day!

Love as our sword, peace as our weapon

Reach out with love!  Let us win this way!

 

Chris           Martin Luther King had a vision!  He had a dream

He had the answer, or so it seemed!

He knew the truth – to fight is not right

 

Charlotte & Chris    We can have our rainbow, we can have the sunlight!

We must unite!

 

A new world,        A new light!

A new world,        A new light!

A new hope!         A new light –

 

Chorus         Reach out with love, gather all your courage,

Reach out with love, seek a brighter day!

Love as our sword, peace as our weapon

Reach out with love!  Let us win this way!

Charlotte & Chris    I have a vision!

 

Scene TEN:

Charlotte:    So that’s the vision:  people learning to live together in peace and finding another way than war to solve their differences.

Maryam:       But the differences would remain – and that’s what makes life interesting, isn’t it? Not just differences between religions but within religions too. Shias and Sunnis,  Suffis and Wahabis. They are all Muslims, but very different. But, for all of us, Christians praying every day to ‘Our Father!’ –  is very strange. In the Qu’ran it says:  “God is Allah – the One and the Only;he begets not, nor is he begotten.

Chris:          So – muslims have a problem with “Our Father”. Jews have a problem with our Messiah! –

Aaron:        And everyone has a problem with us.

Charlotte:    And so all of us are going to keep on fighting and scrapping until one of us comes out on top or we’re all dead? That’s insane! There’s got to be a better way?

Aaron:        What is God’s favourite religion?

All turn and look at Aaron – awkward silence.

Maryam:     Do you guys know about Imece? [imm-may-cjhay]

Aaron / Christopher/Charlotte: [together]  Imece!?

Charlotte     What’s that?

Maryam:     It’s the ancient Turkish system of solidarity. Everyone working together on common tasks joyfully! – fetching water, gathering the harvest, repairing houses, baking bread. Imece is a way of  reminding us that we are one family and that we must work together.

Aaron:         How does God come into it?

Maryam:     It’s not a faith as such – but it is founded on  all faiths. Shared values. In the Ottoman Empire, Jews, Christians and muslims all lived peacefully together in the same village.

Charlotte:    Like the Ba’hais?!

Chris:          Sounds like the Charter for Compassion! That calls on people of all religions and faith traditions to ‘feel’ together – to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves.

Maryam:     “Do as you would be done by”?

Chris:         Right!

Maryam:     That works !

Charlotte:   Global Compassion and Imece! – I see another cult coming on….

Chris:         Save your cynicism! It’s a great concept! If I honor and respect the Muslim conviction that Muhammed, all praise be upon him, was indeed Allah’s last prophet!

Maryam:     – I would honour your right to worship God as your Father!

Aaron:        And you’d all come over to my Bar Mitzvah next year!

All:             Sure!

Chris:          Religions United!!

Aaron:        – in a single world religion! If we could agree on that, we could write a new Torah or bible or Qu’ran so we would have the laws and teachings of all the great Prophets.

Charlotte:    They all said pretty much the same things, didn’t they?

Aaron:        So let’s do it!                                             FREEZE

Lighting / Action: The spotlights pick up the Storyteller as she stands and starts to read:

Storyteller:     Perhaps we should have done. That Single Bible idea: a single set of laws – I have thought about it all my life! The idea that religion, far from dividing people, should unite us. But how?!!

Lighting / Action: The spotlights swing back on to the whole chorus.  Music: they start to sing

  1. The LAWS

Chorus:       Where are the laws we must obey?

Where are the rules to guide us through our day?

Where are the words that will teach us how to live?

Where are the signs to show us how to give?

Where are the visions to help our failing souls?

Where are the tools for rebuilding our new world?

 

 

Soloist:        Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal

Thou shalt not hurt or force your will

Thou shalt beware of foolish pride

Thou shalt be fair and take no sides

Thou shalt despise all that is vain

Thou shalt not lie, or cheat for gain

Thou shalt keep holy your day for God

Thou shalt forgive and thou shalt love

 

 

Chorus:       Here are the laws we must obey

Here are the rules to guide us through our day

These are the words that will teach us how to live

These are the signs to show us how to give

Soloist:        Thou shalt not have a jealous heart

Shalt not desire your neighbour’s part

Thou shalt be kind in thought and way

And thou shalt keep a time to pray

Thou shalt not cause your parents shame

Thou shalt not curse, or take God’s name in vain

 

Chorus:       And thou shalt worship the one true God

Thou shalt forgive and thou shalt love

Storyteller:   Gandhi said: “If you want real Peace, you have to begin with the Children!” Isaiah wrote: “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard  shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” Children have dreams. They lie awake at night, imagining. They believe in fairytales and miracles. They can even make them come true! We must give them hope, for in that hope lies our inspiration to work for a better future. We must give them the freedom to choose, to come out from behind us and find their own path – their own way to grow – to discover their own dawn; their own horizons.

Lighting / Action: The spotlights swing back on to the whole chorus.  Music: they start to sing –

  1. Child for a Day

Chris:          I was a child who ran full of laughter

I was a child who lived for a day

My eyes full of sunshine

My heart full of smiles

I was a child for a day.

 

Chorus:       We were the children who ran in the morning

We were the children who laughed at the sun

Who listened to those who spoke with their wisdom

We were the ones we would say.

 

We’re getting older as time goes by

A little older every day

We are the children of yesterday.

 

We are the men who worry of nothing

We are the men who speak without aim

Who listen to no one yet speak of their wisdom

We were the ones we would say.

 

We’re getting older as time goes by          

A little older every day

We are the children of yesterday.

 

Scene ELEVEN:

Charlotte:  Fine – the children of yesterday had a fine time: what about the children of tomorrow?

Chris:          It’s not – easy is it? I’m not sure I’d be happy bringing children into a world that you said you thought was having the Last Generation…

Maryam:     Why not?!  You’ve got to have hope!

Aaron:        Hope’s has got us through tonight – that and thinking about Imece….

Charlotte:   But children are so vulnerable – why should have to live in this messed up world we’ve left for them!

Maryam:     You mean you would just give up on the planet – let every one be childless and have humanity die out?

Chris:          It’d certainly solve the population problem.

Maryam:     Now who’s crazy!  Children are our only hope.

Charlotte:    It’s easy to idealise Children. I’ve had  friends who are really obnoxious…

Aaron:        Me too.

Charlotte:  And Children can be unbelievably stupid.

Chris:          Speak for yourself. My friends were all brilliant, charming, talented, attractive! –

Charlotte:   Stop it! You know what I mean…

Chris:          I do – and NOT you’re right! I trust my friends!  I trust young people!! And if we’re going to tear down the barriers between us, and repair the damage we have done to the earth, we have to start with us and the Children. Older people are just too set in their ways to be able to change anything.

Aaron:         And most of them don’t care what happens to our world in 50 years: they’ll all be dead!                                                         FREEZE

PLAN “A

Story-teller:                    Thanks, for that. Tell it like it is, eh? What strange creatures we are – padding the path between birth and death across this wilderness we call Life! Yet surely God is not a God in the sense that he controls us. Rather God is a spark embedded in each of us at birth – should we choose to recognise it. Why put the blame on God? We have the books of his prophets and they are united not divided. So don’t sit around waiting for God to bring you a miracle. The Spark of God that is in you is the miracle. You are equipped to save the world and build the Garden of Paradise here on this earth. And yes! – we have to start with the Children!

PLAN “B”  

Story-teller:                   Thanks! Back then, I was at a convent school. The Sacred Heart.  I hated it – and I hadn’t a clue what a Sacred Heart was – until that night when I saw it: the image of a Heart weeping, bubbling over with  love for us all [Charlotte walks to the front of the stage, her eyes fixed on the vision…] – a love that melted away all the world’s problems: all the wars, the differences, the problems -climate change, poverty, injustice… It all evaporated in the splendid warmth of that Love!  Imece! And I knew then that, by opening that sacred heart in ourselves, we could come together as one family as never before in history. We would create the future we all wanted to live in – a paradise created by that Spark of God that is planted in all of us at birth.

Lighting / Actionthe Spotlights swing back off the storyteller to the Children’s choir. Music: they start to sing –

  1. Reach Out!

Reach out for a star!

Come out from where you are

Show me what you can do

Believe in me, I believe in you

Reach out for your dream

It’s not as hard as it may seem

Together we can make it through

Together – me and you!

Wake up -open our eyes,

This is our world, our paradise.

Reach out, don’t be afraid

Come on now, we” find a way

There’s a whole new world for us to see

There’s a universe in you and me.

Reach out, put your hand in mine!

Oh see! – see how we shine!

Together – we’ll make it through,

Together me and you!

Don’t be shy, just be yourself!

You are your greatest wealth!

Reach out for a star!

Come out from where you are

Show me what you can do

Believe in me, I believe in you!

Show me what you can do

Believe in me, I believe in you!

 

Scene TWELVE:  

Story-teller:    I have no idea how long we all stayed in the cathedral – scared, arguing, comforting each other, changing our lives for ever. What I do know is that this cathedral is for me a shrine. Coming back here tonight, reconnecting with my young self and those friends – I am reliving a journey – a journey whose final destination I am still seeking.

Aaron:        Listen. (they all stop and react)  I swear I heard something. Please let’s go and look.

Chris:          (they all stop still) Really Aaron. There is nothing out there. We can’t go out till it’s safe

Charlotte:       – or at least until we finish this conversation! Let me get this right: if we embrace Imece, we can kind of forget about God?

Maryam:      What do you mean? Belief is central to it.

Charlotte     I don’t see why?  People working together sounds like perfect humanist sense to me.

Chris:          But –

Charlotte:    But nothing!  Imece proves it! Atheism rules!

Chris:          Rubbish!

Maryam:      We need the Faith – the aura of the Almighty: Allah, God! Jahwe – the Hand that created all things, rules all things, understands all things who blasts through the shutters of our minds however hard we struggle to keep Him out.

Charlotte:    But why?!  However much you tell me about your light – or the wind I cannot see – I don’t buy it. I’m not even window-shopping….

Maryam:      I once heard a politician say, “We don’t do God…” – and I thought, “How sad are you?!” – ‘cos if you don’t do God, you are so empty.

Aaron:        I don’t feel empty. Hungry, yes – but not empty!

Charlotte:    And I feel insulted! If I decide to embrace Imece, you must allow that I don’t share your belief in the fairy stories of your faith. Respect that. Love that! Feel sorry for me if you must – in your patronising way – but at least give me credit for my lack of faith.

Chris:          I do – I will! But don’t go all gloomy on us!

Charlotte:    I’m not gloomy! I’m the sensible one! Think about a vision of life before death – a life we might be able to create together!  A world at peace! I can see it – touch it. And, if we work together in joy – in Global Imece! with real Compassion, we could just make it, couldn’t we?

Maryam:     No! You’re missing the point completely!  [SOUND: Faint siren – an organ note]

Aaron:        [listening]  That’s a siren! There’s definitely a police car out there!?

Chris:          [listening] Could be. Let’s go and find out!

Charlotte:    I’ll come with you!

They all run out down the nave. The Storyteller comes forward. 

PLAN “A

Story-teller:  When he was a young man, the author, CS Lewis was, like me, a determined atheist. Fighting in the trenches in the 1st World War, he wrote: “No matter how scared I get, I hope I never stoop so low as to pray…” Later, of course, he changed his mind and embraced Christianity. And who would doubt that his life, and his writing – was infinitely the richer because of that change. And yet we have all these beautiful words, the wonderful teachings, and what do we do with them?  We put them to stirring music, we sing them, chant them, make cult movies about them:  we do everything but actually live them!  That day –  that day! – I learned about Imece and  I began to embrace the Faith, the Hope, the Love that lies at the heart of all religions which, far from dividing people, can and does unite them! And  that’s stayed with me ever since, shaping and moulding my life. So, thank you, my young self!  I feel such gratitude towards you. Everything I am was shaped by you. By your Questions.  It’s fine, now, to know that I will probably never find the answers. And that’s what my life is about: questioning – searching! – right up to my last breath!

Lighting / Actionshe backs away. The Soloist enters. Music:  She sings – firmly, with a hint of triumph:

 

PLAN “B

Charlotte stops:

Charlotte:    Oh – my mobile! I’ll catch you up!!  Wait for me!

Lighting / ActionCharlotte turns and runs, then slows to a walk, listening to the Storyteller, coming up on stage and standing alongside her as she finishes her lines. She stands on the edge of the spotlight circle, like the Storyteller’s shadow:

Story-teller:  When he was a young man, the author, CS Lewis was, like me, a determined atheist. Fighting in the trenches in the 1st World War, he wrote: “No matter how scared I get, I hope I never stoop so low as to pray…” Later, of course, he changed his mind and embraced Christianity. And who would doubt that his life, and his writing – was infinitely the richer because of that change.

Charlotte:     [To herself, but conscious of the Story-teller standing by her – moving into her pool of light] I read CS Lewis, but when it comes down to it, all he says is just words. Empty phrases, pretty stories  –

Story-teller:     – echoing down long dark corridors of my unrealised dreams.  We have all these beautiful words, the wonderful teachings, and what do we do with them?  We put them to stirring music, we sing them, chant them, make cult movies about them –

Charlotte:       –  we do everything but actually live them! Today – today! – I learned about Imece, about tolerance, about Compassion. And I began to embrace the Faith, the Hope, the Love that lies at the heart of religion –

Story-teller:     – which, far from dividing people, can and does unite them! And  that’s stayed with me, shaping and moulding my life. So, thank you, my young self!  I feel such gratitude towards you. Everything I am was shaped by you. Your Questions.  It’s fine, now, to know that I will probably never find the answers. And that’s what my life is about: questioning – searching! – right up to my last breath!

Lighting / Action:  they back away together. Music: the soloist comes forward and sings, firmly, with a hint of triumph:

 

 

  1. I WHO AM I

 

Soloist:         I, who am I? What is this world?

Why am I here?

 

I, what am I? What is my cause?

What must I be?

 

Is there a reason for living?

And having a place of our own?

What power conceived me?

Abandoned me to the unknown?

 

Chorus with Charlotte, Chris, Aaron and Maryam (returning):

We, who are we? What is this place?

Why are we here?

We, who are we to be so lost

And all alone?

 

Is there a reason for living

And having a place of our own?

What power conceived me

Abandoned me to the unknown?

Charlotte:     I, who am I? What is this world?

Why am I here?

 

– The End –