Music - Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen - 'Mission Impossible Theme' (sections 0.00-1.20 and 2.38-3.30), Explosion from Queen - 'Gimme the Prize' (from A Kind of Magic)
Content & purpose - Considers the issue of judgement, and the need for people to realise God's plan of salvation NOW. There is a bomb on stage, and people are oblivious to it. A secret agent tries to warn them, but is shrugged off by the different characters. At the end of the sketch, the bomb explodes, killing al those who fail to take heed of the warning. The sketch is visually very funny and is good for getting a crowd interested in what you're doing.
Cast - 7 people (1 woman, 6 either) - Secret Agent, Professor, Mother, TV watcher, Old Person, Student, Angry Person.
Starting Positions -
Old Person Student
Mother TV watcher Angry Person
|Trill||Agent runs on from Stage Left to Centre Stage. Sees bomb and panics.|
|Explosion||Agent leaps into the air in 'cartoon' style, arms splayed out. The agent continually moves around the stage, with as much energy and excitement as possible. They should look at the different characters, before settling on…|
|Professor||Agent taps professor on shoulder. Professor puts down a book, straightens glasses, then steps forward to look at bomb. Takes out screwdriver and fiddles with the bomb. Agent pulls professor away in horror. Professor has an idea, they pull out a large chainsaw, and attempt to have a go at the bomb with it. Again the agent pulls him away, professor gives up in frustration, and returns to position, then freezes.|
|Mother||Mother is cradling baby. Agent waves hands in front of her, and draws attention to the bomb. Mother tells the agent to be quiet, without even looking at the bomb. Agent tries again, Mother mimes 'sssh'. Agent tries again, Mother mimes saying 'Don't wake the baby'. She freezes.|
|TV Watcher||Too interested in TV to care about the bomb - mimes using a remote control to flick channels. Agent taps them on shoulder, and is pushed away. Agent goes in front of Watcher, to block view. Watcher leans left to use remote, Agent goes right. Then Agent goes left, Watcher goes right. Then Agent goes up as Watcher goes down, and Agent goes down as Watcher goes up. Watcher eventually pushes Agent away and settles down to watch…and freeze.|
|Old Person||Try to avoid cliché here - old person is stooped over a stick/zimmer frame. They hobble forward when the Agent beckons them to look at the bomb. Having inspected the bomb, Old Person pats Agent on the head in a condescending way, as if to say 'ooh, what a lovely young man… and such a new fangled gadget'. If miming use of a stick could prod the bomb, which Agent stops. Agent leaves in frustration as Old Person hobbles back and freezes.|
|Student||Swaggers over to bomb, as if to say 'it can't hurt me', then lights a cigarette on the fuse. Puffs smoke in Agents eyes, then gives the bomb a gentle kick and ambles back to position.|
|Angry Person||Last person that Agent comes to. At first they react angrily as the Agent shows them the bomb. But then, realising the danger, both Agent and Angry Person run to the side of the stage.|
|Explosion||All the remaining characters collapse to the ground 'cartoon' style.|
Possible Alternatives - This sketch has the potential to be adapted. Some ideas for replacements may be a lovey couple, a sports player, someone obsessed with their appearance (looks at themselves in the bomb), an artist sketching the bomb, and a philosopher who muses on the bomb
Comments and Notes - The timing of this sketch may seem tough, but it quickly becomes clear how long the Agent needs to spend with each character. If anything, it's slightly longer than you think. If necessary, the exchange with the Angry Person can last longer and fill up any remaining time. Always keep the actions big, and remember that the agent should be well out of breath by the end - it's their continual movement that gives the sketch its life.
Written by Richard Medcalf, January 1997
Website by Jonathan Cooper.
This page last updated 22nd Nov, 2003.