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To understand the sacrificial nature of love.  Includes the Bibles Reading: 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, 13 and a Prayer.


Not an ‘instant assembly’ this one, but only a little preparation is required: you will need one actor, who can read from a script masquerading as an exam paper on an exam desk, and an offstage voiceover. The slides suggested in the text are optional, and the poem by WH Auden can either be shown as a video or read by a third voice.


Slide – exam room

Actor enters as for an exam, sits at desk facing audience, and unpacks pencils, water, more water, tissues, calculator, more water, more pens, more water

Voice: The time is 8.48, and you have 12 minutes. You may now begin.

Actor: OK, don’t panic. Read the questions … this time. Read the questions. The girl in the next desk is writing already. Will you just look at that?! She’s on her second sheet already. OK, don’t panic. You can do this. Water. Drink water. Keep hydrated. Good for the brain. [Pause] I need the loo. No, I don’t. Yes, I do! More water. No, not more water. Definitely not more water. Think about very dry things like … deserts … not about water. At all..

Slide – waterfall

Actor: Aaargh!

Slide – exam room

Actor: OK: read the questions. What?? Is this some sort of joke? Number 1: ‘Tell me the truth about love’. What sort of question is that supposed to be?

Voice: Probably the most important question you’ll ever answer. Or not answer.

Actor: So now I’m hearing voices! I love exams!! No way am I answering that one. So what did they say in that lesson about exam technique? If you can’t answer a question, leave it and come back to it. What’s the next question, then?

Voice: There isn’t another question.

Actor: What do you mean, ‘There isn’t another question?’ And why am I talking in an exam?

Voice: Because it would be a pretty tedious assembly if you just sat and wrote exam answers like the girl in the next desk … who, in case you’re interested, is just about to ask for extra paper.

Actor: Not interested. Nothing is going to make me panic … this time. OK, so one question?

Voice: One question. And probably the most important question you’ll ever answer in your life. Or maybe not answer if you carry on like this. And don’t even think about going to the loo.

Slide – running tap (2 seconds)

Slide – exam room

Actor: OK, then. Focus. ‘Tell me the truth about love.’ Tell me the truth about love. Tell me the truth about … love. (Writes) ‘Almost every song ever written has been about love.’ Well, lurve, actually. Hey, that’s a film – Love Actually – maybe I can write about that. 2003 film – set in London over the Christmas period. Starring Hugh Grant. About 6 people who flirt with love in various ways – some good, some not so good. And what does it say in the end? Love begins and love ends – there’s a lot of love about. When you find it, go for it. Not bad. Maybe not. Pretty soppy film anyway. And old – 9 years ago! Like something somebody would use in assembly. Girl next door still writing, I notice. Change of ink cartridge – brilliant – well done, girl next door. More water. (Drinks) ‘Tell me the truth about love.’ A poem, maybe?

Video - or a third voice reads WH Auden’s O tell me the truth about love

Slide – exam room

Actor: Oh, very helpful. Come on, brain – think! Tell me the truth about love. (Bangs head on desk) Ow! That hurt!


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