Holiday Club Sketches

For our 2017 and 2018 Holiday Clubs at my church, we wrote almost all of our material from the ground up. And when I say ‘we’ I mostly mean ‘me’. Each day, our youth team performed a sketch about that day’s theme and below are one of the scripts from each year.


Landlubbers Holiday Club

When we originally announced our 2017 holiday club, we thought we were going to use Scripture Union material as we had done in previous years, and so advertised a 'Land Lubbers' theme using their branding. However, as we approached the summer we realised that we wanted to use a different set of Bible stories and the more we looked at the Scripture Union materials, the less we found we could use. In the end, I rewrote all of the up-the-front material pretty much from scratch. This included short character skits which introduce the theme of each day, as well as a series of sketches which tell an ongoing story throughout the week for which I conceived completely new characters and scenarios.

Below is an example of one of these daily dramas. The premise of the sketches is that three characters - Katy Cutlass, Tiffany Jones and Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Wilson (aka 'Posh' Wilson) - are trying to get their "pirate's licenses". They are guided in their efforts by Pirate Paula and occasionally rescued by Captain Chris (who - in the best Sunday school tradition - is our Christ analogue).

This sketch, which was written to be performed on Day 3, illustrates a session on 'Jesus Our Guide'.

 

Day 3 - At Wits End (NB - Each sketch had a pun title based on one of the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies!)

Enter KATY holding A BOWL OF WASHING UP, WILSON holding A FEATHER DUSTER and TIFFANY holding A BROOM. They position themselves around the deck and start doing chores.

ALL: [singing] A pirate’s life for me, a pirate’s life for me…

TIFFANY: [singing] ...A bottle of rum to warm my tum…

ALL: [singing] ...A pirate's life for me.

TIFFANY pushes her BROOM into the ground and pushes it rhythmically back and forth a few times. Then she points the broom at KATY and they resume singing.

ALL: [singing] A pirate’s life for me, a pirate’s life for me…

KATY: [singing] ...A bottle of rum and Wilson is dumb…

ALL: [singing] ...A pirate's life for me.

KATY pulls TWO SPOONS out of THE WASHING UP BOWL and taps them on the side to play a little drum solo. Then she points the spoons at  WILSON and they resume singing.

ALL: [singing] A pirate’s life for me, a pirate’s life for me…

WILSON: [singing] ...A bottle of rum, I miss my mum…

ALL: [singing] ...A pirate's life for me.

WILSON turns the feather duster around to hold it like a guitar and mimes along as SFX OF AN ELECTRIC GUITAR SOLO plays.

Enter PAULA.

PAULA: What's all this racket? Wilson - what have I told you about shredding awesome guitar licks during sea shanties?

WILSON: You said it wasn't historically accurate, Paula.

PAULA: That's right - not historically accurate. What's next? You'll probably start trying to use the parrot to send a tweet!

TIFFANY: Parrots don't tweet they squawk.

PAULA: It's a pirate pun! I've got my eye on you, Tiffany. And you Wilson.

KATY: What about me?

PAULA: Ah Katy. Dear sweet Katy!

WILSON: [to Katy] Is she talking about you?

PAULA: Sweet tempered, friendly Katy.

TIFFANY: [to Katy] It doesn't sound like you.

PAULA: Quiet and gentle, Katy.

KATY: I think you must be thinking of someone else, Paula.

PAULA: The point is, I don't need to keep my eye on you. You could never disappoint me. And that's why I'm making you captain of the practice pirates…

TIFFANY: What!

WILSON: No!

KATY: Ha! In your faces!

PAULA:...for an hour or two.

TIFFANY: Why do we need a practice pirate captain, Paula?

PAULA: I’m glad you asked me that, Tiffany because it gives me the chance to explain the plot. The next task you need to complete so you can stop being landlubbers and get your Pirate's License is a short voyage by yourselves. All you have to do is take the boat and row around the island. Nothing can possibly go wrong. What can possibly go wrong?

TIFFANY, KATY and WILSON: [in unison] Nothing, Pirate Paula.

PAULA: Glad to hear it. And Wilson?

WILSON: Yes Paula?

PAULA: Don't take the plug out of the bottom of the boat this time.

ALL EXIT.

Enter KATY, TIFFANY and WILSON. They are carrying the BOAT from Day 2. They place the BOAT in the middle of the stage and then sit in it with KATY facing forward at one end and the others in front of her facing towards her. TIFFANY and WILSON mine rowing.

KATY: Faster. Row faster. I want to do this voyage faster than anyone's ever done it before!

TIFFANY: Why?

KATY: Well I can't have one of you bozos becoming Paula's favourite can I?

WILSON: Perhaps if you helped we could go even faster.

KATY: Nonsense! I'm the captain. You know what that means?

TIFFANY: It means I don't like you any more?

KATY: No. It means I'm the best and you have to do everything I say or I'll bury you up to your waist in sand and throw seashells into your mouth.

WILSON: You do that anyway!

KATY: Quiet, posh-boy. I've just had a great idea. Stop rowing for a sec.

TIFFANY and WILSON stop miming. As KATY explains her idea she points at what she is looking at and TIFFANY and WILSON look where she is pointing.

KATY: Look. If we go around the island the way Paula showed us, we'll have to go through those huge rocks. But if go that way there's a nice wide channel right through the island. I bet we can use that as a shortcut.

TIFFANY: I don't know, Katy. We can't see what's beyond that bend.

WILSON: Yes, it might not be as easy as you think.

KATY: Shut up! I'm the captain and you'll do what I say.  Now: row!

TIFFANY and WILSON start miming rowing again, faster than before.

KATY: Row like your lives depended on it. If you mess this up for me they just might, you know.

WILSON: I'm still not sure about this.

TIFFANY: And I think this channel is getting narrower already.

WILSON: Those trees ahead seem to be hanging awfully low over the water.

TIFFANY: And I'm almost positive that the water beneath them has turned to rapids.

A SMOKE MACHINE begins billowing smoke from off-stage.

WILSON: Oh no. Fog!

TIFFANY: This is a disaster!

They stop rowing (with oars) and start rowing (with raised voices)!

WILSON: Are you trying to kill us, Katy?

KATY: It's not my fault. Don't blame me.

TIFFANY: Not your fault? What happened to ‘in charge means you're the best and we have to do everything you say’.

WILSON: We're all going to die.

KATY: Well you should have done it better. I didn't tell you to row into the fog.

WILSON: [shouting] Help!

TIFFANY: You did tell us to do that! You literally did!

WILSON: [shouting] Help!

CHRIS: [v/o] Calm down Wilson.

TIFFANY: What's that.

WILSON: It's Captain Chris! We're saved

KATY: I'm going to be in so much trouble!

CHRIS: [v/o] Don't worry about that now. Listen very carefully. I need you to follow the sound of my voice. Just row forward carefully.

TIFFANY and WILSON start rowing again.

CHRIS: [v/o] There's a tree coming up, I want you to duck in 3...2...1...DUCK!

ALL duck down.

PAULA: [v/o] Quack!

TIFFANY: What was that?

PAULA: [v/o] It's a pirate pun.

KATY: Paula's there too? Oh I wish someone else had been put in charge.

CHRIS: [v/o] I told you not to worry. Now look can you see this?

A TORCH begins flashing from off stage.

KATY: We can see it.

CHRIS: Good. Just head towards the light. You're almost there.

THE SMOKE MACHINE stops billowing smoke.

TIFFANY: The fog is clearing. Perhaps we won't die after all.

WILSON: I wasn't scared. I knew we'd be alright.

KATY: Speak for yourself.

Enter PIRATE PAULA and CAPTAIN CHRIS. PAULA is holding a torch which she switches off as they walk on. TIFFANY and WILSON stop rowing.

CHRIS: Hello you three.

PAULA: Thought you'd take a little short cut did you?

KATY, TIFFANY and WILSON climb out of the boat.

KATY: It looked so easy.

PAULA: But it turned out to be harder than you thought, eh?

KATY: Are you really cross?

PAULA: That depends…

CHRIS: Are you going to do it again?

KATY looks down and shakes her head.

PAULA: Then I'm not cross. Or at least, I won't be for long.

TIFFANY: But how did you find us?

CHRIS: You're not the first practice pirates to try taking that shortcut. In fact, if you hadn't that really would have been a first.

PAULA: But sometimes the rules are there for a reason and I think you've learned that now.

TIFFANY, WILSON and KATY: [in unison] We have.

CHRIS: I’m glad. Right, back to the boat everyone.

Exeunt ALL.

CHRIS: [as they exit] I think we’ll take the long way back.


Safari Sparks Holiday Club

Our 2018 holiday club was developed in-house and written by me - more details can be found here - and we involved our youth team, who traditionally do the daily sketch early in the process. I came up with the idea of a Just-So Stories or Tinga Tales type story each day and the youth came up with what the 'How this happened' would be, the four main characters, and how the story would tie in with the day's teaching theme. I took their three titles (How The Giraffe Got A Long Neck, How The Monkey Became Addicted To Bananas, and How The Parrot Learned To Talk) away and came up with the final scripts for them to perform.

This is the second of the three - designed to illustrate the theme of 'God helps us to be strong'. The sketches make heavy use of existing music and onscreen visuals, which are reproduced here for illustrative purposes, as well as some rather dodgy puns for which no apology is given.

 

The Lore Of The Jungle:
Episode 2: How The Monkey Became Addicted To Bananas

On screen, THE RIDE OF THE FRYING PANS ANIMATION plays.

Enter LION, holding a PACKET OF MEAT. She is reading the cooking instructions on them.

LION: (READING) Place the steaks over a medium heat in a flying pan. (BEAT) A Flying pan? Haven’t seen one of those about. (TO AUDIENCE) Have you?

LION allows children to shout that they just saw one.

LION: Well there doesn’t seem to be one here now, so what do I do? (READING) Oh, here you go - ‘if you do not have a flying pan, simply pop the steaks under the gorilla.

LION walks to the side of the stage where A STUFFED GORILLA sits. She places the packet underneath and walks back to the middle of the stage.

LION: Right, now that’s sorted we can get on. All this talk of food reminds me of a story. It’s a very old story about a monkey, a picnic and a big, old butt-load of bananas. So let’s head back in time once more to see what happened.

LION walks to one side of the stage. A SMOKE MACHINE puffs smoke onto the stage, and the LIGHTS FLASH. On the screen, a clock winds backwards. BACK IN TIME by HUEY LEWIS AND THE NEWS plays. Enter GIRAFFE, MONKEY and PARROT holding A PICNIC BASKET, HIKING STICKS, ETC. They act out as LION narrates.

LION: Giraffe, Monkey and Parrot had been on a hike all morning. By lunchtime, they were very tired and decided to stop for a picnic. One by one, they took each thing out of their picnic basket and passed it around.

GIRAFFE: (TAKING A SANDWICH FROM THE BASKET) Let’s see - sandwiches…

GIRAFFE passes the SANDWICH to PARROT who takes a bite and passes it to MONKEY.

MONKEY: What flavour is it?

GIRAFFE: Pickle.

MONKEY: Bleugh!

MONKEY throws the SANDWICH into a BIN at the side of the stage. The bin must have a CLEAN BAG inside so that food is not spoiled by going into it.

MONKEY: I’m still hungry.

GIRAFFE: (TAKING AN OPEN PACKET OF CRISPS FROM THE BASKET) How about some crisps?

GIRAFFE passes the CRISPS to PARROT who takes one and passes them to MONKEY.

MONKEY: What flavour are they?

GIRAFFE: Pickle.

MONKEY: Bleugh!

MONKEY throws the CRISPS into the BIN.

MONKEY: I’m still hungry.

GIRAFFE: (TAKING A PICKLE OR MINI CUCUMBER FROM THE BASKET) OK, well what else do we have? Ooh, a pickle!

GIRAFFE passes the PICKLE to PARROT who takes a bite and passes it to MONKEY.

MONKEY: What flavour is it?

GIRAFFE: Cheese and onion.

MONKEY: Bleugh!

MONKEY throws the PICKLE into the BIN.

MONKEY: I’m still hungry.

GIRAFFE: Well, what happened to all the food?

MONKEY: I threw it away.

PARROT makes a shocked face.

GIRAFFE: You threw it away? Why?

MONKEY: It was horrible.

GIRAFFE: But that was our lunch!

MONKEY: It wasn’t my lunch because I didn’t eat any of it. But I’m hungry - when am I going to get something to eat?

GIRAFFE: Well there’s nothing left. You should have eaten what we gave you.

MONKEY: But I’m so weak! Look…

MONKEY flexes his arms and wobbles his legs to show how weak they are. PARROT feels his muscles and sticks out her tongue. As the fest of the conversation goes on, PARROT rubs her tummy hungrily, then goes and gets the food out of the bin and eats it while listening and reacting to what they are saying.

GIRAFFE: Then you should have eaten your lunch.

MONKEY: But I couldn’t eat it because it was horrible. All food is horrible - I don’t know why people eat it.

GIRAFFE: Because otherwise they get hungry and weak.

MONKEY: (REALISING) Ooh. Is that why I’m hungry and weak?

GIRAFFE: Probably. What did you have for breakfast.

MONKEY: Nothing - breakfast is horrible.

GIRAFFE: Well what did you do for dinner last night?

MONKEY: Omelette.

GIRAFFE: Well there you are then.

MONKEY: But I didn’t eat it - omelettes are horrible. I’m starting to wonder why I bother making them at all. But like I always say - can’t break an egg without making a few omelettes.

LION: By now, things were getting silly. Something had to be done. Fortunately, there was one animal who was wiser than the rest…

GIRAFFE (TO LION): Not this again.

LION: An animal who was as clever as they were strong and handsome.

MONKEY: If this goes on much longer I might eat her!

LION: An animal who just happened to be a licensed nutritionist.

PARROT scratches her head and then pulls out AN A3 PRINT PHOTOGRAPH OF THE SAFARI SPARKS MAIN LEADER (or other suitable leader!).

LION: Wrong, my silent friend. The animal I’m talking about is...me!

LION throws her hands in the air and jumps triumphantly around the stage as the first few lines of MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT by LL COOL J plays.

GIRAFFE: So what are we going to do with Monkey?

MONKEY: I’m so weak!

LION: Well it seems to me that all you need is a boost of carbohydrates, fibre and potassium, not to mention a healthy dose of Vitamins C, B-6 and Magnesium.

MONKEY: You don’t mean…?

GIRAFFE: Can it be…?

PARROT covers her eyes in shock and anticipation.

LION: That’s right! You just need to (SLAPS THIGH) Have a banana!

MONKEY, GIRAFFE and PARROT: (SLAP THIGHS) Have a banana?

(PARROT only slaps her thighs, she doesn’t say the line.)

LION: Yes. (SLAPS THIGH) Have a banana!

LION reaches into her pocket and pulls out a FOAM BANANA SWEET.

MONKEY: But I don’t like…

LION: Can I just stop you there. All you need to do is (SLAPS THIGH) Have a banana!

MONKEY: I might need some help.

LION: Come on everybody. One...two...three...(SLAPS THIGH) Have a banana! Again: One...two...three...(SLAPS THIGH) Have a banana! And one for luck. One...two...three...(SLAPS THIGH) Have a banana!

MONKEY eats the banana. WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS by QUEEN plays as MONKEY walks to the edge of the stage and picks up a LARGE ROCK which is lying there, holding it above his head. As the music stops he puts it down.

LION: And so it was…

MONKEY(Tugging on her sleeve):  That was delicious. Are there any more?

LION gives him another FOAM BANANA. MONKEY eats it immediately.

LION: And so it was…

MONKEY (Tugging on her sleeve): Can I have another one?

LION gives him another FOAM BANANA. MONKEY eats it immediately.

LION: And so it was…

MONKEY(Tugging on her sleeve): Hey, Lion?

LION: (SHOUTING) WHAT???

MONKEY: You got any more of those bananas?

LION gives him THE WHOLE PACK OF FOAM BANANAS. MONKEY starts eating them - giving one each to GIRAFFE and PARROT.

LION: And so it was that monkey became addicted to bananas. Giraffe said that she was glad it was over…

GIRAFFE: Well, I’m glad that’s over.

LION: ...Monkey said, ‘Om-nom-nom’...

MONKEY: (EATING) Om-nom-nom.

LION: ...and Parrot didn’t say anything, because Parrot (DRAMATICALLY) DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO TALK!

DRAMATIC STING SFX plays.

LION: But the story of how she came to is another tale for another time. So now you know, if you didn’t before, how Monkey came to be addicted to bananas the only question is - is this a true story or am I...lion?

Exeunt ALL.