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  • Spike Potter

An Historic Job Interview.

[Sketch Scenario and Stage Directions: The curtain will open to reveal a middle-aged priest sat at his desk, writing. He will speak slowly and deliberately with a polish accent.]

PRIEST: (standing up to face the audience) Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. I am the headmaster of a Roman Catholic Boarding School and I am just about to interview a candidate for the headship of the history department. (he sits down) (there is a knock at the door) Come in please! (the door opens, and a man walks in dressed in Tudor period clothing) (shocked) Oh my God!! (he puts his spectacles on and stands up)

MAN: (cordially) Good evening! (he walks over)

PRIEST: (still quite shocked) Hmm ... yes, good evening ... I am Father Alligata.

MAN: How do you do, (they shake hands) my name’s Tudor.

PRIEST: (rather lost) Please, Mr. Tudor ... take a seat.

MAN: Thank you. (they both sit down)

PRIEST: So, hmm ... Mr. Tudor, did you say?

MAN: That's right.

PRIEST: Ah, good. Now ... hmm ... (rifles through the papers on his desk) ... I don't seem to have your résumé here.

MAN: Oh?

PRIEST: Hmm ... yes, I am afraid I don't have much information on you.

MAN: I see.

PRIEST: So ... (tentatively) hmm, I wonder if you would mind answering a few questions.

MAN: Not at all.

PRIEST: (relieved) Ah good ... (he pauses indecisively) hmm, well… the history department is undergoing some quite drastic reorganization at the moment ... as we try to adapt to the education reforms, that is.

MAN: (nodding) Yes, I understand.

PRIEST: So, perhaps you could tell me; do you have any experience along those lines?

MAN: (confidently) Oh yes, plenty. I've been quite a bit of a reformer in my time.

PRIEST: Would you care to say a little more, perhaps? What sort of things have you reorganized, Mr. Tudor?

MAN: Oh, hmm ... monasteries, that sort of thing.

PRIEST: (surprised) Monasteries? ... How interesting.

MAN: Yes, it was quite.

PRIEST: But have you been used to cuts, Mr. Tudor?

MAN: Oh yes, I'm used to cuts all right; I've even had to axe quite a few eminent people in my time.

PRIEST: That is just the kind of experience we are looking for. You see, there are far too many junior masters and some of them will simply have to go.

MAN: Well, if heads have got to roll, then I'm your man for sure.

PRIEST: Excellent! You seem ideally suited.

MAN: Oh good!

PRIEST: Now, if we could just move on to a slightly more personal note for a moment ... are you married?

MAN: (uncertainly) Hmm… well, I was.

PRIEST: How is that?

MAN: I was married: yes.

PRIEST: Did your wife die?

MAN: Let me see? (thinking for a moment) Yes, one did die – all of her own accord, you know... I never laid a finger on her… and then another two… hmm… yes, yes… I could honestly say they died as well… although they did get a little help… you know, in a roundabout sort of way.

PRIEST: (confusedly) I am sorry; I don't quite understand. What do you mean by “a roundabout sort of way”?

MAN: Well, I don't really like to talk about it... and it was a long time ago… but since you're asking: they had their heads cut off, to be exact.

PRIEST: (taken aback) Oh! Oh ... I am sorry?

MAN: (unemotionally) That's all right: I wasn't fond of them.

PRIEST: I see... But at least you’re not divorced, then?

MAN: Oh yes, twice.

PRIEST: Oh dear, well that’s not great for your application I must admit… but let’s move on, shall we?

MAN: By all means.

PRIEST: There's just one more thing.

MAN: Yes?

PRIEST: You are a Roman Catholic, Mr. Tudor?

MAN: I was hoping that wouldn't come up really ... only I was excommunicated by the Pope you see.

PRIEST: Oh dear ... that does make things a bit awkward.

MAN: I thought it might.

PRIEST: Was there any particular reason?

MAN: Something to do with the reformation, I think.

PRIEST: But that was quite a while ago, Mr. Tudor.

MAN: Well, that's what I thought.

PRIEST: But as you are so well qualified in other areas ... as regards reorganization and cuts, I mean ... well, perhaps it might be possible to get around it ...

MAN: (excitedly) You mean I've got the job, Father Alligator?

PRIEST: That's Alligata.

MAN: But I have got the job?

PRIEST: I can't see any real problem. (looking down at his papers) Oh, could you just give me your Christian name for the files?

MAN: Henry.

PRIEST: (he writes it down) Henry ... Tudor, that's fine ... and your date of birth? Just the year will do.

MAN: 1491.

PRIEST: (starting to write) Fourteen ... (he hesitates, then looks up with a shocked expression) Fourteen-ninety-one? Henry Tudor? ... Hold on a minute! You are not Henry VIII by any chance?

MAN: (naturally) Yes ... Henry VIII, that's me.

PRIEST: (shocked) Oh my God!!

MAN: Is there a problem?

PRIEST: Yes! I am afraid there is! I cannot possibly give you a job in a Catholic school.

MAN: Why ever not?

PRIEST: Because... hmm… because you are much too old.

MAN: Too old! Hold on: I need this job.

PRIEST: I am sorry, but it is just impossible.

MAN: Look here, I'm warning you...

PRIEST: Warning me? What do you mean: warning me? Surely you are not threatening me?

MAN: That's exactly what I'm doing!

PRIEST: Well that does it! You will just have to leave.

MAN: What do mean: leave?

PRIEST: You heard me! Now get out of my office. I will not be threatened by historical characters in my own office. (standing up) Now go on: get out!

MAN: You've done it now! (he pulls out an axe and stands up)

PRIEST: (shocked) Oh my God! Please, let's not be hasty.

MAN: You've had your chance.

PRIEST: Don't cut my head off!

MAN: Why not?

PRIEST: I like it… and besides ...

MAN: Your number's up, Alligator!

PRIEST: That's Alligata.

MAN: Well, your number's still up. (Alligata opens his desk draw and pulls out a semi-automatic handgun)

PRIEST: What do you say now?

MAN: Let me sell you a turkey.

PRIEST: It's not Christmas! (he shoots the man twice in the chest and he drops to the ground dead)


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