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Lively sketch set in the streets of Bethlehem - it is the first Christmas Eve – but no one knows it…yet! A TOWN CRIER proclaims the daily news, Joseph arrives looking for a room, shepherds hurtle down from the hills, and the sketch closes as the TOWN CRIER announces the news of the holy birth: the place isn't heavin', the place is heaven... Part of the series that slots into Roger Jones' musical 'While Shepherds Watched, this will easily stand alone.

The Place is Heavin’

TOWN CRIER of Bethlehem, dressed in typical garb;
INNKEEPER of the “Lion of Judah” (a simple Pub sign hangs on one side of the stage);
JOSEPH, the father to be.
CROWD (at least four).

Props:  Pub sign, news sheet and hand bell for TOWN CRIER

Scene:  It is the first Christmas Eve – but no one knows it…yet! Lights up as TOWN CRIER enters swinging a hand bell –

TOWN CRIER:  (pacing about the stage regaling the audience)
Now hear ye, Now hear ye! Census news! Census news! Senseless views about Census news! Now hear ye! Now hear ye! Gird your loins and count your coins! Gird your loins and count your coins! (He flourishes a news sheet) Latest news! Latest news! If you’d avoid jail pay cash on the nail! If you’d avoid jail pay cash on the nail! Daily Prophet! Daily Prophet! Carpenters hammered with tax! Carpenters hammered with tax! (he bumps into JOSEPH who rushes on desperately seeking shelter) Pardon me, sir.

JOSEPH:  (flustered but polite) That’s all right. Look, you don’t know if there’s anywhere to stay do you? Me and the missus, we’ve just got here from up north, Nazareth like, and she’s… (he makes the “big fat tummy” mime for a pregnant woman) …due.

TOWN CRIER:  Ah, well it be very full these days, Bethlehem, sir. But try over yonder at the Lion of Judah.

JOSEPH:  Thanks very much. (He heads off to “The Lion”)

TOWN CRIER: Now hear ye! Now hear ye! (He stops on stage opposite side to Pub, scratches his head, talks to self and audience as CROWD emerge and tramp around making an intertwining figure of eight across the breadth of the playing space) 

What, in the name of Heaven?
The little town is heavin’!

Mister and missus, and boys and girls,
Thru’ the streets and lanes they swirl.
Up and down and round and round;
Packed to the rafters, our little town.

TRAVELLER 1:   ‘Is there room at the inn?

TRAVELLER 2:   ‘Will you please let us in?

TRAVELLER 3:   ‘Somewhere to stay?

TRAVELLER 4:   ‘We’ve money to pay.’

TOWN CRIER:  But ev’rywhere’s full there’s no room at all     (CROWD exeunt)

continues ....
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