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Mary Magdalene Easter Sketch

This was one of a few pieces I wrote over Easter 2018 about Mary Magdalene - the other was an entry in the Writing The Bible series.

The commission was to link the end of a video telling the story of Good Friday to the beginning of an Easter service by dramatising Mary's meeting with the risen Jesus in the garden. I decided that having the actors perform from their seats would be easiest, especially as there was to be minimal rehearsal time, so the script is designed more as a 'play for voices' in the style of Under Milk Wood. In performance, the dialogue moves quickly with Mary's inner monologue and outer speech spilling over each other.


Voices in darkness…

MARY (INNER VOICE): I watched them take the body down and lay it in a borrowed tomb. By the time it was done, the Sabbath had fallen and so the dignity of a proper burial had to wait. All through that day and into the night we mourned, but I rose early on the next morning - before the sunrise - and took the spices to anoint the body. But the tomb was empty.

The speakers, especially, the two Mary voices, should feel free to overlap one another. The effect is to have thoughts spilling over one another.

MARY (OUTER VOICE): Come quickly.

MARY (INNER VOICE): Where have they taken him?

MARY (OUTER VOICE): They’ve taken the body.

JESUS: Mary...

MARY (OUTER VOICE): Who’s there?

MARY (INNER VOICE): It’s the gardener.

MARY (OUTER VOICE): What have you done with him?

JESUS: Why are you crying?

MARY (OUTER VOICE): They killed him.

MARY (INNER VOICE): They murdered him.

MARY (OUTER VOICE): Tell me where he is.

JESUS: [Cutting across her thoughts] Mary! Why do you seek the living among the dead?

MARY (INNER VOICE): I don’t understand.

MARY (OUTER VOICE): I don’t understand.

MARY (INNER VOICE): I saw him die.

MARY (OUTER VOICE): Who are you?

JESUS: Who do you say I am?

MARY (TOGETHER): [beat] Rabboni!

JESUS: I have come back to you, just as I said I would.

MARY (OUTER VOICE): Teacher...

JESUS: But do not cling to me.

MARY (INNER VOICE): Don’t leave me.

JESUS: You must go and tell the others.

MARY (INNER VOICE): I don’t want to go.

MARY (OUTER VOICE): What should I tell them?

JESUS: Tell them what you saw.

MARY (INNER VOICE): He is risen.

MARY (OUTER VOICE): [Calling] Peter...

MARY (INNER VOICE): He is risen.

MARY (OUTER VOICE): [Calling] Everyone…

MARY (INNER VOICE): He is risen.

MARY (TOGETHER): He is risen indeed.

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