Michelangelo and the Pope
Music: Gregorian chant
A renaissance cleric enters, followed by Michelangelo. He addresses the Pope, who is enthroned on a high dais.
Cleric: (G.C.) Michelangelo to see you, your Holiness.
Pope: (J.C.) Who?
Cleric: Michelangelo, the famous renaissance artist whose best known works include the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and the celebrated statue of David.
Pope: Ah. Very well...
Cleric: In 1514 he returned to Florence and de...
Pope: All right, that's enough, that's enough; they've got it now!
Michelangelo: (E.I.) Good evening, your Holiness.
Pope: Evening, Michelangelo. I want to have a word with you about this painting of yours, "The Last Supper."
Michelangelo: Oh, yeah?
Pope: I'm not happy about it.
Michelangelo: Oh, dear. It took me hours.
Pope: Not happy at all.
Michelangelo: Is it the jello you don't like?
Michelangelo: Ah, no, I know, they do have a bit of colour, don't they? Oh, I know, you don't like the kangaroo?
Pope: What kangaroo?
Michelangelo: No problem, I'll paint him out.
Pope: I never saw a kangaroo!
Michelangelo: Err... he's right in the back. I'll paint him out! No sweat, I'll make him into a disciple.
Michelangelo: All right?
Pope: That's the problem.
Michelangelo: What is?
Pope: The disciples.
Michelangelo: Are they too Jewish? I made Judas the most Jewish.
Pope: No, it's just that there are twenty-eight of them.
Michelangelo: Oh, well, another one will never matter; I'll make the kangaroo into another one.
Pope: No, that's not the point.
Michelangelo: All right. Well, I'll lose the kangaroo. Be honest, I wasn't perfectly happy with it.
Pope: That's not the point. There are twenty-eight disciples!
Michelangelo: Too many?
Pope: Well, of course it's too many!
Michelangelo: Yeah, I know that, but I wanted to give the impression of a real last supper. You know, not just any old last supper. Not like a last meal or a final snack. But you know, I wanted to give the impression of a real mother of a blow-out, you know?
Pope: There were only twelve disciples at the last supper.
Michelangelo: Well, maybe some of the others ones came along afterw...
Pope: There were only twelve altogether.
Michelangelo: Well, maybe some of their friends came by, you know?
Pope: Look! There were just twelve disciples and our Lord at the last supper. The Bible clearly says so.
Michelangelo: No friends?
Pope: No friends.
Michelangelo: You see, I like them, they help to flesh out the scene, I could lose a few, you know I could...
Pope: Look! There were only twelve disciples at...
Michelangelo: I've got it! I've got it! We'll call it "The Last But One Supper"!
Michelangelo: Well there must have been one, if there was a last supper there must have been a one before that, so this, is the "Penultimate Supper"! The Bible doesn't say how many people were there now, does it?
Pope: No, but...
Michelangelo: Well there you are, then!
Pope: Look! The last supper is a significant event in the life of our Lord, the penultimate supper was not! Even if they had a conjurer and a mariachi band. Now, a last supper I commissioned from you, and a last supper I want! With twelve disciples and one Christ!
Pope: Yes one! Now will you please tell me what in God's name possessed you to paint this with three Christ's in it?
Michelangelo: It works, mate!
Michelangelo: Yeah! It looks great! The fat one balances the two skinny ones.
Pope: There was only one Redeemer!
Michelangelo: Ah, I know that, we all know that, what about a bit of artistic license?
Pope: Well one Messiah is what I want!
Michelangelo: I'll tell you what you want, mate! You want a bloody photographer! That's you want. Not a bloody creative artist...
Pope jumps down from dais and stalks towards Michelangelo.
Pope: I'll tell you what I want! I want a last supper with one Christ, twelve disciples, no kangaroos, no trampoline acts, by Thursday lunch, or you don't get paid!
Michelangelo: Bloody fascist!
Pope: Look! I'm the bloody pope, I am! May not know much about art, but I know what I like!