Mission Possible

By John McNeil

Summary

With a theme of missions, this play is a tongue-in-cheek take-off of the TV "Mission Impossible" style.

Characters

Sam
Voice of 'M'
Unnamed agent
Voice of aircraft captain
Han Solo
Laura (Govt. official)
Ananas (fruit stall owner)
Jailer
Springstone

(Note on staging: As the 'scenes' in this skit are very rapid - some only a couple of lines - it is envisaged that except on one occasion the principal character, Sam, never leaves the stage during the performance, but that props be placed at appropriate points around the stage to serve as 'scene changes'. The fruit stall, however, could be a barrow wheeled on. The pace throughout should be maintained at 'action movie' tempo. The theme music or similar could be held at low level under the whole skit.)

Script

 

EFX:
Theme from Mission Impossible

(A man enters. As he does so, there is the sound of a telephone ringing. He goes to a vase standing on a small table. Out of the vase he lifts a telephone handpiece. As he listens, the following is heard.)

M:
Hello, Sam. In the Asian country of Mawitan, there is a small city called Nasigoreng. In the middle of that city is a jail, and in that jail has been incarcerated a missionary by the name of Springstone. Springstone is a Bible translator who has been thrown in there for supposedly trying to convert locals to Christianity, and for operating without a permit. The charges have been trumped up by the local mayor, who wants to rid the city of all Christians. Your mission, should you wish to accept it, is to spring Springstone and bring Springstone home. Should you be apprehended, no diplomatic immunity can be vouchsafed you. Good luck, Sam. And don't forget, this telephone will self-destruct when you replace the receiver.

SAM
Just one question, M.

M:
How can I answer questions when I am a recorded message?

SAM
Why does that stupid music play every time I pass by this telephone?

M:
Just replace the receiver Sam.

(He does so, and the vase disintegrates. Sam goes to a briefcase nearby, takes out of his pocket a toothbrush and a hand grenade. He throws them into the briefcase. As he is doing this we hear an airport p.a. announcement.)

PA:
This is a final call for passengers booked on Third World Airways flight 007 to Mawitan. Secret agents should board at gate number 13. Other passengers should board at gate 12. Thank you.

(Sam picks up briefcase and proceeds to where two chairs are situated. Both have seat belts. He sits down, as does a man with beard, dark glasses and hat. They simultaneously do up their seat belts.)

MAN:
The pot-bellied pig wears suntan lotion at midnight.

SAM:
But the rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain.

MAN:
Good. When you get to Bangkok, you will be met by agent Han Solo.

SAM:
But I'm not going to Bangkok.

MAN:
Then what are you doing in my skit?

PA:
This is your captain speaking. Welcome to Mawitan. You might like to adjust your watches to local time, which is 50 years behind the rest of the world. The local temperature is unspeakable and the beer undrinkable. Have a nice day anyway, and we hope you'll fly all your secret missions on Third World Airways.

(The other passenger exits. As Sam goes to follow, he encounters a man.)

SOLO:
I have a message from M.

SAM:
Who are you?

SOLO:
Han Solo.

SAM:
I thought you were in the other skit!

SOLO:
I've been transferred. The pot-bellied pig caught sunburn.

SAM:
Where can we speak, Solo?

SOLO:
If we speak any lower, the audience won't hear us. Listen carefully, I'll say this only once. Go immediately to the Ministry of the Inferior and ask for Laura. She will have information advantageous to our mutual friend.

(Solo leaves. Sam turns round, goes to a small table behind which stands a woman.)

SAM:
I'd like to speak to Laura.

LAURA:
That's me.

SAM:
Your surname Gravetey?

LAURA:
How did you know that?

SAM:
It's all falling into place.

LAURA:
Springstone was detained by the Mayor on the grounds that the visa had expired. However, we've discovered it doesn't run out until midnight tonight. If you can persuade the jailer to grant release, and can be on the 11.55 flight out of the country, the Mayor can't legally hold Springstone. Here's a copy I've been able to make of the visa. You'll need it to get out. Good luck, and our home group will be praying for you both.

SAM:
Praying! That's given me an idea. Can you get me a Bible in your own language?

LAURA:
I can arrange that. There is a fruit stall outside the jail. Go there at 10 tonight and ask for Ananas. He will give you what you need.

(Sam goes to fruit stall. There's no-one in attendance. He picks up an apple, tosses it in the air. Looking to see if anyone is watching, he takes a felt pen from his pocket and writes on the apple. Unseen by him, Ananas enters.)

ANANAS:
That will be 10 burpees, honourable sir.

SAM:
(Startled, Sam takes a bite from the apple, biting a chunk out of what he has just written.) Blast. Now I'll need another one. Are you Ananas?

ANANAS:
At your service, Sam-honourable-san!

SAM:
Apart from another apple (which he takes, and again writes on before putting in his briefcase), what do you have in the line of literature?

ANANAS:
(Handing him Bible) I think you will find good food also in this book, Mr Sam.

SAM:
No doubt I will. Which is the window to Springstone's cell?

ANANAS:
That one up there.

SAM:
Thanks.

(Sam goes to an imaginary wall. From his briefcase he takes a small tape recorder, which he places on the ground. He takes out the hand grenade and the apple. He tosses one in each hand, weighing up their relative merits, then puts the grenade back in the case. He turns on the tape recorder. An uptempo praise song is heard [played over sound system]. He tosses the apple through the imaginary cell window, and hurries out. This is the only time Sam leaves the stage. A moment later is heard a voice singing along with the tape, followed by a flashing lights from the direction of the cell, and thunder EFX.)

(Enter distraught jailer.)

JAILER:
The gods preserve me. All the locks have been shattered. The prisoners will have all escaped. I will be killed for this.

SAM:
(Entering, holding out book) You obviously haven't read the script. Go check your cells. You'll find them still there.

JAILER:
Who are you?

SAM:
I thought no-one would ever ask. The name's Sam....Sam Arriton. Which cell is Springstone in?

JAILER:
Springstone! (Dashes off, then rapidly backs back on stage as Springstone enters.) You are right, she is still here. Thank you, thank you for not escaping!

SAM:
She!! Springstone is a woman!?

SPRINGSTONE:
You expected maybe a pith helmet and fly swat?

JAILER:
I do not understand what is going on.

SAM:
You will if you read this book. Do yourself a favour and get in on the Act....Chapter 16.

JAILER:
What shall I do?

SPRINGSTONE:
How about organising a small farewell party for us at the airport.

PA:
Third World Airways announces the departure of Flight 7-double-0 ... that's 007 going the other way. Secret agents and their new romantic interest should board at gate 777. Other passengers at gate 666. Have a happy ever after.

EFX: (Theme music comes to climax as all exit.)


© John McNeil 1997
All rights reserved
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged.
In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed.
He may be contacted at soulcommunication@paradise.net.nz
Or at: 36B Stourbridge St, Christchurch 2, New Zealand.