(A play for 7 characters based on Mark 8 23-25 and John 9)
Greek Chorus – 2 people – GK1 asks the question and GK2 replies
Mum (looks shabby and careworn)
Dad (a workman in overalls, hard hat, with a notebook and pen at the ready in his top pocket for union infringements)
Vicar (male or female dressed very dressily)
Props: Clear stage apart from a small table and chair back Left with an Argos catalogue on it.
GK1 and GK2 are standing back Right.)
GK1 – What’s this?
GK2 – We are in a village open space.
GK1 – What’s that over there?
GK2 – A table with an Argos catalogue on it.
GK1 – What is it doing there?
GK2 – Waiting for its part to be played.
Enter Young Man, pointing about him as he speaks excitedly.
YM – (gabbling )I can see! I can see! Mum! Dad! Anyone! I can see. Suddenly – at last – I can see what everyone else can see. Mum – come quickly – I can see. Dad, Dad I can really truly see. (turns to audience) I was born blind, you know. My eyes didn’t grow properly. I’ve never known what it is to be able to see – until now. I can see the sky – it’s blue – and grey – and those white bits are clouds – real clouds – and there’s a butterfly – red and black and white and blue and gold and orange – and they always said grass was green but it’s lots of other colours as well. Suddenly – I can see it all. (moves to back Centre still acting excitedly)
GK1 – Who is that coming?
GK2 – His mother.
YM – (moving forward) Mum – guess what! I can see.
M – I’m sure you think you can dear, but to see you have to have eyes and you were born without any. Come on home and have your tea, now, do. All this shouting isn’t doing you any good.
YM – No, Mum, listen. Look at me. I’ve got eyes now. Look.
M – (peering at him) What? How? I don’t understand. How can you just grow eyes?
YM – A man did it for me. He came up to me and spat in my eyes and …
M – He did what? A strange man came up to you and did what?
YM – I just told you. He came up to me and spat in my eyes and covered them with his hands and …
GK1 – Who is coming?
GK2 – His father.
GK1 – Will he sort this out?
GK2 – Possibly. He is a Union man.
D – What’s all this then? (He speaks belligerently as he pulls a notebook from his pocket and licks the end of his pencil) A strange man walks up to you and spits in your eyes? You just tell me exactly what happened and I’ll go and sort him out. No one abuses my son and gets away with it!
YM – No, Dad, no, you don’t understand. I was just telling Mum …
M – He says he can see. He says this man spat in his eyes and covered them with his hands or something and grew new ones for him.
D – Rubbish! No one can do that. Except God.
YM – No – truly Dad – I can see. It’s not just dark any more. I can see houses – and birds – and that donkey over there (points to a member of the audience). I can see so much it makes my head spin.
F – All I’m saying is – if there’s a man going round growing eyes it’s a pity he has to break Health and Safety Regs to do it. Spitting in someone’s eyes is assault that is and if one of my union members came to me and said …
YM – Dad! Listen to me! Look at me! Look! I can see. It doesn’t matter about Health and Safety. All that matters …
M – (soothingly) All that matters is that our son believes he can see.
YM – I can see, Mum.
M – What am I wearing? What colour?
YM – (describes top, skirt etc. As he does so, Mum begins to beam ecstatically and clasp her hands under her chin as she realises her son can see) …but Mum, I used to imagine what you looked like – and it wasn’t like this. I thought you’d be… well … slimmer … and not so … shabby somehow.
M – (looking downcast as he finishes speaking and tugging futilely at her saggy clothes in an effort to smarten them up) I suppose I have let myself go a bit. Not had much time over the years to look after myself. I’ve been caring for you …(turns away sadly)
GK1 – Why is he speaking like that to his mother?
GK2 – Because he can’t see her.
GK1 – Why can’t he see her when he has new eyes?
GK2 – You need more than eyes to see a person.
GK1 – Perhaps he can see his father?
GK2 – Perhaps. Let’s see.
D – Can you really see, son? After all these years, can you really see?
YM – Yes Dad. I can see you in your grubby overalls and scuffed boots with your comical yellow hard hat. You look just like a workman, Dad.
D – I am a workman, son. I’m a mechanical engineer. I’ve been working on the Big Ben project to get all the overtime. To pay for your special school fees. You know that.
YM – Overtime? To get extra money? Could you get some more d’you think?
D – Yes …but …
YM – Only I’d like a bike now I can see. And a computer. I used to think you worked too hard but now I can see you just live for working and don’t want any time off. (drawls affectedly) You are just sooo workman, Dad.
D – But son …
YM – (spotting Argos catalogue) Ooh, what’s this? (thumbs through) And a Play Station. And a petrol, not definitelynot battery, remote controlled 4×4 model car .. it goes at 60, Dad, and it’s only 200 quid …and what’s this …? (continues to pore over catalogue while Dad shrugs helplessly.)
GK1 – who is coming now?
GK2 – It is the Vicar.
GK1 – Will she sort this out?
GK2 – Only if she comes with God.
Enter Vicar (dressed smartly for Harvest Supper.)
V – Hallo, just drumming up support for the Harvest Supper. You three are all coming of course.
YM – Count me out. Boring!
V – Pardon??
M – He can see now. He’s got new eyes. (Dad nods in agreement)
V – (crosses to Young Man, takes catalogue away and firmly shuts it) Now just you look here, young man …(to Parents) …he’ll listen to me. I am the Vicar, after all.
YM – I’m looking straight at you, Vicar, and you don’t look like a proper Vicar at all.
V – Whaaat!
YM – And now I come to think of it, you never told me God could give me new eyes.
V – He can’t. I mean, yes, he could, but it just doesn’t happen like that.
YM – Yes it does. I’ve got new eyes to prove it. A strange man, who must have been from God, grew them for me. You don’t know anything about God, you just pretend you do.
V – How dare you! You are certainly not welcome at the Harvest Supper (turns to parents) and neither are you if you support him.
M – Well, we do actually.
D – Because it’s happened. So it must be God in some way or another.
GK1 – Who has the Vicar met?
GK2 – That’s Jesus, the Son of God.
GK1 – Will he sort out this problem.
GK2 – Yes. Trust him.
(Vicar storms furiously off and meets Jesus entering at far side of stage. They look at each other for a moment then Vicar continues to exit but more slowly and thoughtfully. Jesus quietly follows off.)
(Young Man starts thumbing through catalogue again)
(Parents confer together at front of stage. While they do so the Young Man starts to listen to them, until he is ignoring the catalogue, which falls unnoticed to the ground, and he is open-mouthed at what they are saying.)
M – I don’t like our son like this.
D – Neither do I. He seems to look at us as if we were objects, not … us!
M – As if we were no more to him than just … just … trees – walking about.
D – We need to find the man who did this to him.
M – I don’t want him blind again. I’m really glad he can see now. And he’s our son and we want what’s best for him. But … but …
D – …but not like this. I mean, what’s the good of sight if you can’t see straight?
M – There’s no good at all. Not if you can’t see straight.
D – We’ve got to find the man.
GK1 – Who will help these people?
GK2 – Jesus.
GK1 – Who will help the young man see straight?
GK2 – Jesus
GK1 – Where is he?
GK2 – Always here when you need him.
Enter Jesus who walks forward onto centre stage to join them.
J – I’m here. What’s the problem?
YM – (jumping up) You’re the man who grew my eyes from spit. Are you from God?
J – Yes. I’m His son. Can you see all right now?
YM – No, not really. I can see – but I see people like … like …
M – …trees walking about.
D – Not as people at all.
J – Stand still. (He reaches out and covers the Young Man’s eyes with his hands.) Try that.
YM – Hallo Mum. Hallo Dad.
M – Can you see us properly now?
YM – Yes. I couldn’t before but now I can see you clearly. It’s good to see you both at last. (they all clasp hands with Jesus saying ‘thank you’. Enter Vicar to join in.)
GK1 – Is that the end of the play?
GK2 – Yes but now it’s the song.
GK1 – Will everyone join in the singing?
GK2 – Yes – the words are on the overhead.
Song to follow The Man Born Blind play.
To the tune of I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash
Verse 1 – Choir – fronted by Young Man
I can see clearly now my sin is gone
I can see the light of Christ in every face
Gone is the disbelief that kept me blind
Now I can praise, praise praise the God of grace
Chorus – all
“I came to heal the sick,” is what Jesus said,
“Make the blind to see and the dumb to sing,
Bind up the broken hearts weighed down with sin.”
Let us praise, praise, praise our God and King.
Verse 2 – Choir – fronted by Mum and Dad
We can see clearly now we’ve all been healed
We have met Jesus face to face
All of our labours now to him we yield
And we can praise, praise, praise the God of grace.
Verse 3 – Choir – fronted by Vicar
I can see clearly now the way to go
Jesus Christ is truly the Living Way
All of my whole life through I will praise his name
Let us praise, praise, praise the God of grace.