The three kings are important characters in the Christmas story. In this performance poem I have used some imagination to create a different personality to each of the three kings. The children can bring out these differences in their performances of the poem. The other important characters, in the poem, are the evil king Herod and his servant, Fred. The character of Fred has been introduced to bring some humour to the poem. Children should have fun acting out these parts.
THE THREE KINGS
K1: My friends, I need a rest. Can’t we sit down?
It’s taken us four hours to reach this town.
K2: I’m tired too. I can’t go on much more!
Where are we now? What are we looking for?
K3: You mustn’t rest. Why can’t you understand?
That something quite tremendous is at hand.
Look in the sky. Believe in what you see.
That dazzling star is calling out to me.
It speaks with God’s own voice, but you don’t hear.
K2: You and your visions! Why should you be right?
We’ve travelled for too many miles tonight.
K1: Perhaps we ought to follow this bright star.
I hope and pray it isn’t very far.
K3: You will find rest. He promised that, my friend.
In him all sin and suffering will end.
(They leave and FRED – Herod’s servant jumps out of his hiding place. He is excited)
FRED: Such news to tell King Herod! I must fly.
He’ll be so pleased with me. Oh, who knows why
I was the one who heard about this thing.
I’ll get rewarded if I tell the king!
(He runs off)
SCENE 2. THE PALACE.
(HEROD is sitting on his throne as Fred runs in. There are guards on either side of him)
HEROD: here you are! How dare you run away.
Guards, lock this servant up. Do as I say.
(GUARDS grab FRED)
FRED: Wait, wait. I have important news to bring.
Three wise men have come seeking a new king.
HEROD: Wait a moment. Who are these three men?
I hope it’s not astrologers again.
Their damned predictions get people upset
And none of them have ever been right yet.
FRED: It was those men, but they seemed very sure
About this king that they were looking for.
(KINGS approach. The GUARDS still hold FRED)
FRED: Look, here they are. Now you’ll find out I’m right.
HEROD: Hmmm, throw him on the hillside for tonight.
FRED: Those hills are freezing. There are wolves there too!
HEROD: Be gone, before I do much worse to you!
(GUARDS drag FRED off stage. KINGS approach HEROD)
HEROD: Now I intend to stop these men and learn
Where they are going, then, on their return
I’ll make them tell me everything they’ve found
Before I run this so called ‘king’ to ground.
HEROD: Greetings, my friends, what brings you here tonight?
Tell me your purpose, then perhaps I might
Help you to find the very thing you seek.
Come, do not be afraid. I bid you speak.
K3: Herod, we have special news to bring.
We’re searching for a special, new born king
HEROD: Rule my land! How dare they speak such lies.
HEROD: God sirs, I’m sure that you are very wise.
HEROD: I’ll cut him up. I’ll chop off his damned head.
HEROD: I must agree with everything you’ve said.
HEROD: Find this king and then bring word to me
So I can go an worship properly.
K2: We will do as you say, now we must go
For he is close at hand, that much I know.
(in rage Herod calls his GUARDS in)
HEROD: Guards! Watch those men, don’t let them out of sight.
For I’m determined to destroy their king tonight.
(MARY and JOSEPH, the ANGEL and the baby are in the stable as the KINGS approach with gifts)
K3: Here is the child. At last we’ve found the place.
Look at the way the light falls on his face.
MARY: Welcome, good men, stay here a little while.
My baby wants to bless you, with a smile.
K1: I felt so tired but now, my Lord, I see
You’ve lifted all the weariness from me.
K2: Forgive my doubts, from now on I will start
To ask my head to listen to my heart.
(FRED appears, rushing in)
FRED: My Lords, my lady, listen if you will
King Herod is determined he will kill
This little baby. What are we to do?
Somehow I felt I had to come to you.
ANGEL: Fear not, the child is safe, trust God instead.
Let go of all the worries in your head.
K2: I had such doubts. I thought it was all lies
But now, for the first time, I realise
That dreams and visions sometimes can come true.
ANGEL: Follow the light and God will work in you.
FRED: And so our story ends, beside his bed.
We’ve all arrived right here, as we were led.
I won’t work for King Herod any more
This is the king that I’ll be working for.
I hope the children will enjoy acting out this play and that it will enable them to learn more about the nativity story.