Naked Disciple

Naked Disciple Music and Lyrics by John Richmond

You heard that Jesus lived and died, do you know the rest?

Naked Disciple short synopsis

Naked Disciple is centred around Nadi and his family.  Jesus worked for Nadi's dad in the carpentry workshop in Nazareth.  Nadi's parents were crucified as they didn't give up the location of Nadi's brother Levi who is accused of stealing from the Romans.  Nadi goes to Jerusalem to be with Levi.  For three years they plan with Barabbas how to overthrow the Romans.   They plan to kill Pontius Pilate. 
When Jesus enters Jerusalem he meets Nadi.   Jesus sees how lost Nadi is and invites him to join him for his Last Supper.   Nadi has to choose whether to fight with his brother or join Jesus.  He joins Jesus.  It is after the meal that Nadi realises Jesus is in fact the Messiah, his best friend from years ago.  How is this possible? 
Nadi is with Jesus in the garden when Judas betrays him.  Nadi runs away naked when then a guard tries to capture him.  However, Nadi returns and is arrested with Jesus.  He is with Jesus until his last breath on the cross.  Beside Jesus on the cross is Levi, who is the penitent thief.  Levi asks Jesus to remember when him when he enters into his kingdom.  Nadi is happy that Levi has been saved.
Nadi was there at the empty tomb with Mary Magdalene and on the beach when Jesus revealed himself.  Nadi spoke to John when he was writing his gospel.  John asks if Nadi wants to be named, but Nadi just wants to be referred to as the beloved disciple, the disciple whom Jesus loved.   

 

Naked Disciple Synopsis

Naked Disciple is centred around Nadi and his family.  Nadi is a teenager who lives and works in Nazareth.  Jesus worked for Nadi's dad in the carpentry workshop in Nazareth.  Nadi's parents were crucified as they didn't give up the location of Nadi's brother Levi who is accused of stealing from the Romans.  Nadi is heartbroken.  Who can God allow this to happen?  Maybe there is no God after all?  Nadi turns away from his girlfriend Chloe, his friends and his home town.  Nadi goes to Jerusalem to be with Levi.  For three years they plan with Barabbas how to overthrow the Romans.   They plan to kill Pontius Pilate during the Passover. 

When Jesus enters Jerusalem, he meets Nadi.   Jesus sees how lost Nadi is and invites him to join him for his Last Supper.   However, Nadi must choose whether to fight with his brother and Barabbas or join Jesus.  He joins Jesus.  It is after the meal that Nadi realises Jesus is in fact the Messiah, his best friend from years ago.  How is this possible? 

Nadi is with Jesus in the garden when Judas betrays him with a kiss.  During a struggle with a Roman Guard Nadi runs away naked leaving behind his linen cloth.  However, Nadi returns and is arrested with Jesus.  Nadi and Jesus are whipped and beaten in the courtyard.  Nadi remains a good friend to Jesus.  He is with Jesus until his last breath on the cross.  Beside Jesus on the cross is Levi, Nadi's brother, who is known as the penitent thief.  Levi asks Jesus to remember when him when he enters his kingdom.  Nadi is happy that Levi has been saved.

Nadi was there at the empty tomb with Mary Magdalene and on the beach when Jesus revealed himself after Nadi and Chloe got married.  Jesus tells Nadi that he must talk to John who is writing his Gospel.  John asks if Nadi wants to be named in his Gospel, but Nadi just wants to be referred to as the beloved disciple, the disciple whom Jesus loved.   

 

Naked Disciple has a wide selection of music in it.  There are rock themes with distorted guitars and classical music with harps and flutes.    There are seven main themes that are explored throughout the musical.  The music is new and fresh yet still has the key changes and chords you would expect from a musical. 

The main characters are Nadi, Chloe and Levi.  Jesus is a relatively minor character.  These characters are not named in the Gospels, but there are small references to them.  I made up their names and their stories.  Nadi is the naked disciple, Chloe is the daughter of Joseph of Arimathea, and Levi is the penitent thief who died beside Jesus on the cross.  Levi is also Nadi's brother.  

As most people know what happened in 33AD, I had to tell the story in a different way.  During some songs, Jesus is in the background performing miracles, he doesn't even sing.  Nadi has no idea Jesus is the Messiah up until the Last Supper while Levi is friends with Barabbas who is planning to kill Pontius Pilate.  I believe the story is therefore told in a new and exciting way.  Naked Disciple also touches on various artefacts surrounding Jesus, including the Holy Grail, the Turin Shroud and pieces of the original cross. 

The libretto contains lines from the Psalms and the Old Testament, words Jesus would have said in his daily life.  It also contains several Hebrew words, again keeping true to what Jesus would have thought and said.  It was important to show the humanity of Jesus and what people at the time thought of him. 

It is also very violent at times, Nadi's mum and dad are crucified within the first ten minutes of the musical.  Their legs are broken, and they are hit several times.   Similarly, the death of Jesus is very bloody.  My hope is that the audience will forget they already know the ending to the story.  But they have no idea how Nadi and Chloe's story will end.   The musical explores the relationship between Jesus and Nadi.  As they worked together, they knew each other well.  So how would Nadi react when he realises the man who made him his lunch several years ago was in fact the Messiah?   What would he say to Jesus, how would he act? 

The main theme of Naked Disciple is family.  Levi and Nadi reconcile and Chloe shows her dad who Jesus really is.  Joseph then allows Jesus to be buried in his tomb.  Although there is death and suffering, there is also a lot of love and compassion. 

I hope that after seeing the musical once, audiences will come back to see it again.  I loved watching Jesus Christ Superstar as a kid and there are subtle references to the music.  But Naked Disciple is its own musical with many stand-alone songs. 

 


Naked Disciple Full synopsis - Act One

The year is 30AD.  Jesus and Nadi are working hard in the carpentry workshop.  It is a successful business in Nazareth.  Nadi is 15 years old and the son of the owner, who is a slave driver.  He never has enough money to pay the tax collectors.  As they work Nadi and Jesus talk about the false messiah who was preaching in Jerusalem.  Nadi wonders what it would be like to be the Messiah, do you think you would always know.  Jesus doesn't answer. 

Nadi has a girlfriend called Chloe.  She is an orphan.  They get on really well and will probably end up getting married one day.  Nadi sneaks out to see Chloe.  Jesus covers for him.  Chloe then asks Jesus what his long term plans are, will he be married one day?  Jesus says it is god's will what he does.  Nadi comments that Jesus faith is very strong, he is always reading the scriptures.  Jesus replies that Nadi can also have that sort of faith if he wants.  They sit around the dinner table and eat their Passover meal.  Then BANG.  the doors burst open.  Roman guards drag Nadi's mum and dad out into the streets.  the guard explains they are to be crucified unless they give up the location of their son Levi.  Levi has been accused of stealing from the Romans.  Neither the mum or dad will say everything so they are dragged to the crucifixion site.  their legs are broken and Jesus has to help Nadi carry them to the cross.  The townfolk are up in arms.  Some are stabbed to death, others are also dragged away to be crucified.  It is horrific. 

Nadi speaks to his parents while they are dying on the cross.  They hope Nadi will follow his dreams and live a good life.  As they die Nadi starts to have doubts about God.  Why would god kill his parents in this way.  Nadi decides to go to Jerusalem to find his brother Levi.  The Romans have to pay for killing their parents. 
He says goodbye to Chloe and walks away from Nazareth.  The next morning Jesus goes to see John the Baptist and is baptised.  Jesus then goes to the synagogue and proclaims himself the Messiah.  The rabbi and the Jews don't believe him and drive Jesus away from his own.
 
Three years pass, it is now 33AD.  As Jesus trashes the money lenders stalls in Jerusalem he sees Nadi for the first time in three years.  They catch up.  Nadi is still struggling with his lack of faith but Jesus assures him he will see heaven one day.  Barabbas walks by and says hello to Nadi.  Jesus now knows Nadi is in with the wrong crowd.  Barabbas and Levi are planning to kill Pontius Pilate in a few days.  Nadi can't be a part of it. 

Chloe sees Nadi for the first time since he left.  However, she is not an orphan but the daughter of Joseph of Arimathea, one of the richest men in Jerusalem.  they have a lot to catch up on.  Mary Magdalene is Chloe's best friend.  Chloe asks if Mary will say to Jesus that she is love with Jesus?  Mary thinks it is best to wait until after the Passover to tell Jesus. 

The time to kill Pontius Pilate is getting close and Nadi is asked to kill a Roman guard to make sure he is totally committed.  But at the last moment Nadi can't do it.  Instead he joins Jesus for his Last Supper.  During the meal he sits close to Jesus and the disciples see how much Jesus loves Nadi.  Judas leaves sharply and Nadi asks Thomas what is going on?  It is now that Nadi sees Jesus for who he really is, the Messiah.  meanwhile Levi, Barabbas and five others are all arrested. 
Jesus walks the streets where he will carry his cross and contemplates what is to come.  He feels scared but he knows what he has to do. 
 
Act Two

Jesus and the disciples sit in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Judas stands with the Roman guards outside.  Judas goes up to Jesus and gives him a kiss.  Then all the guards barge in to arrest Jesus.  Nadi stands up to fight but he has to save Chloe.  One of the guards grabs his linen cloth but Nadi manages to escape by running away naked.  However, he has to go back to stand by Jesus's side.  So Jesus and Nadi are arrested. 
Jesus speaks to Pontius Pilate and then Jesus and Nadi are taken outside to be whipped. 
The crowds choose Barabbas to be set free.  So Jesus fate is now sealed. 
He carries his cross up to Golgotha.  The nails are hammered into his body. 

Jesus has two criminals either side of him, a thief and Levi, Nadi's  brother.  While on the cross Levi talks to Jesus.  Levi becomes to realise that Jesus is truly the son of God.  he asks Jesus for forgiveness.  Before Levi dies he asks Jesus to remember him when he enters into his kingdom.  Nadi smiles as he realises that his brother has been saved at the last minute. 
Jesus dies on the cross. 
Three days later Nadi, Mary and Chloe go to the tomb.  They see it is empty.  Only his cloth remains.  How can this be?  But they all believe in Jesus. 
On the shore Nadi and Chloe get married.  They all wish Jesus could be there but they agree that Jesus would want them to be happy and continue with their lives.  They sit and cook fish over the coals.  A stranger asks if he can have some fish.  Then Nadi realises this stranger is in fact Jesus.  They can't believe.  Thomas needs proof.  He checks the wounds of Jesus.  It is in fact Jesus. 
More time passes and Nadi talks to John, who is to write his gospel.  Nadi tells John about the last week and how he was an eye witness to it all.  He was always by Jesus' side. 
To finish, all the disciples sing how they believe in Jesus from all corners of the world.  And so starts Christianity. 
 


"...the hard work you have put into this extraordinary work. Playing all the instruments, writing the book, lyrics and score and indeed notating it yourself is a monumental achievement of which you should be very proud. What is usually a broad collaborative effort you have undertaken it seems all by yourself, and that requires recognition and praise.
...What is impressive though and commendable is your decision to write a sung through piece. Some of the music is truly beautifully melodically and harmonically and this coupled with the almost drum and bass motifs with piano is extremely interesting. "

-A Stage Kindly review 

Sample songs from Naked Disciple - in order

0:00 / ???
  1. 1
    0:00 / 9:54
  2. 2
    0:00 / 6:24
  3. 3
    0:00 / 2:16
  4. 4
    0:00 / 0:24
  5. 5
    0:00 / 1:24
  6. 6
    0:00 / 2:30
  7. 7
    0:00 / 1:57
  8. 8
    0:00 / 2:52
  9. 9
    0:00 / 1:55
  10. 10
    0:00 / 1:36
  11. 11
    0:00 / 5:28
  12. 12
    Time 5:31
    0:00 / 5:31
  13. 13
    0:00 / 1:25
  14. 14
    0:00 / 1:35
  15. 15
    0:00 / 3:49
  16. 16
    0:00 / 2:17
  17. 17
    0:00 / 3:26
  18. 18
    0:00 / 0:36
  19. 19
    0:00 / 2:40
  20. 20
    0:00 / 3:47

Mary Magdalene