The Body is my most popular Easter sketch. Written for two people it introduces the resurrection in a comic way – for family entertainment – yet turns into serious mode to underline the amazing fact of a dead man living – and the awkwardness of being unable to kill God!
The sketch was funny from its first performance and although I have many other Easter sketches, it has been requested again and again. I think the main appeal of the sketch is not just the humour but the strong characterisation.
It all came about because I was solving a problem…
How could I dramatize the crucifixion and resurrection if I didn’t have a large cast to play with?
My solution was to create the Governor to represent Roman authority, and a bungling soldier who became a believer to be clearly on the side of Jesus whilst having to carry out orders.
Basically, I was trying to make things easily accessible. I have discovered through experience that writing sketches for a cast of two makes them easily do-able! Church people have busy lives and if you want to do some drama at short notice it is quite simply easier to get hold of a cast of two than a cast of many. It also means that the sketch is accessible for any size of church – because you only need two volunteers to make this happen!
Anyway, if you have two volunteers – then the sketch can be found in Communicate Easter.
Nevertheless, these characters were so strong and so popular that I felt people would enjoy seeing a lot more of Ponitus and the Governor. I ended up developing the Mystery Plays show Age to Age working from Genesis to the Resurrection. There are many funny scenes in this family show but the crucifixion is still powerfully serious.
Write the River