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Introduction This volume of Four New Plays By & For Children came about as part of the 60/40 Playmaking Programme, which was a collaboration between playwright Michelle Read and primary school children in Tallaght, Dublin. The programme was initiated and developed by Michelle as part of her residency as theatre artist with the Civic Theatre, Tallaght and South Dublin Library Services in 2011/12.

The programme ran during Autumn 2011 with 3rd class children from Saint Thomas’s Junior National School, Jobstown and Saint Dominic’s JNS, Tallaght. It ran again in 2012 with 4th class children from Saint Anne’s JNS, Fettercairn and Saint Martin De Porres JNS, Aylesbury.

Each programme lasted for seven sessions and each session focused on a different part of the playmaking process including story making, character exploration and dialogue. The outcome for each group was a finished playscript, which teachers could then produce (one school even made a film!). The programme itself culminated in readings of the finished scripts at the Civic Theatre.

The programme is cross curricular and provides several of the key elements of the English, SPHE and Drama curriculi. An overview of Michelle’s process can be found on her page at www.practice.ie

A Word from the Playwright The plays in this book were created as part of the 60/40 playmaking programme at Tallaght library in the Autumn of 2011 and Spring of 2012. I worked over several weeks with some enthusiastic and highly imaginative children from local schools to develop and shape these mini 2


dramas. The workshops were organised so that the children discussed, voted on, wrote about and drew their ideas, which I then gathered up and organised.

Effectively the children created 60% of the plays, while I added the other 40% in structure (and some rhyming).

I am delighted to introduce these eight fabulous new plays and hope you will enjoy reading and performing them!

Michelle

P.S. There is also an online version of which can be accessed via Tallaght library website.

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Thank-yous Thanks to everyone involved in making this playmaking programme such a great success. Particular thanks must go to Bríd Dukes at the Civic Theatre and Georgina Byrne at South County Dublin Libraries for supporting the theatre artist in residence initiative and making the whole thing possible. Thanks also to senior librarian Rosena Hand for overseeing the programme and the publishing of the two play books. To children’s librarian Marie O’Connor for managing the programme and for school’s liaison. The relationships Marie had built up with local schools over twelve years in Tallaght were invaluable to the project. Thanks also to the marvellous Barbara Coughlan who ran parallel workshops in theatre history and made the children’s experience so much deeper than I could have done on my own. Thanks to Mick Doyle, the technical manager at the Civic Theatre for showing the children the magic of theatre lighting. Thank you to the actors, Gene Rooney, Dermot Magennis, Anne Gildea, Carmel O’Doherty and Maria Tecce, who took time out to come and read the plays to the children. And a huge thanks to all the principals, teachers and support staff at the four schools, who were all so enthusiastic and supportive. Special thanks to class teachers Noreen Shanahan at Saint Dominic’s, Ann Marie Kiernan and Hayley Farrell at Saint Thomas’s, Nuala Weber at Saint Martin De Porres and Norah Niland at Saint Anne’s. And of course a big thank you to all the childen with whom it was my pleasure to collaborate. Their names are listed at the beginning of each play.

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Contents Jimmy & The Snake Page 6 Jimmy is not very well. Terror the snake is unhappy. Jimmy’s mum and dad think the Sparkly Clean Waste Factory might have something to do with Jimmy’s cough. There are a lot of stinky smells coming from the factory, but Mrs. Sheen the owner insists that nothing is wrong. The only way to see if she is telling the truth is to sneak in and have a look. Meanwhile Terror is so fed up with the weather in Ireland she decides to escape from the zoo. What will happen when a boy and a highly venomous snake find themselves both trapped inside Mrs. Sheen’s stinky waste factory?!

The Tiny Girl’s Castle Page 35 Emer is a tiny girl living in a giant’s castle. She has lots of inventions to help her get around but she is still quite lonely. When Samson the Prince climbs through the window in the middle of the night to vanquish the giant, Emer explains that she’s already done it. Samson thinks Emer is a big liar until she tells him her whole story. How did Emer come to be so tiny? How did she manage to get rid of the horrible giant? And will Emer and Samson manage to be friends?

Kissing In My Room Page 61 Mitchell finally has his own bedroom and doesn’t have to share with his messy older brother Shane any more. Imagine Mitchell’s horror when he finds Shane not only in his room, but kissing a girl called Hannah and even pretending that it’s his room! Mitchell soon tells Hannah the truth and finds out that some girls are okay. Or are they? Will Mitchell tell on Shane? Will Mitchell’s secret chocolate stash be found? And why does everyone keep climbing through the window?!

The Snoring Princess Page 83 Gabriella knows every bit as much as a princess, so when a vacancy comes up in the next kingdom she decides to go for the job. But running a country is harder than she thinks and when the royal bank machine won’t give her any money she doesn’t know what to do. How will Princess Gabriella pay her bills? Does it matter that she doesn’t have a drop of royal blood in her body? And why is she sleep-walking in the town square?! 5


Jimmy & The Snake The play was created with the following pupils of Saint Dominic’s National School, Tallaght. The Saint Dominic’s Dubs Aimee Collins Abby Coyne Hannah Jennings Anna Kelly Karolina Kosalka Filip Kruk Katie McDonagh Jessica Mordaunt Destiny Osemede Josh Pope Jamie Reeves Taylor Winder Adam White Cian White Jordan White December 2011

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The play is partly in rhyme and some of the rhymed sections could be turned into songs if so wished. The different locations can be announced or indicated with a sign at the beginning of each scene. All that is needed, apart from what’s mentioned in the script, is some chairs and possibly some screens at the back and sides of the stage to mark out the stage area. Characters Jimmy Jimmy has been ill for several weeks and hasn’t been allowed to go to school or play outside. He loves reading and has read nearly every book in the library. He is sad about being ill, but he is also bored, which makes him grumpy. He carries a bag with his special things in it: a book about snakes, a camera, a peg etc. Mary Thomas - Jimmy’s mam Mary is very worried about her son. She has lots of love in her heart for her family, but she is sad about Jimmy’s illness. She is scared of what might happen to Jimmy if he doesn’t get better. Marcus Thomas - Jimmy’s dad Marcus is also worried about Jimmy. He is angry about what might be causing his illness. He gets more excited than mam and can shout when he’s cross. Terror – A South American Fer De Lance snake Terror is brightly coloured, very long and deadly poisonous. She is a puppet. (She could be made in linked sections attached to short sticks, operated by two or more children. Her voice comes from offstage). She has big eyes and a big friendly smile but she also has quite big fangs. She misses South America and she doesn’t like the weather in Ireland. Tip: Remember when acting with puppets, always look at the puppet and never at the person doing their voice. The puppeteer should also keep their focus with the puppet even when it’s not speaking or moving. Mikey & Gemma – Long Nosed Vine Snakes (or chose your own snake!). Long Nosed Vine Snakes are bright green (even their tongues) and they are a little bit venomous but not dangerous to humans. Mike and Gemma are smaller puppets operated by one person each. The Annoying Children At The Zoo 7


Girls or boys or both. The children are mean to the snakes and taunt them in their tanks. Mr Van-Raid - The zookeeper He wears shorts and big boots. He is lovable and loves all the animals. He can be funny but sometimes he is forgetful when he is busy. The TV interviewer A girl or a boy. The interviewer is loud and confident. The TV Studio Audience Some boys and girls who boo then cheer when Mrs. Sheen changes their minds about the Waste Factory. Mrs. Sheen Mrs. Sheen is very selfish and only thinks about herself and money. She is greedy and has an evil, angry heart. She wears an orange and red dress and a big brown apron to keep herself clean in the factory. The Robot Workers – Robot 1 & Jupiter 50 There are two types of robot workers – the number 1, which is the basic model. This is red and yellow and needs oil to function. It has X-Ray eyes. (There are lots of these) Jupiter 50 is in charge of the other robots. He is green. He also has XRay eyes and needs oil, but he is also very strong and can break metal with his hands. The Rats The rats are happy and crazy and angry all at the same time. They only think about food and hunt in the rubbish for anything they can eat, which they take back to the sewers. They are afraid of snakes. They have whiskers and black coats. Sarah and Ciaran the Paramedics Sarah and Ciaran both wear uniforms and have medical equipment with them. They are both kind and want to help people. Garda Ben and Garda Olivia Ben and Olivia are the first Gardai on the scene. They are very clever and determined to catch Mrs. Sheen and the robots. They have blue uniforms with hats and mobile phones.

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Scene 1 – Jimmy’s House Jimmy enters looking miserable. JIMMY:

Do you know, I just have to say, That I am very bored today! I’ve watched the telly and played with cars, I’ve played with my Nintendo Wii, I’ve coloured in and I’ve read my book, I even had a cup of tea. And I don’t like tea. (Sighs) There’s just nothing left to do!

Jimmy starts to cough. Mam enters with a thermometer. MAM:

Oh Jimmy you’re coughing again, I’ll have to take your temperature.

JIMMY:

Mam I’m really… (bored).

MAM:

Open wide.

Jimmy opens his mouth and Mam pops the thermometer inside. MAM:

Now how are you feeling pet?

JIMMY:

MmMmmmMmm.

MAM:

What’s that love?

JIMMY:

MMMMmmmmMMMM!

MAM:

Don’t speak with your mouth full.

JIMMY:

Hmmm!

MAM:

Okay, open wide.

Mam takes the thermometer out of Jimmy’s mouth and looks at his temperature. She wrinkles her forehead. JIMMY:

Am I better yet? Can I go to school?

MAM:

Oh dear, your temperature is still very high. 9


JIMMY:

But Mam, I don’t feel sick any more.

Jimmy coughs. MAM:

Poor pet. I know it’s hard to be stuck inside.

JIMMY:

Can’t I take my bike for a ride?

MAM:

I know it’s tough to be out of school.

JIMMY:

What about the swimming pool?

MAM:

But you’ve got to be brave for a little bit longer.

JIMMY:

But Mam, I already feel so much stronger.

Jimmy’s false energy crumbles and he coughs. MAM:

See Jimmy. You’re not very well at all. Go back up to bed love, you need to get some sleep.

JIMMY:

(Sad) Okay, maybe for a little while.

Dad enters as Jimmy exits coughing. DAD:

Hey Jimmy.

JIMMY:

Hey dad.

Mam starts to cry. DAD:

Mary, what’s going on? Don’t cry. There, there. Calm down. What’s wrong?

MAM:

Oh Marcus, thank goodness you’re home. Jimmy is still so sick and he’s not getting any better.

DAD:

And it doesn’t help having the stinkiest factory in the world on our doorstep. I’ve just walked down our street and the smell is terrible.

MAM:

I know. I had to shut all the windows. It smells like 10


mouldy cheese and sour milk and smelly nappies all rolled into one. DAD:

How can that place can be called The Sparkly Clean Waste Factory. The Stinky Waste Factory more like!

MAM:

Marcus, do you know what I think?

DAD:

What do you think?

MAM:

I think the smell from that factory is what’s making Jimmy sick. I think it’s getting into his lungs and giving him germs.

DAD:

Really? But then… wouldn’t we get sick too?

MAM:

Well maybe it doesn’t work on grown-ups. Our lungs are bigger and stronger than Jimmy’s, but his are still growing. Maybe we should pack up and move away.

DAD:

Move away! But we haven’t done anything wrong, No, we have to stay and deal with this pong!

End of scene 1

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Scene 2 – The Snake House at Dublin Zoo. Terror, a highly venomous, snake is in a tank by herself next to her friends Gemma and Mikey, who are in a tank together. All the snakes are pretending to be asleep. Some children enter and jeer at them. CHILD 1:

Lazy bones get off your beds.

CHILD 2:

Wake up you stupid snakes we want to see you do something.

CHILD 3:

Stupid, boring snakes.

TERROR:

Ssssss, if the glass wasn’t there I’d give those children such a scare.

CHILD 1,2 &3:

(Chanting) Stupid, boring snakes.

GEMMA:

Ignore them and they’ll go away.

MIKEY:

And once their gone then we can play.

CHILD 1,2 &3:

Stupid, boring snakes.

Mr Van-Raid, the zookeeper enters. MR VAN-RAID:

Here yous, stop shouting at my snakes.

CHILD 1:

Why? They’re rubbish.

CHILD 2:

They might as well be stuffed.

MR VAN-RAID:

I’ll stuff you if don’t stop banging on that glass!

CHILD 3:

Alright, keep your hair on mister!

MR VAN-RAID:

Go on, get away with you.

The children run off making monkey noises. MR VAN-RAID:

Now sorry about that lads. Don’t mind those kids. They have no appreciation of your amazing qualities. 12


Mr Van-Raid opens the back of Mikey and Gemma’s tank and gives them some food. TERROR:

Sssss, he’s just saying that to make us feel better.

MR VAN-RAID:

Amazing creatures, so you are. Prehistoric.

MIKEY:

I like Mr Van-Raid.

MR VAN-RAID:

Here’s some nice, fat, dead mice.

TERROR:

Sssss, only because he brings you food.

MR VAN-RAID:

I’ll just give your tank a little tidy as well.

TERROR:

And keepssss you clean and warm.

MIKEY:

And ssssafe. Imagine if those children had broken the glass.

TERROR:

I would have bitten them with my fangssssssss.

GEMMA:

Ah no Terror, you couldn’t do that, Your venom kills human beans dead in twenty minutes flat.

TERROR:

You’re right, I don’t want to bite, anyone. I just want to go home that’s what I want to do,

MIKEY:

Don’t ssssay that.

TERROR:

I’m ssssssick and tired of being in this zoo,

GEMMA:

Poor Terror.

TERROR:

I’m used to living in the jungle If I was back there I wouldn’t grumble. I mean it’s alright for the two of you, But I really am fed up of this old zoo.

MIKEY:

What do you mean, it’s alright for the two of us? 13


TERROR:

You’ve each got a mate, now that is true, I’m all on my own, oh boo hoo hoo, I may ssssound a little huffy, but you know my real name’s Fluffy, And I really am fed-up of this old zoo.

MR VAN-RAID:

Now Terror, your turn, let’s give you some nice, fat, dead rats.

Mr Van-Raid closes Gemma and Mikey’s tanks and opens Terror’s tank. GEMMA:

It’s a good job Mr Van Raid can’t understand what we’re saying.

Just then the children come back and taunt Mr. Van-Raid. CHILD 1:

Here mister, this zoo’s rubbish.

CHILD 2:

All the monkeys ran away and hid.

MR. VAN-RAID:

That’s because you frightened them.

CHILD 3:

You should be in the monkey house, you look a bit like one.

MR VAN-RAID:

What did you say?!

CHILD 1, 2 & 3:

Monkey face, monkey face, You’re not in the human race.

They run away laughing and repeating the rhyme. Mr Van-Raid chases after them. Terror notices that her tank is open and slips out (perhaps some music). MIKEY:

Terror, what are you doing?

TERROR:

I’m going to esssscape, this is my big chance!

GEMMA:

But where will you go?

TERROR:

Back to Ssssssouth America. 14


MIKEY:

That’s mad. How will you get there? It’s miles away.

TERROR:

I’ll get on a floating house, like the humanssss do, I just have to find out how.

GEMMA:

Well just sssso you know, We really are sssstunned, We’ll misssss you, you know.

Terror slithers away. MIKEY:

Don’t bite anyone!

End of Scene 2.

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Scene 3 – At the TV studio. Mam and Dad and Jimmy are part of the studio audience for the ‘Ask Your Question’ TV show. INTERVIEWER:

Hello and welcome to the ‘Ask Your Question Show’. The show where normal people get to call the shots.

The TV audience cheers. INTERVIEWER:

With me tonight is Mrs. Sheen the owner of the Sparkly Clean Waste Factory.

Mrs Sheen smiles as if at the camera. The TV audience cheer. INTERVIEWER:

Who has the first question for Mrs Sheen?

Mam stands up. MAM:

I do.

INTERVIEWER:

Fire ahead there.

MAM:

Mrs Sheen you’ve just built your factory right in the middle of the Ballybigelow housing estate.

MRS SHEEN:

That’s right.

MAM:

Lots of people don’t think it’s a good idea to put factories near houses.

MRS SHEEN:

Well you see the land was very cheap.

The TV audience boos. MRS SHEEN:

But what’s much more important, is that I just love to be part of the community.

The audience make hmmm noises. They like this answer. MAM:

But your factory is very smelly and I think the fumes are making my son Jimmy ill. In fact lots of children on our estate are starting to get bad coughs. 16


The TV audience boos. INTERVIEWER:

That’s a very serious allegation Mrs Sheen.

MRS SHEEN:

Yes it is and I really would like to answer it fully and fullsomely and with fullness.

Mrs Sheen takes out a piece of paper and reads (or sings) her preprepared answer. INTERVIEWER:

Is your factory making local children sick?

MRS SHEEN:

Oh heaven forbid, oh dearie no, That’s simply not the case, My factory is quite clean, you know, Or I would hide my face. It’s sparkly clean in fact, I swear, And there’s good cause for that, It’s run by robots everywhere, To keep out dirt and rats. We take in rubbish by the sack, And carefully recycle, It’s useful once we change it back, And really not so frightful. I can explain, the smell is strong, But this is manage-able, It’s actually a natural pong, Like cow pats in the stable. Oh and one last thing… My factory’s really in demand, Because of what I’ve done, So now I’m going to expand, More jobs for everyone!

The TV audience cheer. Mam and Dad are frustrated, they don’t believe Mrs Sheen. MAM:

The audience think she’s telling the truth, but I don’t 17


believe her. DAD:

How they can be taken in like that, everyone knows there are no cowpats in a stable, that’s where horses live.

JIMMY:

That’s right Dad.

MAM:

And she said there’d be more jobs for everyone, but how can there be more jobs if the factory is run by robots?

DAD:

Ask her that Mary, that’ll stump her.

MAM:

Excuse me Mrs Sheen…

Mam is interrupted by the Interviewer. INTERVIEWER:

I’m sorry I have to interrupt this programme with an emergency news bulletin. A highly dangerous snake has escaped from Dublin Zoo.

The TV audience gasp. INTERVIEWER:

It has extremely poisonous venom and if it bites you, you only have twenty minutes to live.

The TV audience all start to scream. They jump up and run off stage. The Interviewer helps Mrs Sheen offstage in the opposite direction. DAD:

Now we’ll never catch out Mrs Sheen.

MAM:

We need evidence to prove that she’s lying.

JIMMY:

What’s evidence mam?

MAM:

It’s something you can show to someone, to prove that you’re telling the truth.

JIMMY:

Like a photograph.

DAD:

Exactly Jimmy. We need some photographs from inside that factory. But there’s no way she’ll let us in. 18


MAM:

Come on, it’s very late, I know we’ve been misled, But we don’t want to meet that snake, And Jimmy needs to get to bed.

Mam and Dad exit. Jimmy looks in his bag and pulls out a camera. He looks thoughtful. DAD:

(Offstage) Come on Jimmy, hurry up.

End of Scene 3

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Scene 4 – In the factory. The Robots bring on sacks of rubbish. They empty out one or two on the stage. They put the rest into piles to create the interior of the waste factory. ROBOTS:

Sorting… sorting… sorting.

JUPITER 50:

All robots to the factory floor. A new load of rubbish has just arrived.

ROBOT 1:

Complying with Jupiter 50 instruction.

ROBOT 2:

We must sort the rubbish, then we will be oiled.

JUPITER 50:

You must sort the rubbish, then you will be oiled.

ROBOT 3:

Empty all the rubbish out,

ROBOT 4:

Put it on the ground,

ROBOT 1:

X-Ray it with our X-Ray eyes,

ROBOT 2:

Til all the gold is found.

The robots make X-Raying sounds as they work and occasionally pull something shiny out of the rubbish and put it in a special bin labelled ‘Gold and Silver, Cash and Jewels’. ROBOT 3:

It doesn’t matter that it pongs,

ROBOT 4:

We can’t smell a thing,

ROBOT 1:

Throw the rubbish in the pit,

ROBOT 2:

If there’s no silver rings.

Jimmy enters carrying a big pair of pliers and wearing camouflage paint on his face. He hides behind some sacks of rubbish. He puts the pliers in his bag and pulls a face because of the smell. He takes a peg out of his bag and puts on his nose. Then he takes out his camera. JIMMY:

Wow, there really are robots working here. 20


ROBOT 3:

Poke and prod it through and through,

ROBOT 4:

Give the waste a bash,

ROBOT 1:

We’ll get extra oil today,

ROBOT 2:

If we find some cash.

JIMMY:

They don’t seem to be recycling at all. I better start taking some pictures for evidence. Oh no, here comes Mrs Sheen.

Jimmy stays behind the rubbish sacks at the side of the stage and takes pictures. Mrs Sheen enters. MRS SHEEN:

Hello my robots workers.

ROBOTS:

Greetings Mrs Sheen, keeper of the oil, waste factory queen.

MRS SHEEN:

That’s right, I’m, Mrs Sheen, I’m the waste factory queen, And people think I’m green, But they’re just in a dream, Because I don’t make things clean, And I don’t give a bean. This stinky waste factory is my cash machine!

Mrs Sheen laughs nastily. Suddenly the Rats enter squeaking and running all over the rubbish looking for food. Mrs Sheen jumps up on a chair. She is angry that they have interrupted her. MRS SHEEN:

What do you think you are doing?

RAT 1:

Food. Food.

RAT 2:

Dinner’s here.

MRS SHEEN:

I was in the middle of saying something.

RAT 3:

We love rubbish. Yum, yum.

JIMMY:

Eugh, there are rats everywhere. This is great 21


evidence.

Jimmy takes more pictures. MRS SHEEN:

All you rats ever think about is your stomachs.

RAT 4:

Of course. We’re rats, we’re rats, we eat everything,

RAT 5:

But cats!

RAT 6:

And we love to be inside a rubbish tip.

RAT 1:

Really smelly things delight us

RAT 2:

Nothing smelly every frights us

RAT 3:

And we don’t care if food is past its sell-by-date.

RATS:

Oh no.

RAT 4:

We like cheese and rotten muffins,

RAT 5:

We like chewing gum with fluff in

RAT 6:

We like mouldy chocolate spread left in a tub.

RATS:

Oh yes.

RAT 1:

We recycle food by chewing.

RAT 2:

And then turning round and poohing,

RATS:

‘Cos we are rats, we’re rats, we’re rats!

MRS SHEEN:

Stop running around like that, you’re getting in the way of my robots.

Mrs Sheen takes her Rat Taming Zapper out of her pocket and zaps the Rats with a loud noise. The Rats immediately stop running about and squeaking and behave as if they are hypnotised. RATS:

She’s Mrs Sheen, 22


The waste factory queen, People think she’s green, But they’re just in a dream, ‘Cos she don’t make things clean, And she doesn’t give a bean, This stinky waste factory is her cash machine! MRS SHEEN:

And don’t you forget it.

Mrs Sheen releases the Rats from her zapper and they run off squealing. The Robots leave the stage chanting ‘oil us’ and Mrs Sheen picks up her oiling can and follows them offstage. MRS SHEEN:

Oh alright, but just one quick oil break and then back to work!

Jimmy comes out from his hiding place. JIMMY:

This is brilliant. I’m getting so much evidence. I just need a few more photos.

Jimmy exits. End of Scene 4.

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Scene 5 – outside the waste factory. Terror arrives outside the waste factory (to the front of the stage near the audience). TERROR:

Ssssss. Is there anything to eat here?

She sniffs the audience. TERROR:

No. I don’t eat children. Why did I have to live in Dublin zoo and not a zoo in a hot country? I’m cold and hungry and now I’m not sure if esssscaping was ssssuch a good idea.

Terror sniffs the air. Wait a minute, what’s that delicious ssssmell? It’s coming from that building over there. The Sssssparkly Clean Wasssste Factory. Yum, yum in my tum, I smell rats, here I come.

Terror exits repeating her rhyme. End of Scene 5.

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Scene 6 – back in the waste factory. Jimmy is hiding behind some bin bags. JIMMY:

This is great. I’ve got all the evidence I need. Now I better go. I don’t feel very well.

Jimmy starts to cough. ROBOTS:

(Offstage) Intruder! Intruder!

All the robots enter saying ‘Intruder, intruder’. JIMMY:

Oh no.

Jimmy clamps his hand over his mouth and ducks down. Mrs. Sheen comes running on. MRS SHEEN:

What’s going on!

ROBOTS:

Intruder, intruder!

MRS SHEEN:

Stop shouting intruder, I can’t hear myself think.

The robots shut up. Mrs Sheen looks around suspiciously. MRS SHEEN:

Come out here right now whoever you are. I promise I won’t throw you in the pit.

JIMMY:

Oh no, she wants to throw me in the pit.

MRS SHEEN:

If you won’t come out, I’ll just have to get my rat friends to find you.

Mrs Sheen switches on her Rat Taming Zapper and all the rats come running in squeaking. MRS SHEEN:

Find the intruder!

RATS:

Squeak, squeak, squeak.

The rats run around squeaking crazily and looking for Jimmy. Jimmy has his eyes closed tight and his hands over his ears. 25


RAT 1:

There’s an intruder.

RAT 2:

Where’s the intruder?

All the rats stop and sniff. RAT 3:

There’s an intruder.

RAT 4:

Where’s the intruder?

They stop and sniff again. RATS:

It’s here somewhere, I can smell it. Yuk. Like a flower in the rubbish. Yuk. So wholesome and so clean. Yuk, yuk, yuk. It’s got to be a human bean.

The rats sniff closer and closer to the bin bags where Jimmy is hiding until they knock them down and discover him. He jumps up. RATS:

We found him, we found him!

JIMMY:

Get away from me. Leave me alone.

The rats stop Jimmy escaping. Mrs Sheen zaps the rats so that they stop running about and squeaking. Jimmy freezes. MRS SHEEN:

Well, what have we got here?

JIMMY:

My name’s Jimmy and I live across the road.

MRS SHEEN:

I recognise you. Your mam said all those horrible things about my lovely factory.

JIMMY:

(Nervous) Your factory’s not lovely and… and I’ve got the evidence to prove it.

Jimmy brandishes his camera. MRS SHEEN:

What? 26


JIMMY:

I’ve been taking pictures and I’m going to show them to the guards.

MRS SHEEN:

You have to get out of the factory first.

JIMMY:

You can’t keep me here. You have to let me go.

MRS SHEEN:

Oh no, I don’t think so.

Jimmy starts to cough again. MRS SHEEN:

Eugh, he really is sick.

JIMMY:

Yes, and it’s all your fault.

MRS SHEEN:

Don’t let him cough all over me. Quick. Push him in the pit.

The rats close in slowly as if they are hypnotised. RATS:

Push him in the pit, push him in the pit.

Suddenly Terror appears and everyone on stage gasps. She speaks to the rats. TERROR:

Sssstop that at oncccce. That’s not fair, all of you againsssst one of him.

Terror hisses loudly and all the rats panic and run off stage squeaking, while the robots exit switching themselves off. RATS:

Aaaggghhhhh! Snake! Snake!

ROBOTS:

Snake alert. System shut down. Snake alert. System shut down.

MRS SHEEN:

Well I’m not scared of a stupid snake. I’ll bash it with a stick and push you in the pit myself.

But Terror is too quick for Mrs Sheen and bites her on the leg. Mrs Sheen screams in pain and Terror slithers offstage. 27


MRS SHEEN:

It bit me on the leg!

Jimmy gets his snake book out of his bag JIMMY:

That was the snake that escaped from the zoo. It’s deadly poisonous. You only have twenty minutes to live.

MRS SHEEN:

Twenty minutes?!

JIMMY:

Probably nineteen by now.

MRS SHEEN:

Quick! You. Call an ambulance.

Mrs Sheen gives Jimmy her phone. MRS SHEEN:

I have to find a clock! Somebody find me a clock.

Mrs Sheen runs offstage. End of Scene 6.

28


Scene 7 Jimmy dials 999. JIMMY:

Nine, nine, nine.

PHONE:

(From offstage) Hello, which service do you require?

JIMMY:

Poisonous snake service please!

PHONE:

Fire, Gardaí or Ambulance.

JIMMY:

Oh, em, ambulance and Gardaí. Come quick, Mrs Sheen has been bitten by a snake.

Terror slithers back on stage behind Jimmy. JIMMY:

We’re at the Stinky Waste Factory, I mean the Sparkly Clean Waste Factory.

Jimmy hangs up and notices Terror. He gasps with fear. JIMMY:

It’s you!

TERROR:

Don’t be afraid. I only bite horrible people.

JIMMY:

I hope you only bite horrible people.

TERROR:

That’ssss what I just ssssaid. I forget that humans can’t underssstand animalsss.

JIMMY:

Thank you for saving me from Mrs Sheen, but please don’t hurt me.

TERROR:

Don’t be ssssilly, I only attack when I’m defending, I wouldn’t hurt a flea.

JIMMY:

I have a book about you. You like to sit in the sun and bake.

TERROR:

Yesssss.

JIMMY:

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to stroke a snake. 29


Terror comes closer to Jimmy, tail first. TERROR:

You can sssstroke me if you like, I’ll keep my fangs away.

JIMMY:

It’s almost as if you understand everything I say.

Jimmy strokes Terror. JIMMY:

Wow, you’re not slimey at all.

TERROR:

Of coursssse not.

JIMMY:

You’re smooth and cool. I hope you’re not too cold in Ireland.

TERROR:

But I am. That’ssss why I’m trying to get back South America.

JIMMY:

I wonder if you’re trying to get home?

TERROR:

Is Ssssouth America a long way from here?

JIMMY:

But then South America’s not very near.

TERROR:

If I could find water I could get onto a float.

JIMMY:

If you followed the signs for Dublin port you could sneak on board a boat.

TERROR:

That’ssss it, a boat! Thank you, that’sssss what I needed to know.

Terror kisses Jimmy on the hand. JIMMY:

Ahhhhh, are you biting me?

TERROR:

Jussst a little kissssss. Goodbye.

Terror slithers away. JIMMY:

I think that snake just kissed me. 30


There is the sound of an ambulance siren. End of Scene 7.

31


Scene 8 Sarah and Ciaran the paramedics and Ben and Olivia the Gardaí enter. SARAH:

Quick, where’s the patient?

BEN:

Pooh, this place stinks.

Mrs Sheen enters from the other side clutching a large clock. The bite on her leg has turned black. MRS SHEEN:

Thank goodness you’re here. I’ve only got sixteen minutes left.

SARAH:

Look at her leg,

CIARAN:

That’s a snake-bite alright.

Ciaran takes Mrs Sheen’s pulse and Sarah feels her forehead. JIMMY:

Hello Guard, I’ve got loads of evidence against Mrs Sheen on my camera.

OLIVIA:

What? Who are you?

JIMMY:

I’m Jimmy and I’m sick because of this factory.

MRS SHEEN:

I confess everything. Just take me to the hospital.

BEN:

Would somebody explain what’s going on?

MRS SHEEN:

I haven’t been recycling at all, I lied on TV and then I tried to push that brat down the pit.

OLIVIA:

You tried to push Brad Pitt down a pit?

JIMMY:

No, me. She tried to push me in that hole there.

MRS SHEEN:

That’s right. I confess. I admit it.

JIMMY:

This isn’t a sparkly clean waste factory at all.

The rats run across the stage squeaking and exit. 32


RATS:

Snake, snake!

OLIVIA:

Eugh, it’s full of rats.

JIMMY:

It’s a stinky waste factory or that’s what it should be called.

MRS SHEEN:

Hurry up. I’ve only fifteen minutes left.

BEN:

Come on, let’s go, you’re under arrest.

Ciaran, Sarah and Ben take Mrs Sheen offstage. OLIVIA:

Well done Jimmy. You’ve been very brave.

JIMMY:

What will happen to Mrs Sheen now?

OLIVIA:

She’ll get the antidote at the hospital, but then she’ll have to go to prison.

Mr Van-Raid enters with a big net calling to Terror. MR VAN-RAID:

Terror. Terror, where are you? Here Terror, Terror, Terror.

OLIVIA:

Mr Van-Raid, haven’t you caught that snake yet?

MR VAN-RAID:

She’s got to be here somewhere. Did either of you see her?

OLIVIA:

No, not me. What about you Jimmy?

JIMMY:

Well.

MR VAN-RAID:

Yes?

JIMMY:

I saw her bite Mrs Sheen.

MR VAN-RAID:

Yes?

JIMMY:

And then…

OLIVIA:

Yes? 33


JIMMY:

She… she just disappeared. No, I’m sorry. I didn’t see her after that.

MR VAN-RAID:

She’s probably chasing rats. Don’t worry I’ll find her. (Calling) Terror.

Mr Van Raid exits searching for Terror. OLIVIA:

Oh dear, I’m scared of snakes. Come on Jimmy let’s get you home.

Olivia exits. JIMMY:

I hope you get home too Terror, all the way to South America.

Jimmy blows a kiss and exits following Olivia. The robots enter. JUPITER 50:

Robots report.

ROBOT 1:

Jimmy and the snake beat Mrs Sheen,

ROBOT 2:

The factory will shut down,

ROBOT 3:

The smelly pong will go away,

ROBOT 4:

And we must all leave town.

JUPITER 50:

Very well robots. Prepare to beam to the mother ship.

The robots exit. The End.

34


The Tiny Girl’s Castle The play was created with the following pupils of Saint Dominic’s National School, Tallaght.

Saint Dominic’s Super Spies Taylor Burgess Aaron Coyne Amy Farrell Isaac Gbenu Madara Kalnina Jessica Oigbochie Adedoyin Olandunjoye Cian O’Malley Daniel O’Neill Naomi Osazee Wiktoria Pacyga Hannah Prendergast Leah Whelan Ryan White December 2011

35


The play is a kind of fairytale, but it can be performed as if it’s happening today. Scenes 4,5 and 6 (when Emer is telling the story of how she escaped from the wizard and defeated the giant), could be played as a puppet show using toys or small puppets on a table.

All the sound effects in the play should be made by the children from offstage, orally or with percussion instruments or objects. Sets can be minimal as the narration and sound effects tell the audience where everything is happening. (If you choose to do scenes 4,5 and 6 as a puppet show, you could have fun making mini-sets for the scenes). Characters Narrators – The storytellers. Several children. Emer – A tiny girl shrunk by a wizard’s spell. Emer is played by a puppet (except in scene 4 when she is played by a person before she is shrunk). Puppet Emer can be operated by different children and her voice can be added from offstage. When we meet Emer at the beginning of the play she is very playful but quite lonely. She has different gadgets for helping her get around; a flying machine, some giant springs and a skateboard.

(Remember when acting with puppets, always look at the puppet and never at the person doing their voice.) The Three Wizards – They are selfish and thoughtless and unkind and don’t care about Emer. They are also bad at magic and their spells are always going wrong. They can be played by boys and girls. Grumpy Groo the Giant - He is angry and moody. He could be a giant pair of legs on stage and a big voice, or just a big voice, which everyone looks up at as if he is towering above them. The Servants – they each wear a different colour – red, green, blue, yellow, purple, orange etc. Kimberly – She is the gardener and grows all the food and flowers. She likes to talk to her vegetables. Kendall - He loves animals and is a cheerful person. He looks after the animals at the castle. Merry – She is always trying to create the perfect chocolate cake. She 36


was trained as a cake maker but has to cook other food too, which she doesn’t like doing. Jack - He’s a little bit cuckoo. He is very artistic and helped Emer to design all her rooms and redecorate the castle. Selena – She is an inventor and invented all the things that help Emer get around. She can be a bit grumpy. Samson the Prince - He is happy to be on an adventure but he is a bit nervous and anxious too. He has a lot of love and affection in his heart, hut he can say rude things without thinking. Toby the Joker - He is Samson’s friend and he is also excited to be on the adventure. He is very funny and plays tricks on Samson on the journey.

37


Scene 1 Possibly some jolly, busy-sounding music. NARRATOR 1:

Welcome to Emer’s castle.

NARRATOR 2:

It’s the best run and happiest castle in the land.

Kimberly walks across the stage with her watering can. NARRATOR 3:

Here’s Kimberly, the gardener, she grows all the food and the flowers.

KIMBERLY:

(Looking up) Come on you lovely sunflowers, grow as tall as you can. (Looking down) And you juicy carrots, get big and fat under the ground.

Kimberly exits. NARRATOR 4:

She’s always talking to the plants like that, she’s a little bit crazy!

Kendall walks across the stage with a piece of straw in his mouth and a milking pail in his hand. NARRATOR 5:

Here’s Kendall. He looks after all the animals in the castle farm.

There’s the sound of mooing from offstage. KENDALL:

I’m coming, keep your hooves on. (More mooing) Of course I’m going to milk you, that’s why I’m bringing the bucket.

Kendall exits. NARRATOR 1:

It’s almost as if he understands what they’re saying.

Merry enters wearing an apron and a chef’s hat. She is licking a wooden spoon covered with chocolate cake mix. NARRATOR 2:

This is Merry. She cooks all the meals in the castle.

MERRY:

(Frustrated) Yes, nearly, but not quite, there’s still 38


something missing.

Merry exits. NARRATOR 3:

But her heart is set on baking the most perfect chocolate cake ever.

Jack enters carrying a paint brush and a pot of paint. NARRATOR 4:

This is Jack. He’s very artistic. He makes the castle look nice…

JACK:

I think blue for the bathroom. No, perhaps green. And I could paint some seagulls on the ceiling to make it like the seaside!

Jack exits excitedly. NARRATOR 5:

But the castle is so big, once he finishes painting at one end…

NARRATOR 1:

He has to start all over again at the other.

Selena enters with a clipboard. She is looking up and the noise of a flying machine is heard offstage. NARRATOR 2:

And last but not least, here’s Selena.

NARRATOR 3:

She’s an inventor. She’s invented all sorts of things to help Emer.

SELENA:

Be careful Emer, don’t fly too high.

NARRATOR 4:

Did we forgot to mention Emer?

NARRATOR 5:

Yes, I think we did.

NARRATOR 1:

Emer is the tiny girl who lives in the castle.

NARRATOR 2:

Look out here she comes now!

Emer flies onstage in a flying machine which is operated by one or two children. She whizzes over the Narrators’ heads making them duck. 39


EMER:

Weeeeeeee! I’m flying. This is fantastic!

SELENA:

Watch where you’re going.

EMER:

This is so much funnnnn!

Emer and the flying machine whizz offstage. SELENA:

Emer, be careful. Look out for that….

There is the sound of a huge crash offstage. NARRATORS:

Whoops!

NARRATOR 3:

Oh no! Is she alright?

NARRATOR 4:

Phew, yes it’s okay, she’s climbing out of the wreckage.

Emer comes back on without the flying machine. She is a bit wobbly. EMER:

Oops. I turned left when I should have turned right.

SELENA:

Emer! Do you know how long it took me to make that flying machine?! It was to help you get around the castle more easily. Now I’ll have to start all over again!

Selena stomps off. EMER:

Sorry Selena. Oh dear, she’s gone off in a huff and she won’t want to play any more.

Merry enters licking her spoon. EMER:

Oh, hi Merry.

MERRY:

Lick this and tell me what you think.

Merry puts the spoon to Emer’s lips. EMER:

Mmmm. It’s yummy. 40


MERRY:

But can you taste the marshmallows and the hint of mint?

EMER:

Hmmm, not really.

MERRY:

What about the club orange and the crunchy bits?

EMER:

No, sorry.

MERRY:

Stinky sausages! I’ll just have to start all over again.

Merry exits. EMER:

Merry why don’t you forget about baking the perfect cake and play with me instead… Oh she’s gone!

The sound of mooing and Kendall enters with a bucket of milk. KENDALL:

Don’t mention it ladies. I’ll be back to milk you again this evening.

EMER:

Kendall have you got time to play with me?

KENDALL:

Sorry Emer, I have to get this milk in the fridge and then I’ve got to feed the chickens and dip the sheep.

The sound of baaing. KENDALL:

Keep your fleeces on, I’m coming.

Kendall exits as Kimberly enters from the other side with a spade over her shoulder. EMER:

Kimberly will you play with me?

KIMBERLY:

I’ve got to dig up the spuds for dinner. Sorry Emer.

Kimberly exits as Jack enters with his paint pot and brush. EMER:

What about you Jack?

JACK:

What about me? 41


EMER:

Can we make another special room together? I love decorating rooms with you.

JACK:

We have decorated some great rooms. There was that room with all the books in it.

EMER:

The library.

JACK:

Yes, that one. And that room for the guests.

EMER:

The guest room.

JACK:

Have we had any guests by the way?

EMER:

No, not yet. But I keep hoping someone will visit.

JACK:

But do you know my favourite room?

EMER:

I think I can guess.

TOGETHER:

The ‘Say Anything You Want Room’.

NARRATOR 5:

The ‘Say Anything You Want Room’, was a room you could go into and say anything you wanted.

NARRATOR 1:

You could say a rude thing like ‘fat frogs farting’, or…

NARRATOR 2:

A wish thing like ‘I wish I was the best footballer in the world’, or…

NARRATOR 3:

A secret thing, like something you just couldn’t tell to anyone else.

JACK:

See you later Emer, I’ve got to paint all the turrets by Tuesday.

Jack exits. EMER:

But Jack I thought we were going to play. Oh, he’s gone.

NARRATOR 4:

With nobody to play with her Emer felt sad. 42


NARRATOR 5:

So she went into the ‘Say Anything You Want Room.’

Emer comes to the front of the stage. EMER:

I really don’t mind that I’m a tiny girl. I know I’m very lucky to live in this castle with all my wonderful staff, but I have to admit, that actually, I’m a little bit lonely.

NARRATOR 1:

Poor Emer. She really wished she had a friend to play with.

Emer exits. End of Scene 1.

43


Scene 2 Possibly some eerie music. NARRATOR 2:

That night, the moon had risen high in the sky when some strangers arrived in the forest.

An owl hoots. Samson enters. SAMSON:

There’s the castle Toby, just through the trees. I’ll climb in through the window and fight that big old giant with my sword. Toby? Toby, where are you?

There’s hissing sound from offstage like a big snake. SAMSON:

Is that a snake? I hope not because I’m scared of snakes. Toby?

There’s a howling sound from offstage like a wolf. SAMSON:

Oh no, is that a wolf? I hope not because I’m terrified of wolves. Toby, where are you?

There’s a wooing sound from offstage like a ghost. SAMSON:

Don’t tell me that’s a ghost. I hope not because I’m petrified of ghosts. Toby?

Toby creeps up behind Samson without being seen. TOBY:

Boo!

Samson jumps in the air and screams. Toby laughs. TOBY:

Ha, ha, I got you. Scaredy cat.

SAMSON:

What did you do that for? I nearly had a heart attack.

TOBY:

I’m trying to toughen you up. How are you going to break into the castle and beat that horrible giant if you’re scared of a few silly noises. 44


SAMSON:

I’ll tell you how - you’re going to come with me.

TOBY:

Oh no I’m not.

SAMSON:

Oh yes you are.

TOBY:

Oh no I’m not.

SAMSON:

So whose the scaredy cat now?

TOBY:

You’re the prince, it’s your job to fight the giant. And anyway I have to make sure no one steals the horses.

There is some neighing from offstage. TOBY:

See. I have to give them some hay and then I have to tell them a bedtime story.

SAMSON:

Since when did horses need a bedtime story?

TOBY:

Since we came to the dark scary woods beside the castle with the giant in it.

SAMSON:

Right. Well I’ll go by myself then.

TOBY:

Good luck so! Byeee.

Toby exits happily. SAMSON:

I really I hope I know how to beat a giant.

Samson exits looking worried. End of Scene 2.

45


Scene 3 NARRATOR 3:

It was the middle of the night in Emer’s castle.

NARRATOR 4:

All the servants were fast asleep in bed.

NARRATOR 5:

But Emer was still awake.

NARRATOR 1:

She was playing with Selena’s new invention.

Emer jumps on stage with giant springs attached to her feet. EMER:

Boing, boing, boing! These springs are brilliant!

She boings offstage. Samson enters from the other side. He looks about him warily. He is scared. SAMSON:

What’s that noise? It sounds like someone jumping around on giant springs. Maybe it’s the noise a giant makes.

Emer boings on stage and both her and Samson get a surprise and scream. EMER & SAMSON: Aaaaaggghhh! EMER:

Who are you?

SAMSON:

Sshh! Don’t shout. I’m Samson the prince.

EMER:

Please to meet you I’m Emer the tiny girl.

SAMSON:

What are you doing in the castle?

EMER:

This is where I live.

SAMSON:

I see, you’re a hostage. Don’t worry tiny girl. I’ve come to save you from the giant.

EMER:

The giant?!

SAMSON:

Yes, you don’t have to be scared any more. I’m going to vanquish him with my sword. 46


EMER:

Actually, there’s no need.

SAMSON:

What? What do you mean?

EMER:

Well you see, I already vanquished the giant… last year.

Samson starts to laugh. SAMSON:

You?! But you’re tiny and you’re a girl!! How could you vanquish a giant.

EMER:

Excuse me!

NARRATOR 2:

Samson was laughing at her and Emer was very cross.

NARRATOR 3:

She went straight into the ‘Say Anything You Want Room’.

NARRATOR 4:

And boy did she say some rude things about him.

Emer comes to the front of the stage. EMER:

He breaks into my castle in the middle of the night and then he laughs at me. He’s a frecklehead. He’s a blabbermouth. He’s a big fat jellyfish!

NARRATOR 5:

But Samson was curious to see where Emer had gone. He followed her into the room.

Samson comes down stage near to Emer. NARRATOR 1:

And he heard the echo of everything she had said.

ECHO:

Frecklehead. Blabbermouth. Big fat jellyfish!

SAMSON:

What is this room?

EMER:

What are you doing? You can’t come in here. This is the ‘Say Anything You Want Room’. And it’s my room. I designed it with my friend Jack after I defeated the giant. 47


SAMSON:

Well if it’s a ‘Say Anything You Want Room’, I have a few things I’d like to say.

NARRATOR 2:

Emer turned her back and blocked her ears.

SAMSON:

You’re a stupid little girl. You’re as dumb as a fish. You’re far too small to kill a giant. You must be a liar because you couldn’t fight a cat.

NARRATOR 3:

But Emer couldn’t help hearing the echo.

ECHO:

Stupid little girl. Dumb as a fish. Too small to kill a giant. Must be a liar… couldn’t fight a cat.

EMER:

How dare you say those things about me.

SAMSON:

Well you said rude things about me first.

EMER:

But this is my castle and I am telling the truth. Do you see a giant anywhere?!

SAMSON:

Well, no I suppose I don’t.

EMER:

Right then. I’m going to tell you how I came to be so tiny and how I defeated the giant. And you better believe it or I’ll have you thrown out.

End of Scene 3.

48


Scene 4 NARRATOR 4:

So Emer told Samson that she was an orphan,

NARRATOR 5:

Which means she didn’t have a mam or a dad.

NARRATOR 1:

And that she grew up far away on the other side of the forest in a house with some bad wizards.

SAMSON:

Do you mean evil wizards?

EMER:

No, bad Wizards. They were really bad at magic and they could never get their spells to go right.

Samson and Emer exit as the three Wizards enter practising their magic. Onstage there is a cut-out of a cat and the sound of a ‘meow’. WIZARD 3:

Ah cat there you are. Now sit still.

The cat meows. WIZARD 1:

And don’t talk back. My go. Shazam!

The cat cut-out is replaced with a hat cut-out. WIZARD 2:

Dagnabit, you’ve turned our black cat into a black hat.

WIZARD 3:

It’s my turn. Hocus pocus!

The hat cut-out is replaced with a bat cut-out. WIZARD 2:

Dograbbit! Now you’ve turned the black hat into a black bat!

The black bat flies away meowing. WIZARD 1:

Come back Sootkins! Now look what you’ve done.

WIZARD 3:

Me, what about you!

WIZARD 2:

Stop squabbling you two. We’ve run out of things to practise on! 49


WIZARD 1:

Well there is one thing left. Emer! Emer where are you?

Normal-sized Emer enters with a sweeping brush. EMER:

What do you want now? I’ve just been making the beds and baking the bread and sweeping the floors. It’s not fair that I have to do everything round here.

WIZARD 3:

Of course it is. You’re an orphan.

WIZARD 2:

You’ve got to earn your keep.

WIZARD 3:

We’re not made of money you know.

WIZARD 1:

Now stand there and let us practise our magic on you.

EMER:

What?!

WIZARD 1:

We’ve just turned the cat into a hat…

EMER:

Not the cat.

WIZARD 3:

Yes, and then the hat got turned into a bat.

WIZARD 2:

And now we’ve run out of things to turn into other things.

Emer starts to back away around the stage. The Wizards follows her. EMER:

Well you’re not turning me anything.

WIZARD 1:

Don’t worry w’ll turn you back again.

The bat flies past saying ‘meow’. EMER:

Like you did the cat! No way. Leave me alone.

WIZARD 2:

Don’t be such a silly.

WIZARD 1:

It won’t hurt a bit. One three two, zappety doo!

Wizard 1 zaps his spell at Emer (with a nice sound effect). She stands 50


absolutely still. She feels her body and her face to see if she’s still all there. Then she opens her mouth to speak but she can only bark like a dog. EMER:

Ruf, ruf, ruf.

WIZARD 1:

Barks like a dog. Now that’s a good one. I’ll have to make a note of that.

EMER:

(Angry) RUF, RUF, RUF!

WIZARD 3:

My turn, now let me see - hip hop lollipop!

Wizard 3 zaps a spell at Emer. This time she begins to tweet like a bird. EMER:

Tweet, tweet, tweet.

WIZARD 3:

Tweets like a bird. How absurd. Still, it might come in handy.

EMER:

TWEET, TWEET, TWEET!

WIZARD 2:

Sorry?

EMER:

TWEET!!!

WIZARD 2:

Oh you want to be changed back. Ah yes, now that’s the tricky bit. Let’s see, pop pip lollysticks!

Wizard 2 zaps Emer again. EMER:

Hello… hello. Oh thank goodness my voice has come back.

WIZARD 2:

That’s because I’m the best wizard. Now,; what else can I do.

Wizard 2 lifts his hand as if to zap her again. EMER:

Stop it! Stop practising your magic on me, it’s not fair.

WIZARD 1:

While you’re under our roof young lady, we’ll tell you 51


what’s fair. WIZARD 3:

No more whinging; we’re utterly brilliant wizards,

WIZARD 2:

I’m just going to try one more spell….

EMER:

No…

Wizard 2 zaps Emer before she can run away. WIZARD 2:

Super duper ooper looper trooper!

Emer screams and begins to shrink, the actor is replaced with the puppet Emer. WIZARD 1:

Oh my goodness, well that is fascinating. A shrinking spell. Who’d have thought it.

EMER:

Change me back, change me back this minute!

WIZARD 3:

Don’t change her back.

WIZARD 2:

No. I don’t think I will.

WIZARD 1:

She’s better that size. She was getting far too big for her boots.

WIZARD 3:

Yes and she was eating us out of house and home.

EMER:

Please change me back, please.

WIZARDS:

We don’t have to. You can’t make us. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!

WIZARD 2:

Now get on with your chores you. It’s time for our afternoon nap.

The Wizards exits. Emer begins to cry. NARRATOR 2:

Emer told Samson how sad she was then.

NARRATOR 3:

And that she decided the only thing to do, 52


NARRATOR 4:

Was to run away.

NARRATOR 5:

She had no where else to go,

NARRATOR 1:

But if she stayed the Wizards might do something worse – there was no telling what they might turn her into next.

NARRATOR 2:

So while they were all napping, she packed up her things and slipped out of the house.

Emer exits. End of Scene 4

53


Scene 5 The following pieces of narration could be played out silently or illustrated with drawings. NARRATOR 3:

Emer travelled a long, long way through the forest.

NARRATOR 4:

She met a nice mole who invited her to live underground in her burrow, but is was far too dark.

NARRATOR 5:

She met some nice salmon who invited her to swim up stream with them, but they swam too fast and she couldn’t keep up.

NARRATOR 1:

She met a nice bird who invited her up into a tree, but the bird’s nest was full of eggs and there wasn’t any room for Emer.

NARRATOR 2:

Still the bird, wanting to be helpful, told Emer about a castle at the other side of the forest.

NARRATOR 3:

That’s the kind of place where humans live, tweeted the bird.

NARRATOR 4:

And she picked up Emer in her claws and flew her all the way there.

Eerie, spooky music plays. Emer looks around nervously. EMER:

Hello?

SPOOKY ECHO:

Hellllooooo.

EMER:

Oh dear I don’t like the sound of this place at all.

NARRATOR 5:

Emer noticed how big all the furniture was. Even bigger than when she was normal size.

EMER:

Hello, anyone home?

SPOOKY ECHO:

Helllloooo… any one hoooome?

Kimberly, Kendal, Merry and Selena all sneak onstage behind Jack. They look very nervous. 54


JACK:

Pssst .

EMER:

Oh, at last, some people. I was beginning to get scared.

SELENA:

Shhh.

MERRY:

You have to leave right away.

EMER:

But I’ve only just got here.

KENDALL:

No, you can’t stay.

KIMBERLY:

You have to go.

EMER:

I’m not a thief you know. I haven’t come to rob you.

JACK:

Get out, go on, run away.

EMER:

Well that’s just rude. I know I smell a bit but that’s because I’ve been living in the forest.

The sound of big heavy footsteps approaching (a drumbeat perhaps). SELENA:

Oh no, it’s too late he’s coming.

EMER:

Who’s coming?

GRUMPY GROO:

(Offstage) Where’s my dinner?

KENDALL:

Quick! Hide behind us.

KIMBERLY:

And don’t let out a peep.

Emer gasps as Grumpy Groo enters. Everyone looks up to where his face would be. EMER:

A giant!

MERRY:

(Nervously) Good evening Your Giantness. I’m just putting the finishing touches to your dinner right now. 55


GRUMPY GROO:

Well then, what are you standing there for? Why are you all standing there?

JACK:

Oh we’re just… shooting the breeze.

They all laugh nervously. GRUMPY GROO:

There’s something going on. I smell a rat.

KENDALL:

Do you? No I don’t think so. I cleaned out all the animals this morning and there were no rats.

GRUMPY GROO:

No! I SMELL A HUMAN RAT.

The servants cower and wail in fear. EMER:

Look, it’s all my fault. I’m sorry. I tried to explain I’ve been living in the forest, that’s why I smell so bad.

GRUMPY GROO:

What?! Who is this ? Who are you?!

EMER:

Pleased to meet you. I’m Emer, who are you?

JACK:

He’s Grumpy Groo the giant and he isn’t at all friendly.

SELENA:

We tried to warn you.

KIMBERLY:

The only reason he hasn’t eaten us, is because we’re his slaves.

MERRY:

We run the castle for him.

GRUMPY GROO:

But I am going to eat you, you’ll make a tasty snack.

EMER:

Wait a minute. Don’t be hasty. If you eat me I’ll be kicking you inside, but if you let me stay and make room for me, I could be friends with you.

GRUMPY GROO:

I don’t need any friends. And I don’t share my things. This is my castle. 56


EMER:

Well, you’re just not a very nice person. In fact, I think you’re a big bully.

GRUMPY GROO:

What did you say?

JACK:

Oh, please don’t make him angry.

EMER:

I used to live with three wizards and they were horrible just like you.

GRUMPY GROO:

They weren’t as horrible as me, ‘cos I’m going to crunch your bones.

KENDALL:

Oh no.

NARRATOR 1:

But just in the nick of time Emer remembered the shrinking spell.

EMER:

Super duper ooper looper trooper! Super duper ooper looper trooper!

Emer zaps the giant with the spell. EMER:

Quick everyone say it.

EVERYONE:

Super duper ooper looper trooper! Super duper ooper looper trooper!

GRUMPY GROO:

Aaagghhhh! What are you doing to me?

The giant starts to shrink. GRUMPY GROO:

Aaagghhh. I’m shrinking, I’m shrinking.

The giant’s voice becomes higher and higher… GRUMPY GROO:

I’m shrinking, I’m shrinking.

Until there is a loud pop. SELENA:

Wow, he’s disappeared! 57


KIMBERLY:

My goodness, he’s shrunk away to nothing!

KENDALL:

Emer you’re amazing! You defeated Grumpy Groo the giant!

MERRY:

Now we’re free! And the castle belongs to you.

The servants cheer and make a conga line behind Emer. They dance offstage singing to the conga tune. SERVANTS:

Hooray, hooray for Emer, You de-feated the giant, You’re our hero, Please stay, don’t go.

End of Scene 5.

58


Scene 6 Some music indicates we’re back in the present. Samson and Emer enter. Emer is on a skateboard. EMER:

Weeee. So you see, that’s how I was turned into a tiny girl and how I defeated the giant.

SAMSON:

Wow, it’s an amazing story.

The servants enter. MERRY:

And it’s all true.

KENDALL:

We were there.

SELENA:

Be careful on that skateboard, Emer. I’ve only just finished making it!

EMER:

So now do you believe me?

SAMSON:

Yes. But you should tell people that the giant is gone. Nobody knows. That’s why we came.

KIMBERLY:

And that must be why we never get any visitors.

KENDALL:

Of course! But how will we tell people?

JACK:

I know. I’ll make a big sign saying, ‘Under New Management’, and I’ll fly it from the topmost turret.

MERRY:

That’s a great idea.

Toby enters. TOBY:

Samson! You’re still alive! Did you defeat the giant?

SAMSON:

No, but I know a girl who did.

TOBY:

Her? But she’s…

SAMSON:

She’s brilliant! I’m sorry I called you a liar, Emer.

EMER:

That’s alright. You really pushed my buttons when you 59


didn’t believe me, but now you can be my friend. NARRATOR 2:

So everyone was introduced to everyone else.

All the characters shake hands with each other. NARRATOR 3:

And the servants decided to organise a big party to celebrate.

NARRATOR 4:

Then Emer went into the ‘Say Anything You Want Room’…

NARRATOR 5:

And said some nice things about Samson that she was too shy to say to his face.

NARRATOR 1:

And Samson went into the ‘Say Anything You Want Room’…

NARRATOR 2:

And said some nice things about Emer that he was too shy to say to her face.

NARRATOR 3:

And Samson and Toby stayed in the guest room…

NARRATOR 4:

And were Emer’s first ever guests.

Everyone makes a conga line behind Emer and dances offstage singing to the conga tune. EVERYONE:

Hooray, hooray for Emer, She made the castle happy, She’s such a smarty, Let’s have a party!

ALL NARRATORS: The end.

60


Kissing In My Room The play was created with the following pupils of Saint Thomas’s National School, Jobstown.

The Saint Thomas’s Party Kids Jadesola Adamu Isaac Adebiyi Leanne Bennett Dylan Brereton Jodie Deegan Shannon Dempsey Aaron Ferrett Amy Kelly Aaron Kinsella Cian Kinsella Luke Lawlor Conor McDonagh James McDonagh Juelann McDonagh James Reilly Daragh Usher Abigail Williamson December 2011

61


Characters: Mitchell – 9. He is smart and tidy and he loves chocolate and Lego. He is delighted to have his own room, after years of sharing with his messy brother. Shane – 15. Mitchell’s brother. He is quite scruffy and untidy but he is also quite cool. He likes playing tricks on Mitchell. He is frustrated with some of the rules at home. Hannah – 14. Shane’s new girlfriend. She is funky-looking with pink hair. She likes art and making things and she has a sweet tooth. Dad – He’s a nice dad, but quite strict. Mam – She isn’t quite as strict as dad, but she likes things to be tidy and for the boys to do their homework. Mitchell’s friends Reece – Reece loves football and always carries a ball. Johnny – Johnny loves guns and war games. Mick – Mick loves cups of tea. He is a peacemaker. Mikey – Mikey is smart and geeky. He’s a bit of a brain-box.

The entire play is set in Mitchell’s bedroom. This is described in the play so it doesn’t have to be created literally, but parts of the set could be made out of cardboard boxes. Different actors can play Mitchell in each scene and other roles can also be shared from scene to scene.

62


Scene 1 – Mitchell’s bedroom. Mitchell enters through the door. He has a large chocolate bar in his pocket. He talks to the audience. MITCHELL:

Well, I finally got my own room. Mitchell’s room. Now Shane the Pain can’t mess with my stuff or steal my chocolate. It’s brilliant.

Mitchell takes the bar of chocolate out of his pocket and strokes it lovingly. MITCHELL:

Hello chocolate bar.

Shane calls him from offstage. SHANE:

(Angry) Mitchell where are you?

MITCHELL:

Uh oh, that’s him now. Go away.

SHANE:

Where’s my phone!

MITCHELL:

How should I know? (To audience) I hid it in the hot press.

SHANE:

It better not be in your room.

MITCHELL:

It’s not. Don’t come up here! (To audience) I can’t take any risks; I’ll have to hide the chocolate.

Mitchell hides the chocolate in one of his tubs of Lego. MITCHELL:

I love chocolate so much. Dad says I’m a chocoholic.

Just as Mitchell has finished hiding the chocolate, Shane pops his head in the window wearing a scary mask. SHANE:

RAH!

Mitchell screams with fright. Shane takes the mask off and laughs. SHANE:

Got you.

MITCHELL:

No you didn’t. 63


Shane climbs in through the window. MITCHELL:

What are you doing? This is private property. There’s a sign on the door.

SHANE:

That’s why I’m climbing in through the window.

MITCHELL:

You’re not allowed to do that. I’ll tell Mam.

SHANE:

Where’s my phone?

Mitchell crosses his fingers behind his back. MITCHELL:

I have no idea.

SHANE:

You won’t mind if I search your room then will you.

MITCHELL:

Not my room. Get away. You’ll mess it up.

SHANE:

I don’t know how you can live in this tidiness? It’s disgusting. Even your Lego is colour-coded.

Shane grabs the Lego tub with the chocolate hidden in it. MITCHELL:

Get away from my Lego.

Mitchell tries to get it but Shane holds it over his head. SHANE:

Where’s my phone?

MITCHELL:

I don’t know.

SHANE:

Where’s my phone?!

MITCHELL:

You lost it because you’re stupid?

Shane holds the Lego tub out of the window. MITCHELL:

Alright! It’s in the hot press.

Shane throws the tub of Lego at Mitchell to catch. 64


SHANE:

Loser!

Shane exits through the door. MITCHELL:

(To audience) Phew! That was close.

End of Scene 1.

65


Scene 2 Mitchell takes the chocolate bar out of the tub and talks to it. MITCHELL:

Are you all right Mr Dairy-milk? Sorry about my brother. Fifteen is a difficult age.

There is the sound of a Native American Indian call from offstage. MITCHELL:

Quick, back in your tub. The gang is here.

He hurriedly puts the chocolate bar back in the Lego tub and returns the Indian call. Immediately his friends pop through the window one at a time. Reece carries a football. MITCHELL:

This is Reece; he loves football.

Reece bounces the ball on his knees or gives it a header. Johnny enters carries a toy gun. MITCHELL:

This is Johnny; he loves guns.

Johnny shoots Mitchell and Reece. They both react as if being shot. Mick enters with a flask and Mikey enters behind him with a mini games consul. MICK:

Hiya.

MIKEY:

Hiya.

MITCHELL:

And here’s Mick and Mikey. Mick loves cups of tea.

Mick begins to pour himself some tea from the flask. MITCHELL:

And Mikey’s a bit of a geek.

MIKEY:

I’m learning chess.

MITCHELL:

Good one Mikey. (To audience) I don’t even know what that is.

MIKEY:

Are we all here?

REECE:

Of course we are. We just climbed in through the window. 66


MICK:

Well then, I hereby call this meeting of the gang to order. Let’s tell Mitch about the competition.

MITCHELL:

What competition?

JOHNNY:

It’s brilliant!

REECE:

It was in the Ballybigelow Gazette.

MIKEY:

It has an amazing prize.

MICK:

And we’re going to win it!

Mikey, Mick, Reece and Johnny all cheer. MICK:

What do you think, Mitch?

MITCHELL:

Well, it would help if I knew what you’re talking about.

MICK:

We should start at the beginning. Johnny.

JOHNNY:

Right. It’s a Lego competition.

MICK:

Reece.

REECE:

You have to draw a design for a giant Lego model.

MICK:

And the best bit. Mikey.

MIKEY:

The prize is an all-expenses paid trip to Legoland. In England.

MITCHELL:

Legoland?! I’ve always wanted to go there.

REECE:

Me too.

JOHNNY:

Me three.

MICK:

Me four.

MIKEY:

And me five! 67


MICK:

Right, so the plan is to come up with a brilliant design.

DAD:

(Offstage) Mit-chell.

MITCHELL:

Oh no, it’s Dad.

MICK:

We’d better make like a banana and split.

MIKEY:

Everyone work on your design tonight and meet back here tomorrow.

MAM:

(Offstage) Mitchell, are you in your room?

MITCHELL:

Quick! Out the window. See you tomorrow.

Johnny, Reece, Mick and Mikey exit out of the window. End of Scene 2.

68


Scene 3 There is knock at Mitchell’s door. MITCHELL:

What is it?

Mam and Dad enter with a reluctant Shane. MAM:

Mitchell we hope you don’t mind.

DAD:

Shane’s bedroom has got really messy since you two stopped sharing.

MAM:

We wanted to show him what a tidy bedroom looks like.

Shane is mortified. SHANE:

Just because I spilt coke on my duvet and left popcorn under my bed. What’s the big deal?

MITCHELL:

Eugh.

MAM:

And your clothes are all over the floor.

DAD:

Look, Shane. Mitchell’s clothes are hung up neatly in the wardrobe.

MAM:

And the dirty ones are in the laundry basket.

DAD:

Well done, son.

MITCHELL:

Thanks dad.

SHANE:

(Mimicking) Thanks dad! Nobody is this tidy. It’s stupid. He even puts his books in alphabetical order!

MAM:

Well, maybe you should take some notes.

DAD:

Yes Shane, Mitchell’s room is a wonderful example of order.

MAM:

We only have a few rules, you know that, and ‘keep your bedroom tidy’ is one of them. 69


DAD:

As well as – ‘do your homework before bedtime.

MAM:

‘Don’t climb through the window’.

DAD:

‘Be nice to your brother’.

MAM:

‘Stay in after dark’.

DAD:

And ‘no girlfriends until you’re sixteen’.

MAM:

I don’t think that’s much to ask, is it?

DAD:

Now boys. We’re off out to our dance class.

MAM:

Make sure you both finish your homework.

DAD:

And Mitchell, in bed by half seven.

MAM & DAD:

Bye.

Mam and Dad exit. SHANE:

(Sarcastic) We only have eight million rules. ‘Keep your room tidy, never go out, be nice to your stupid brother’.

MITCHELL:

I can’t help being perfect, can I? Come on, let’s go downstairs and watch telly.

SHANE:

No way. You’re going straight to bed. You heard Mam.

MITCHELL:

That’s not fair, you usually let me stay up and watch my programme.

SHANE:

Tough. That’ll teach you to be such a little swot.

There is a beep from Shane’s mobile phone. Mitchell sulks while Shane reads a text. MITCHELL:

It’s not my fault I’m tidy. And it’s The Lego Experts tonight. I really need to watch it. 70


SHANE:

Actually, I’ve changed my mind. You can watch your programme.

MITCHELL:

Yesss! Thanks Shane.

Mitchell exits. Shane texts someone quickly. SHANE:

(Texting) The coast is clear.

Mitchell enters through the door. MITCHELL:

Hang on, why did you change your mind so quickly and why are you still in my room?

SHANE:

I’m making notes on tidiness, like Mam and Dad said.

TV:

(Offstage) And now it’s time for another episode of The Lego Experts. The programme where adults make giant models out of Lego.

SHANE:

Your programme’s starting.

MITCHELL:

You can’t stay in here!

SHANE:

But Mam and Dad said.

Mitchell makes a frustrated noise. MITCHELL:

Okay, two minutes but no touching anything.

Mitchell exits. End of Scene 3.

71


Scene 4 Hannah climbs in through the window. HANNAH:

Wow! I never climbed through someone’s window before.

SHANE:

It’s cool isn’t it? Mam and Dad think climbing up the tree is dangerous.

HANNAH:

I bet that doesn’t stop you?

SHANE:

No way.

Hannah looks around. HANNAH:

So this is your room Shane. It’s really tidy and organised.

SHANE:

My room? Oh. Yeah. Well, I’m a very tidy, organised kind of guy.

HANNAH:

Are those chocolate bar labels stuck to the wall?

SHANE:

Yeah. I don’t know why I do that. It’s like I’m a stupid little kid whose obsessed with chocolate.

HANNAH:

I don’t think it’s stupid. I love chocolate. You’ve loads of Lego too. I used to be really into that… When I was younger.

SHANE:

Yeah, well, it’s from when I was nine. I just don’t like to throw it out.

HANNAH:

I know what you mean. I still have all my old teddies. I’m such a sap.

SHANE:

No, you’re not. You’re lovely Hannah.

HANNAH:

Do you really think so?

SHANE:

Yeah.

HANNAH:

Do you want to kiss me? 72


SHANE:

Totally.

Shane goes to kiss Hannah just as Mitchell comes back in. MITCHELL:

Aaaaggghhh!

HANNAH:

Aaaaggghhh!

MITCHELL:

What are you doing Shane?!

Hannah laughs. HANNAH:

You gave me a fright. Hi, I’m Hannah.

MITCHELL:

You were kissing her! Yuk!

HANNAH:

It’s okay. I’m his girlfriend.

MITCHELL:

But you’re not allowed…

SHANE:

Shut up Mitchell. This is my stupid brother. Go away and leave us alone.

MITCHELL:

You said you were making notes on tidiness! You’re such a liar!

SHANE:

And you’re such a baby. Just go away and I’ll buy you a bar of Yorkie… and a giant Toblerone.

MITCHELL:

No way. This is my room! Why are you kissing in my room?!

HANNAH:

Your room?

MITCHELL:

Yes!

SHANE:

I can explain Hannah. You see my bedroom is flooded at the moment.

MITCHELL:

You big liar! His room is not flooded. It’s just covered in dirty clothes and popcorn and it smells of spot cream. 73


SHANE:

Thanks a bunch Mitchell!

HANNAH:

Ah, Shane. Did you think I wouldn’t like you if your bedroom was scruffy?

SHANE:

Well, it is a bit of a tip.

HANNAH:

I don’t care about that. All people are different. I like you Shane, not your bedroom.

Hannah goes to kiss Shane. MITCHELL:

Stop it! No more kissing in my room! I don’t approve of teenagers sneaking in here and kissing each other!

HANNAH:

Sorry Mitchell. Will you forgive us? Your room is great by the way. I love the Lego posters and all your figures.

MITCHELL:

I didn’t think girls were into Lego.

HANNAH:

I was. I had Lego Simpsons and Lego Star Wars.

MITCHELL:

I’ve got Lego Star Wars. They’re brilliant.

HANNAH:

Yeah, they’re deadly.

MITCHELL:

In fact, will I tell you a secret?

HANNAH:

If you want to.

MITCHELL:

I’m designing a giant model for a Lego competition.

SHANE:

I didn’t know about that.

HANNAH:

That’s sounds brilliant. What’s your idea?

MITCHELL:

You won’t tell anyone?

HANNAH:

I won’t breathe a word.

MITCHELL:

It’s a giant chocolate bar. 74


Mitchell pulls a drawing out of his pocket. MITCHELL:

Look, I was drawing it downstairs.

HANNAH:

Wow! That’s amazing.

Hannah takes out a pen and writes on the drawing. HANNAH:

‘Ten out of ten! Well done, Mitchell. Love Hannah’.

MAM:

(Offstage) Shane, where are you? We’re home.

SHANE:

Oh no, Mam and Dad are home early. Quick Hannah, out the window.

Shane hurries Hannah out of the window. HANNAH:

Bye. See you in school.

SHANE:

Promise you won’t tell?

MITCHELL:

I won’t tell.

SHANE:

Thanks.

MITCHELL:

But only because I like Hannah. Even her crazy pink hair.

SHANE:

I owe you one bro’.

Shane exits. MITCHELL:

You owe me a Yorkie and a giant Toblerone you mean!

End of Scene 4.

75


Scene 5 Mitchell speaks directly to the audience. MITCHELL:

I’ve never been that into girls, but Hannah was nice. I even wrote her name in Lego… but I broke it up again before the gang came round the next day.

Mikey, Mick, Reece and Johnny climb in through the window. The greet Mitch but then ignore him. REECE:

Hi Mitch.

JOHNNY:

Watcha Mitch.

MICK:

How’s it going?

MIKEY:

Greetings from planet Zarg!

MICK:

I hereby call this meeting of giant Lego modellers to order.

The gang are all very excited. They pull their Lego design drawings out of their pockets. JOHNNY:

Me first. Here’s my design.

Mick and Mikey are thoughtful and rub their chins. MICK:

Hm.

MIKEY:

Hmmm.

REECE:

It’s a gun.

JOHNNY:

Yeah, exactly. A giant laser gun made out of Lego. What do you think?

REECE:

I think it’s stupid.

MIKEY:

Yeah, me too.

JOHNNY:

It’s not stupid. 76


MICK:

No, of course it’s not Johnny. But it is to do with fighting. The people who run the competition might not like that.

REECE:

Okay, my design next. Ta da!

JOHNNY:

It’s a football.

REECE:

No. It’s a giant football.

MIKEY:

Next!

REECE:

What do you mean, ‘next’? It’s brilliant.

MICK:

Okay, here’s mine. Now, this is very unusual. And that’s what we need. There’ll be loads of kids entering this contest; so we need to stand out.

Mick shows the gang his design. JOHNNY:

It’s a cup of tea?!

MICK:

Exactly! A giant cup of tea.

REECE:

That’s ridiculous.

JOHNNY:

That’s like something your granny would make.

MICK:

No it’s not. Take that back.

Mick and Johnny start to wrestle. MIKEY:

Lads! We can’t keep fighting or we’ll never make a decision.

REECE:

What about Mitch?

JOHNNY:

Yeah, Mitch. You’re very quiet. What about your design?

MITCHELL:

Sorry. I was daydreaming.

Mitch takes his drawing out of his pocket. Reece snatches it from him. 77


REECE:

Lets have a look.

MITCHELL:

Give that back. Don’t open it! It’s private.

REECE:

No prizes for guessing what Mitch drew.

MIKEY:

A bar of chocolate?

MITCHELL:

It’s a giant bar of chocolate.

JOHNNY:

You’ve got a one-track mind Mitch.

REECE:

Wait a minute. What’s this?

MITCHELL:

Give it back.

REECE:

(Reading) ‘‘Ten out of ten! Well done, Mitchell. Love Hannah’.

MIKEY:

Hannah?

MICK:

Who’s Hannah?

JOHNNY:

O. M. G., Mitchell’s got a secret girlfriend!

MITCHELL:

I have not. She’s Shane’s girlfriend.

MIKEY:

I thought Shane wasn’t allowed to have a girlfriend.

MITCHELL:

That’s just one of Mam and Dad’s stupid rules. If they met Hannah they’d know that she’s really nice.

REECE:

Mitchell thinks a girl is nice.

JOHNNY:

That means he loves her. Eugh!

MITCHELL:

No it doesn’t!

MICK:

You have gone red in the face Mitch.

MIKEY:

Which is a definite sign of being in love. 78


MICK:

How do you know that Mikey?

MIKEY:

My sister told me; she’s an expert.

REECE:

Mitchell loves a girl! Mitchell loves a girl!

MITCHELL:

No I don’t. Shut up Reece.

JOHNNY:

Yes you do. Admit it, or I’ll sit on your head and fart on you.

MITCHELL:

Wait a minute. Stop! We haven’t seen Mikey’s design yet.

REECE:

What?

MICK:

Mitchell’s is right. This meeting is about Lego, it’s not about sitting on Mitch’s head. Mikey what have you got?

MIKEY:

Well, I don’t know if it’s any good. I did it on the computer at home.

JOHNNY:

What is it?

MIKEY:

Just a space ship with aliens looking out of the window, which you can climb inside.

JOHNNY:

That sounds brilliant.

REECE:

Why didn’t you say anything?

MICK:

Right. Everyone over to Mikey’s house now.

The gang all exit through the door. Mitchell speaks to the audience. MITCHELL:

Phew. Once again, that was close!

Mitchell exits through the door. End of Scene 5. Scene 6 Hannah climbs in through the window. HANNAH:

Shane? Shane, are you here? That’s funny his text 79


said ‘meet you at four o’clock’.

Hannah looks around. HANNAH:

There’s so much Lego stuff in this room. It reminds me of how much I used to like it. There’s Lego posters on the walls. Lego figures on the desk.

Hannah picks up the tub with the chocolate bar in it. HANNAH:

And there must be Lego bricks in here. I’ll just have a quick look.

Hannah opens the tub and finds Mitchell’s chocolate. HANNAH:

Wow! A chocolate bar. I’m starving. I’m sure Mitchell won’t mind if I eat it.

She unwraps the chocolate and takes a bite just as Shane climbs in through the window. HANNAH:

There you are.

SHANE:

Hiya Hanna.

HANNAH:

Do you want some of this?

Hannah offers Shane the chocolate. SHANE:

Oh no! Where did you get that?

HANNAH:

I found it. In the Lego

SHANE:

What?! No! He’ll kill us! That’s his secret stash.

Just then Mitchell enters through the door and sees Hannah with the chocolate. MITCHELL:

Mr Dairy-milk!!!! NO!!!!!!!

SHANE:

Calm down Mitchell. It’s only chocolate.

MITCHELL:

What do you mean it’s only chocolate?! He cost me a 80


euro. HANNAH:

I’m really sorry. I didn’t think you’d mind.

MITCHELL:

I thought you were nice. But you’re just as bad as Shane. Get out of my room, both of you.

Just then Mam and Dad enter. MAM:

What’s all the shouting about?

Mam and Dad stop in surprise at seeing Hannah. DAD:

Who’s this?!

Mitchell, Shane and Hannah all say their lines at the same time (they can improvise if they want to), and speak on top of each other until Dad shouts at them to shut up. SHANE:

It’s not Hannah’s fault. She didn’t know Mitchell is mental about chocolate. She found his secret stash and she shouldn’t have eaten it, but she was hungry.

MITCHELL:

Shane and Hannah were kissing in my room and I didn’t tell because I thought Hannah was nice, but then she came back and ate my chocolate.

HANNAH:

I can explain. I really didn’t do it on purpose. I’ll replace the chocolate, I promise. I’m really sorry. I should introduce myself by the way. My name’s Hannah.

DAD:

SHUT UP!!!! YOU’RE ALL GROUNDED!

MAM:

Right, everyone downstairs this minute.

Shane, Mitchell and Hannah are marched off stage by Mam and Dad. There is a short pause and then Mitchell comes back on and speaks directly to the audience. MITCHELL:

Well, you’ll be glad to hear that Dad finally calmed down. 81


Shane enters. SHANE:

I was grounded, but then…

Mam and Dad enter. DAD:

We relented and let Shane and Hannah see each other.

Hannah enters. MAM:

Hannah is such a nice girl, even with her crazy pink hair.

HANNAH:

I took Mitchell on a trip to the chocolate factory to say sorry for robbing his chocolate bar.

MITCHELL:

And I forgave her. Oh and Mikey’s Lego design was brilliant.

Mikey, Mick, Reece and Johnny enter through the window. JOHNNY:

Yeah. We sent it off yesterday.

MICK:

I think we’re in with a good chance.

MIKEY:

Keep your fingers crossed for us.

REECE:

Legoland here we come!

MITCHELL:

Nice talking to you. Goodbye.

Everyone waves to the audience. The End.

82


The Snoring Princess The play was created with the following pupils of Saint Thomas’s National School, Jobstown.

The Saint Thomas’s Rich Kids Temiloluwa Adejumobi Tobiloba Alarape Craig Browne Kian Clarke Philomena Connors Jordan Dowman Lee Elliot Lee Finnegan Joshua Fitzpatrick Megan Keilthy Tomás Lakes Darragh Nagle Funmilola Olugbodi Sarah Oguntuase Holly Palmer Angel Ward December 2011

83


Characters Gabriella – A housekeeper to the princess of Lemonland. Gabriella is very good at running things and looking after the princess. However, she is fed-up of having to do all the work and dreams of being a princess herself. The Chorus – A group of children who help to tell Gabriella’s story and sometimes get involved in it too. Princess Limonia of Lemonland – Gabriella’s boss. She runs Lemonland. She is quite nice and thinks Gabriella is great, but also takes her for granted and never says ‘please’ or ‘thank you’. Princess Julip of Hotzee Tootzee – Another princess. She is loud and confident and laughs a lot. She is always fanning herself because her kingdom is very hot. Princess Freezella of Brrrr - Another princess. She is sweet and kind, but a bit ditzy and forgetful. She is always wrapped up warm because her kingdom is very cold. Announcer – Announces the princesses when they arrive in Lemonland. Hobo Joe – He carries all his belongings in a spotty blanket tied to a stick. He is quite scruffy with a beard and a hat and raggedy clothes and shoes that you can see his toes through and black teeth and dirty fingernails, but he is still cheerful and friendly. He travels from kingdom to kingdom telling jokes for money. Mr or Mrs Mayor – The mayor of Pink Orange. Wears a big gold chain. Male or female. He or she is overworked but kind and always rushing about trying to help everyone. Mr or Mrs Panatipants – In charge of the Orange Growers Association in Pink Orange. Wear a picture of an orange on a badge or t-shirt. Male or female. He or she is quite bossy and thinks they always know best. Ronson – Gabriella’s Servant. Male or female. A helpful but nervous person who tries to do his or her best. The Bank Machine – Dispenses the royal cash. Possibly like a robot, it is solid and loyal like a big talking safe on legs (or on wheels). 84


The Doctor – Looks after the health of the citizens of Pink Orange. Male or female. He or she has a white coat and a stethoscope. The Citizens - The people who live in Pink Orange. They are delighted when Gabriella arrives and offers to be their princess, but they are angry with her later when she confesses that she isn’t royal at all.

The play is a kind of fairytale. If possible the setting should be bright and colourful, using bright coloured backdrops or objects to create the locations. Different actors can play Gabriella in each scene and other roles can also be shared from scene to scene. Music and/or percussion will make a great addition to the play – either live or recorded. Each scene can be performed by itself as a short play.

85


Scene 1 – Princess Limonia’s palace. Some introductory music. Gabriella enters in her housekeeper apron. She has a feather duster and is dusting busily and humming to herself. CHORUS 1:

This is Gabriella.

CHORUS 2:

The housekeeper to Princess Limonia of Lemonland.

CHORUS 3:

She practically runs the palace single-handed.

CHORUS 4:

She has to work all day with no time to have fun.

CHORUS 5:

She likes living in the palace, but she is often bored and tired.

GABRIELLA:

Come on Gabriella. Hurry up. You’ve got to get everything spick and span.

CHORUS 1:

Hang on a minute. Slow down Gabriella.

CHORUS 2:

You work too hard.

CHORUS 3:

Stop and talk to us for a while.

GABRIELLA:

Shoo, get out of my way. Can’t you see I’m up to my eyes!

CHORUS 4:

But what’s all the rush?

CHORUS 5:

What’s the emergency?

CHORUS 1:

Why are you running around like your bum’s on fire?

GABRIELLA:

Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you heard?

ALL CHORUS:

No.

GABRIELLA:

Princess Limonia is having some royal visitors.

ALL CHORUS:

Ooooooh!

GABRIELLA:

Yes. Today. This very minute. 86


CHORUS 2:

Don’t worry Gabriella.

CHORUS 3:

You’ve done a great job.

CHORUS 4:

Everything is as shiny as a new pin.

GABRIELLA:

I even had to get a spider out of the Princess’s bathtub this morning. But she never notices my hard work.

A fanfare sounds. GABRIELLA:

Oh no, they’re here! The visitors! What am I going to do?

CHORUS 5:

Em, let them in?

GABRIELLA:

But Princess Limonia is still in the bath! (Sing-song) Your ma-jesty, your guests are here.

Limonia answers from offstage. LIMONIA:

(Sing-song) I’m having the most delightful soak, I don’t care. You entertain them!

GABRIELLA:

Me?!

There is another fanfare and the Announcer enters. Gabriella quickly takes off her apron and gives her feather duster to one of the chorus. ANNOUNCER:

The Princess Julip from the kingdom of Hotzee Tootzee.

Princess Julip enters and curtsies to Gabriella. JULIP:

Your Majesty.

Gabriella, taken by surprise, curtsies back. GABRIELLA:

Your Majesty.

Another fanfare sounds. 87


ANNOUNCER:

The Princess Freezella from the kingdom of Brrrr.

ALL CHORUS:

(As if cold) Brrrr.

Princess Freezella enters and curtsies to Gabriella. The Announcer exits. FREEZELLA:

Your Majesty.

Gabriella curtsies back. GABRIELLA:

Your Majesty.

GABRIELLA:

(To the chorus) Why do they keep calling me ‘Your Majesty’?

JULIP:

Thank you for your invitation. I simply adore your palace. It’s so splendidly spick and span. My palace is terribly messy.

FREEZELLA:

Yes, mine too. It’s so cold in Brrrr…

ALL CHORUS:

Brrrr.

FREEZELLA:

That we can never have the windows open, and the odours are quite simply stinky.

JULIP:

Well, in Hotzee Tootzee it’s so hot we have the windows and the doors open all the time.

FREEZELLA:

How lovely.

JULIP:

Not really, animals keep wandering in. There are lizards on the walls and goats sleeping in the beds.

ALL CHORUS:

Eugh!

FREEZELLA:

What’s your secret Princess Limonia? How do you keep everything so neat?

GABRIELLA:

Princess Limonia?!

CHORUS 1:

They think she’s the princess. 88


CHORUS 2:

Without her apron and her feather duster, they can’t tell the difference.

GABRIELLA:

Oh dear, no. You’ve made a mistake…

Just then there is a fanfare and Princess Limonia enters. LIMONIA:

Hello, hello. So sorry I’m late, I was busy with some very important matters of state.

CHORUS 3:

What a fibber.

CHORUS 4:

She was in the bath.

GABRIELLA:

Sshhh.

JULIP:

So you’re Princess Limonia?

LIMONIA:

Indeed I am. How do you do.

FREEZELLA:

But who’s this?

LIMONIA:

Oh did you think…? Oh how funny…. No, no, no she’s just the housekeeper.

Julip and Freezella laugh. JULIP:

That’s highly hilarious.

FREEZELLA:

How totally titillating.

JULIP:

We mistook her for a princess.

LIMONIA:

Oh no. She doesn’t have a drop of royal blood in her body. (To Gabriella) Tea Gabriella.

GABRIELLA:

Yes, Your Princess-ness.

LIMONIA:

(To the princesses) Now ladies, shall we get down to business?

Gabriella exits. 89


FREEZELLA:

But first I have some interesting news.

JULIP:

Some juicy gossip?

LIMONIA:

Oh, spill the beans. What is it?

Gabriella enters with three cups of tea on a tray. She serves the tea to the princesses with a curtsy as they are talking. They ignore her. FREEZELLA:

Well you’ll never guess, but the King and Queen of Pink Orange have both dropped dead.

JULIP, LIMONIA, CHORUS: FREEZELLA:

No!

Yes. And to cap it all, they don’t have a Princess.

JULIP, LIMONIA, CHORUS:

No!

FREEZELLA:

Yes. So they’re looking for a freelance one, it’s all a bit of a mess.

LIMONIA:

Well, how about that. There you go Gabriella, just the job for you.

The princesses all laugh as if the idea is utterly ridiculous. CHORUS 5:

What’s so funny about that?

LIMONIA:

Come on ladies.

The princesses all take out clipboards and exit still laughing. CHORUS 1:

Those princesses are rude.

GABRIELLA:

They can’t help it. It’s the way they were brought up.

CHORUS 2:

But they don’t even say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’.

CHORUS 3:

And what are they doing with those clipboards?

GABRIELLA:

They’re agreeing to buy and sell things to each other.

CHORUS 4:

What things? 90


GABRIELLA:

Well Hotzee Tootzee sells sandals and buys ice cream from Brrrr.

ALL CHORUS:

Brrrr.

GABRIELLA:

And Lemonland buys sandals and ice cream and sells lemons to Hotzee Tootzee and Brrrr.

ALL CHORUS:

Brrrr.

CHORUS 5:

That sounds complicated.

GABRIELLA:

Not really.

The chorus all whisper to each other. GABRIELLA:

What are you whispering about?

CHORUS 1:

We think you should apply for the princess job in Pink Orange.

GABRIELLA:

What?! Not me.

CHORUS 2:

Why not? You’re as clever as them.

CHORUS 3:

And you know everything there is to know about being a princess.

GABRIELLA:

But you heard what Limonia said, I don’t have a drop of royal blood in me.

CHORUS 4:

That doesn’t matter.

GABRIELLA:

And I don’t have the right clothes.

Just then Limonia enters with a dress, which she gives to Gabriella. LIMONIA:

We’re going to look at the lemon trees. Throw this away would you, I’ve worn it twice and I’m bored of it already.

Limonia exits. 91


CHORUS 5:

What were you just saying?

GABRIELLA:

Oh no, I couldn’t.

ALL CHORUS:

Of course you could.

GABRIELLA:

No, I couldn’t.

ALL CHORUS:

Yes, you could.

GABRIELLA:

Do you really think so? Do you really think I could be a princess?

Music. End of Scene 1.

92


Scene 2 – On the road to the kingdom of Pink Orange. CHORUS 1:

So Gabriella left the palace of Princess Limonia.

Gabriella enters with her rucksack and a feather duster. CHORUS 2:

And travelled for many nights and days towards the kingdom of Pink Orange.

She takes the rucksack off and sits on it for a rest. GABRIELLA:

I wonder if I’ve done the right thing.

CHORUS 3:

Of course you have.

GABRIELLA:

But how will I convince the people of Pink Orange that I can be their princess?

CHORUS 4:

You’ll think of something.

CHORUS 5:

You’re very smart.

Just then Hobo Joe enters. HOBO JOE:

(Loud) Hello there!

Gabriella jumps up in a fright. GABRIELLA:

Oh no. It’s a robber!

She tickles him with her feather duster. GABRIELLA:

Get away from me.

Hobo Joe is laughing from being tickled. HOBO JOE:

Stop. Stop. You’re tickling me to death.

Gabriella stops tickling Hobo Joe, but points her feather duster at him. GABRIELLA:

Are you going to rob me?

HOBO JOE:

Of course not. Now that is funny! How do you do, I’m 93


Hobo Joe. CHORUS 1:

Hobo Joe explained that hobos don’t rob people.

CHORUS 2:

They just move from place to place.

CHORUS 3:

With their belongings over their shoulder.

CHORUS 4:

And sometimes they sleep in cardboard boxes.

GABRIELLA:

Don’t you get cold?

HOBO JOE:

My beard keeps me warm and I always travel south, towards the sun. That’s where I’m going now. Sorry if I scared you.

CHORUS 5:

Joe asked Gabriella where she was heading.

GABRIELLA:

I’m off to Pink Orange.

HOBO JOE:

Pink Orange! I was just there. It’s a really nutty place.

GABRIELLA:

But I heard the people grow the most beautiful pink oranges.

HOBO JOE:

They do.

GABRIELLA:

What’s so nutty about that?

HOBO JOE:

Well, the fact is, they prefer oranges to chocolate. That’s nutty.

GABRIELLA:

I suppose it is a bit strange.

HOBO JOE:

And they love to go to bed early and get up early. Completely nutty.

GABRIELLA:

Bed early and up early. And what else?

HOBO JOE:

Well, worst of all; they like everything to be clean and tidy. Now, that is totally nutty! 94


GABRIELLA:

Very interesting.

CHORUS 1:

Gabriella carefully stored away everything Hobo Joe had said in her brain.

HOBO JOE:

I’d better be off. Would you have any spare change for a kindly old hobo?

CHORUS 2:

Gabriella searched in her purse.

CHORUS 3:

And because she was so grateful for everything that Joe had told her.

CHORUS 4:

She gave him all the money she had left.

HOBO JOE:

That’s very kind of you miss. Here’s your joke.

GABRIELLA:

My joke?

HOBO JOE:

Of course. You just bought it. Now, this is a good one. What do snakes do after a fight?

GABRIELLA:

I don’t know. What do snakes do after a fight?

HOBO JOE:

Hiss and make up! Get it? Hiss… and make up. Mind yourself now.

Hobo Joe exits laughing. Gabriella picks up her rucksack and shakes her head at the joke. CHORUS 5:

And so Gabriella set off.

CHORUS 1:

But now she felt happier because she knew more about Pink Orange.

End of Scene 2.

95


Scene 3 – In the town square of Pink Orange. Mr. Mayor and Mrs. Panatipants are walking up and down looking agitated. PANATIPANTS:

What are we going to do?

MAYOR:

There’s so much work.

PANATIPANTS:

Without someone to run the kingdom, we have to make all the decisions!

MAYOR:

I’m exhausted. I’ve been on the phone all morning!

PANATIPANTS:

You’re exhausted?! Think about me. The orange growers ask me a million questions a day.

MAYOR:

I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration.

PANATIPANTS:

Well, that’s what it feels like.

The chorus enter and stand to attention in a line. MAYOR:

Wait a minute. What’s going on here?

The chorus make the sound of a trumpet fanfare. Some local citizens enter to watch what’s going on. CHORUS 1:

Hear ye, hear ye.

CHORUS 2:

Please welcome Princess Gabriella.

The chorus cheer and clap. Some of the citizens join in. CHORUS 3:

She’s clever at sums.

CHORUS 4:

She’s good at reading.

CHORUS 5:

In fact she’s the best!

CHORUS 1:

She’s come to help.

CHORUS 2:

She’s a freelance princess!

Gabriella enters wearing her princess dress. Everyone claps and cheers. 96


GABRIELLA:

Thank you. Thank you. It’s so good to be here. I came as soon as I heard you needed someone.

MAYOR:

Why, this is fantastic. You’re the answer to our prayers.

PANATIPANTS:

Hold on Mr. Mayor. How do we know she’s for real?

MAYOR:

Don’t quibble Mrs. Panatipants. Can’t you see she’s dressed like a princess?

PANATIPANTS:

Yes, but what are her qualifications?

GABRIELLA:

That’s a very good question.

CHORUS 3:

Gabriella searched her brain.

CHORUS 4:

And remembered everything Hobo Joe had told her.

GABRIELLA:

Well, I always like to get up early. And I like to go to bed early too.

The citizens make positive noises. MAYOR:

This is wonderful.

PANATIPANTS:

Yes. What else?

GABRIELLA:

Well, I always insist on a tidy kingdom.

The citizens make louder positive noises. MAYOR:

Exactly so. Let’s employ her right away.

GABRIELLA:

But most of all, I love oranges. In fact I prefer them to chocolate.

The citizens cheer. MAYOR:

My goodness, it’s as if she was born here.

GABRIELLA:

I can also help you sell your oranges to other 97


kingdoms like Lemonland and Hotzee Tootzee and Brrr. ALL CHORUS:

Brrr!

PANATIPANTS:

Now, that’s what I wanted to hear!

MAYOR:

She’s perfect. The job is yours!

CHORUS 5:

And straight away the Mayor placed a crown on Gabriella’s head. And said…

The Mayor places a crown on Gabriella’s head. MAYOR:

I pronounce you Princess of Pink Orange.

Everyone cheers. Gabriella is so excited she jumps up and down. PANATIPANTS:

What strange behaviour.

CHORUS 1:

Be careful or you’ll give the game away.

CHORUS 2:

Princesses don’t jump up and down like that.

GABRIELLA:

Oh, I’m sorry. It’s… just a kind of exercise. Thank you. Thank you, one and all.

Everyone cheers again and follows Gabriella offstage. End of Scene 3.

98


Scene 4 – In Gabriella’s palace. Gabriella is wearing glasses and has a clipboard. She is talking into her mobile phone. At the same time her servant, Ronson, is showing her some pictures of dresses. GABRIELLA:

You’ll take a hundred crates of oranges. That’s wonderful!

She points to one of the dresses Ronson is showing her. GABRIELLA:

(To Ronson) That one. (Into the phone) And we’ll take a hundred tubs of ice cream in return. Fantastic. Bye.

Gabriella hangs up and gives the phone to Ronson. GABRIELLA:

That’s a hundred more crates of oranges sold. I’m really getting the hang of this.

RONSON:

Well done Ma’am.

GABRIELLA:

Thank you Ronson. You are a great help.

RONSON:

You don’t have to thank me, Your Princess-ness; it’s my job.

GABRIELLA:

That doesn’t matter. Everyone should say thank you. And please. It’s only good manners.

CHORUS 1:

Gabriella was really enjoying being a princess.

CHORUS 2:

She was so used to running the palace in Lemonland.

CHORUS 3:

That running the whole of Pink Orange was easypeasy.

CHORUS 4:

And Ronson was the best servant she could have hoped for.

RONSON:

Excuse me ma’am. I hope you don’t mind me asking you something?

GABRIELLA:

Of course not. What is it? 99


RONSON:

Well…. I….

GABRIELLA:

Come on. Spit it out!

RONSON:

Well, I was wondering if I could have some wages please? If it’s not too much trouble.

CHORUS 5:

Ronson explained that he hadn’t been paid since the old king and queen dropped dead.

GABRIELLA:

That’s terrible Ronson. Of course you must have some wages.

CHORUS 1:

But when Gabriella opened her purse it was empty.

GABRIELLA:

Oh no, I forgot. I gave all my money to a hobo.

RONSON:

Don’t worry Princess Gabriella. I’ll send in the royal bank machine.

GABRIELLA:

The royal bank machine?!

RONSON:

Of course. It’s where you get the money to pay for things.

Gabriella pretends to understand. GABRIELLA:

Of course! I’d completely forgotten that. Silly me.

CHORUS 2:

Gabriella was very relieved.

Ronson claps his or her hands. The royal bank machine enters. Ronson bows and exits. BANK MACHINE:

Greetings Your Princess-ness. I am the royal bank machine.

GABRIELLA:

Greetings royal bank machine.

BANK MACHINE:

Put your hand on the screen.

Gabriella does so. 100


BANK MACHINE:

Scanning fingerprints.

There is a scanning sound effect. BANK MACHINE:

Wrong. Error. Not a princess. Wrong. Error. Not a princess.

Gabriella pulls her hand away. GABRIELLA:

Ssh! Stop saying that.

BANK MACHINE:

It is true. Your D.N.A. is not royal.

GABRIELLA:

Oh no. So you won’t give me any money?

BANK MACHINE:

Not a princess. Wrong. Error.

The bank machine exits. GABRIELLA:

Wait! How am I going to pay Ronson? And how will I find the money for my dresses?

CHORUS 3:

Gabriella didn’t know what to do.

CHORUS 4:

She was worried that she would be found out.

CHORUS 5:

So she wracked her brains for an idea.

GABRIELLA:

I know! I’ll marry a prince.

CHORUS 1:

But there was no time to find one that she liked.

CHORUS 2:

She even wondered if she could borrow a real princess’s hand.

CHORUS 3:

But there was no way she could do that without chopping it off first.

GABRIELLA:

And that’s far too horrible. I could never do that.

CHORUS 4:

Then all of a sudden Gabriella had a brilliant idea.

There is a sound effect and one of the Chorus holds out Gabriella’s 101


feather duster. GABRIELLA:

Of course!

CHORUS 5:

She remembered that there was a shortage of maids in the kingdom.

CHORUS 1:

Because everyone liked their houses to be super clean.

Gabriella pulls her housekeeper apron out of her rucksack. CHORUS 2:

So Gabriella disguised herself in her old clothes.

CHORUS 3:

And set up a cleaning company.

Gabriella exits. CHORUS 4:

All day long she was the princess of Pink Orange.

CHORUS 5:

But once it got dark.

CHORUS 1:

She turned back into a housekeeper.

CHORUS 2:

And worked all through the night.

CHORUS 3:

Soon Gabriella was able to pay all her bills.

CHORUS 4:

The only problem was; she was completely exhausted.

The chorus exit. End of Scene 4.

102


Scene 5 – The town square. The Mayor and Mrs. Panatipants enter and walk up and down. They are waiting for Gabriella. MAYOR:

I wonder where she is.

PANATIPANTS:

She’s usually so punctual.

MAYOR:

You’re right. It’s not like Gabriella to be late.

PANATIPANTS:

Perhaps she’s ill. She’s been looking very pale lately.

MAYOR:

Wait a minute. Here she comes now.

Gabriella enters. She is so tired she is sleepwalking (with her eyes open) and snoring. She weaves unsteadily around some passing citizens, nearly but not quite, bumping into them. MAYOR:

Gabriella. Gabriella?

PANATIPANTS:

Quick Mr. Mayor, call the doctor.

The Mayor runs offstage and Mrs. Panatipants follows Gabriella around with a stool to stop her sitting down in mid air. Every time Gabriella goes to sit Mrs. Panatipants puts the stool down, until finally Gabriella does sit on it. The Doctor runs on followed by the Mayor. DOCTOR:

Where is the patient?

PANATIPANTS:

Thanks goodness you’re here doctor. Gabriella is fast asleep.

DOCTOR:

Hello. Gabriella. Can you hear me?

Gabriella snores loudly. DOCTOR:

Well, that is strange.

PANATIPANTS:

Should I slap her face?

DOCTOR:

Goodness me, no.

PANATIPANTS:

What about if I give her a shake? 103


DOCTOR:

I really must insist that you don’t wake her.

Just then Gabriella lets out a loud snore and wakes herself up. She looks around and is confused. GABRIELLA:

Where am I? What’s going on?

PANATIPANTS:

You’re in the town square. You were sleepwalking.

GABRIELLA:

Oh no!

DOCTOR:

I think you have a sleeping sickness.

GABRIELLA:

No. It’s probably just something I ate.

CHORUS 1:

Gabriella couldn’t tell the truth.

CHORUS 2:

Because she didn’t want her secret to be found out.

CHORUS 3:

That she worked all day and all night.

CHORUS 4:

And only had time off at the weekend.

DOCTOR:

Now let me see. Do you wake up in the middle of the night?

GABRIELLA:

Only if I have a bad dream.

DOCTOR:

Bad dreams! That could be it. I recommend lots of exercise and long walks. You’ll be so tired when you go to bed you won’t have time for dreams.

GABRIELLA:

Exercise and long walks?

CHORUS 5:

She was too exhausted for that.

GABRIELLA:

(Sleepily) Please don’t fuss. I’m fine.

CHORUS 1:

In fact she was so tired…

CHORUS 2:

That she fell asleep again. 104


Gabriella’s head falls forward and she begins to snore. The Doctor turns away and rubs his chin. DOCTOR:

This is more serious than I thought. We need a specialist.

PANATIPANTS:

A specialist?

DOCTOR:

A specialist!

Hobo Joe suddenly enters. HOBO JOE:

A specialist? Look no further. Here I am!

MAYOR:

Hobo Joe! You’re back in town.

PANATIPANTS:

I didn’t know you were a specialist.

HOBO JOE:

Of course I am.

Hobo Joe puts on a funny hat. He doesn’t notice Gabriella because the others are standing in front of her. HOBO JOE:

I say, I say, I say, why does a giraffe have a long neck?

The Mayor, the Doctor and Mrs Panatipants look at each. Gabriella snores. HOBO JOE:

Because his feet smell. What do you call a girl computer?

The Mayor, the Doctor and Mrs Panatipants shrug their shoulders. Gabriella snores. HOBO JOE:

A Dell. Get it? What do you get when you cross a centipede with a parrot? A walkie-talkie!

PANATIPANTS:

Why is he telling us silly jokes?

MAYOR:

I don’t know.

HOBO JOE:

Because I’m a joke specialist of course. Isn’t that 105


what you were looking for? DOCTOR:

No! We need a sleeping sickness specialist. Our princess is ill.

Gabriella snores loudly and the Doctor and the others move away to reveal her fast asleep on the stool. HOBO JOE:

Gabriella!

PANATIPANTS:

It’s Princess Gabriella to you!

HOBO JOE:

But she’s not a princess.

MAYOR:

Of course she is. Don’t be so rude.

HOBO JOE:

But I met her on the road a few weeks ago. She tickled me with her feather duster.

PANATIPANTS:

Of course she’s a princess. She must be. She has the right qualifications.

MAYOR:

And the right clothes.

HOBO JOE:

She was dressed like a normal person when I met her. I told her all about Pink Orange.

MAYOR:

Oh dear.

DOCTOR:

I’m sure there’s a simple explanation.

MAYOR:

But what if she’s not a princess?

Mrs Panatipants has a sudden realisation. PANATIPANTS:

Then she’s an impostor!

Everyone gasps. Gabriella wakes up with a start. GABRIELLA:

Hobo Joe what are you doing here?

HOBO JOE:

Sorry Gabriella. I think I’ve got you into trouble. 106


Mrs. Panatipants shakes Gabriella. Some citizens enter and gather around. PANATIPANTS:

You’re not a princess at all, are you?

MAYOR:

Mrs. Panatipants! There’s no need to shake the poor girl.

PANATIPANTS:

Poor girl! She lied to us.

GABRIELLA:

Oh dear. I’m so sorry.

CHORUS 3:

But Gabriella was actually quite relieved that she had been found out.

CHORUS 4:

And she confessed everything.

DOCTOR:

Working all day and all night! Goodness me, it’s a wonder you didn’t drop dead of exhaustion.

GABRIELLA:

I really am sorry I lied to you all. But I only did it because I wanted the job so much. I love being a princess.

PANATIPANTS:

Kick her out of the kingdom at once!

CITIZENS:

Yes!

MAYOR:

Now, let’s not be too hasty. She has been a very good princess. Sales of oranges are up and everyone in the kingdom is happy.

The Citizens agree that this is true. PANATIPANTS:

But how can we trust her?

MAYOR:

That’s true. She did trick us. And if she lied before, she might do it again. We don’t want a liar running our kingdom.

CITIZENS:

No!

MAYOR:

We need a princess who can set an example. 107


CITIZENS:

Yes!

GABRIELLA:

Please don’t throw me out. Please give me a second chance.

MAYOR:

Well, it’s not up to me. The citizens must decide. That’s all of you out there.

The Mayor asks the audience to vote on whether Gabriella should stay or go. MAYOR:

Who thinks Gabriella should be allowed to stay? Put your hand up.

The audience vote. MAYOR:

And who thinks Gabriella should go?

A helper can tell the Mayor which way the vote has gone if it is too close to see. Depending on the vote the Mayor says either; i) MAYOR:

GABRIELLA:

You can stay! The citizens have given you a second chance. I promise I won’t let you down this time. I’ll be the best, most hard-working princess ever.

Everyone cheers. CHORUS 5:

And so Gabriella stayed, but some things had to change. What do you think they were?

There is music and the actors all take a bow. The End. OR; ii) MAYOR:

I’m afraid you must go! The citizens have voted. 108


GABRIELLA:

I’m sorry that I let everyone down. I’ve had a wonderful time in Pink Orange. And I promise to be a better person from now on.

CHORUS 1:

And so Gabriella left the kingdom.

CHORUS 2:

But she didn’t want to be sad.

CHORUS 3:

So she decided to set up her own business.

CHORUS 4:

Making something wonderful that helps people.

CHORUS 5:

What do you think she made?

There is music and the actors all take a bow. The End.

109


Deadly Drama Volume 2 Written with playwright Michelle Read

110


Contents The Lost Boy Page 113 Dean is fed up shovelling dung on the farm for his dad. It’s the last day of the summer holidays and it’s just not fair. When his dad won’t listen Dean packs a tent and Wolfgang his teddy bear and runs away to the city. The only thing is, he still smells of dung, but he just can’t find anywhere to have a wash. Will he have a dip in the duck pond? Should he have a shower in the posh hotel? And after all his adventures will Dean ever get home again? Undercover Robot

Page 142 On a faraway planet a little group of aliens create a robot and disguise him as Vincent Van Scoff the French chef. They send Vincent to earth to find out about human emotions. Meanwhile, Ruby the dog and Rosy the mouse live in the old house which Vincent want to make into a restaurant. Ruby and Rosy think Vincent is going to throw them out but when Vincent doesn’t realise Ruby is a dog and gives her a job as chef, Rosy is jealous. What will the customers make of Ruby’s cooking? How will Rosy get her own back on Ruby? And will the dog and the mouse ever manage to be friends again?! Bob Wheat’s Fabulous Hairy Tale

Page 172 Bob and Jill work very hard on their farm but there’s just not enough time for Bob to grow the giant water melon he’s always dreamed of. In fact Bob’s so tired he drinks fertiliser instead of tea and grows the hairyest legs ever seen! Poor Bob. His family won’t stop laughing at him and he can’t even get his trousers on. Where will Bob get a minilawnmower to shave his legs? And who are those strange scientists in the bookshop?! A very hairy tale indeed! Oceana’s Challenge

Page 198 Oceana the mermaid is nearly, but not quite grown up and she’s never seen a Land Person before. When she meets Colin Shimbob through the porthole of a submarine she is very curious, despite warnings from her friend Percy the dolphin. Colin is amazed and delighted to discover that mermaids really do exist, but unbeknownst to him Bult Boovia has also seen Oceana and is determined to capture her to make himself famous. 111


Will Colin stop Bult? Will Oceana get her new tail in time?! And how do you make a seaweed monster? A fishy yarn of Mer People versus Land People.

112


The Lost Boy The play was created with the following pupils of Saint Anne’s National School, Fettercairn, Tallaght.

Saint Anne’s ‘Coolkids’ Samuel Carpaci Sean Duffy McGrath Megan Guidon Tiana Kangola Tommy Lee Lawrence Charlotte Mongan Nicole Moran Alanah O'Connell Daniel Sheehan Luiza Strokuva Luke Wall Eric Walsh April 2012

113


Characters in the play: Dean Dean’s Dad Dean’s Mum Dean’s Sister, Amy The Boy in the Park Bernie – a girl The Hotel Manager – a boy or a girl Hotel Guests – boys and girls The Posh Lady in the Hotel Maréad and Sinead – friends of Bernie Bernie’s Dad Bernie’s Mum Narrator 1 – girl or boy Narrator 2 – girl Narrator 3 – girl or boy The narrators help to tell the story. They argue with each other sometimes. They also change the set and pass things to Dean, but they are invisible to him and it’s important that he doesn’t see them.

Setting:

The idea for the setting is that most things are cartoon-like and lightweight (that is, drawn or painted onto cardboard). As a scene happens the background can change behind Dean, so that for example, one minute he’s shovelling dung and the next he’s in his bedroom. This means some of the children involved will be like live cartoonists – moving the sets and props around the actors, and on and off stage (instead of Dean moving, the scenery moves!). Some of the things Dean uses in the scenes (the props), could also be twodimensional.This way of working will involve the artists in the class drawing and painting the sets and props. Tip: An even simpler approach is to make a sign for each scene which tells the audience where they are. Then you only have to make or find the props needed in each scene.

114


Scene 1 – The Farm Dean is shovelling a big pile of cow dung. NARRATOR 1:

This is a story about Dean.

DEAN:

Pooh. I hate shovelling dung. It smells like… well, pooh!

NARRATOR 2:

Dean lives on a farm with his mum…

Dean’s mum enters. DEAN’S MUM:

Will you hurry up young lady or we’ll miss the bus.

Dean’s mum exits on the other side of the stage. NARRATOR 3:

His sister Amy…

Dean’s older sister Amy enters listening to her i-pod. AMY:

Coming mum. (To Dean, sarcastic) Enjoy doing all the chores. Loser.

DEAN:

Where are you going?

AMY:

Wouldn’t you like to know? Bye, bye little brother.

Amy exits following her mum. DEAN:

(Calling after Amy) That’s not fair.

NARRATOR 1:

And his dad.

Dean’s dad enters. DEAN’S DAD:

What are you standing around for? Hurry up Dean. You should have shovelled that dung by now.

DEAN:

But dad it stinks.

DEAN’S DAD:

Of course it does. It came out of a cow’s bum. Right. Next I want you to feed the dogs, and then help me bring the cows up for milking. And then mum wants you to do all the washing up. 115


DEAN:

What?! How is that fair? Why do I have to do everything? Amy should be doing some of the chores.

DEAN’S DAD:

Amy’s gone into town to get her new school uniform. You know she’s starting big school tomorrow.

DEAN:

But dad it’s the last day of the holidays. I want to put my tent up in the field. I want to go paddling in the stream. I want to climb the oak tree.

DEAN’S DAD:

There’s no time for mucking about with tents and streams and trees. There’s work to be done. This farm doesn’t run itself, you know. Now, hurry up with that dung and don’t make me tell you twice.

Dean’s dad exits. DEAN:

(Mimicking his dad) ‘Hurry up with that dung and don’t make me tell you twice.’ Do this. Do that. Do everything. I hate him. He’s the worst dad in the world.

NARRATOR 2:

Dean got more and more angry.

DEAN:

He doesn’t even care about me. He just wants me to do all this work. Well, I’ve had enough!

NARRATOR 3:

Until he threw down his shovel.

NARRATOR 1:

And ran straight up to his bedroom.

The pile of dung and the shovel disappear. DEAN:

I’m going to run away. That’ll show them. Mum and Amy and stupid dad. Yeah. That’s a brilliant idea. Then I can do whatever I want and I won’t have to take orders from anyone.

As the narrators explain what Dean packs, he puts the different objects into his rucksack. NARRATOR 2:

So Dean packed his tent.

A real rolled up tent or a picture of a rolled up tent is put into the rucksack (and 116


so on). NARRATOR 3:

A sleeping bag.

NARRATOR 2:

An alarm clock.

NARRATOR 1:

A toothbrush.

NARRATOR 2:

A spare jumper.

NARRATOR 3:

A banana.

NARRATOR 1:

The savings in his piggy bank.

Dean puts his hand in his piggy bank and takes out three five euro notes. He puts them in his pocket. NARRATOR 1:

And his Teddy bear.

NARRATOR 3:

His Teddy bear?

NARRATOR 1:

Wolfgang.

NARRATOR 2:

His Teddy bear… Wolfgang?

NARRATOR 1:

Yeah. Ssh.

DEAN:

You should stay here Wolfgang. I’m too old for a Teddy bear. But… I suppose it’s not fair to leave you behind and it would be nice to have someone to talk to.

Dean puts Wolfgang in his rucksack with his head sticking out. One of the narrator’s holds up a photo near him (as if it’s stuck to the wall). DEAN:

My photo of the farm. Yeah, I’ll take this too. It doesn’t matter that mum and Amy and stupid dad are in it. I’ll just ignore that part of the picture.

He puts the photo in his pocket and puts the rucksack on his shoulder. DEAN:

Dad will have to do all the work himself now. See how he likes that. 117


NARRATOR 1:

The rest of the day Dean did exactly as he pleased.

NARRATOR 2:

He paddled in the stream.

Dean paddles (and perhaps accidentally splashes the narrators). DEAN:

The water feels lovely and cool on my toes.

NARRATOR 3:

He climbed up the oak tree.

NARRATOR 1:

Which was actually very high.

The narrators look down nervously as if they’re up the oak tree too. DEAN:

This is brilliant! I can see for miles. Look all the way over there Wolfgang, that must be the city.

NARRATOR 2:

And once he’d climbed down.

NARRATOR 3:

(Relieved) Phew!

NARRATOR 1:

He walked for miles and miles towards the city until it started to get dark.

DEAN:

Better pitch the tent Wolfgang. It’s getting pretty late.

NARRATOR 2:

So Dean put up his tent.

There is the sound of tent pegs being banged into the ground (do this with percussion instruments) and Dean’s tent appears behind him (it’s as if he’s sitting inside it). DEAN:

Now isn’t this cosy? I suppose I’d better clean my teeth.

Dean pulls out his toothbrush. NARRATOR 2:

But he’d forgot to bring the toothpaste.

DEAN:

Never mind.

Dean throws the toothbrush over his shoulder. DEAN:

I’d better get ready for bed. 118


NARRATOR 3:

But he’d forgot to pack his pyjamas.

DEAN:

Doesn’t matter. I can sleep in my clothes.

One of the narrators shines a torch under Dean’s face. DEAN:

I can make scary shadows with my torch.

The narrator switches the torch off and takes it away. NARRATOR 1:

But he’d forgotten to bring his torch.

DEAN:

Cow dung! That was stupid of me.

NARRATOR 2:

All night long Dean listened to the sound of the wind in the branches.

The sound of a scary wind. Dean looks scared. He hugs Wolfgang. NARRATOR 3:

And the creaking of the trees.

Trees creak. NARRATOR 1:

And the chiming of the church bell.

Clock chimes 2. NARRATOR 2:

And the barking of a lonely dog.

Dog bark. NARRATOR 3:

That could have been a wolf.

Wolf howl. NARRATOR 1:

(To the other narrators) Don’t be silly. There aren’t any wolves in Ireland.

NARRATOR 3:

There are in the zoo.

NARRATOR 2:

Yeah. Maybe he put his tent up near the zoo. 119


NARRATOR 1:

(To 2 and 3) Okay, okay! (To audience) But anyway, the point is, Dean didn’t get a wink of sleep all night.

End of Scene 1.

120


Scene 2 – The Park, early morning. The sun comes up. Dean finally dozes off hugging Wolfgang. A young boy in a school uniform enters on his way to school. He sees the tent and is curious. (He can’t see inside the tent). BOY:

What’s that tent doing in the park?

An alarm goes off. Dean hits his rucksack and it stops. DEAN:

Five more minutes mum.

BOY:

I’m not your mum!

DEAN:

(Waking up) Who’s there?

BOY:

Who are you?

DEAN:

Go away. (Dean pops his head out) I mean, what do you want?

BOY:

You’re just a kid?

DEAN:

So?

BOY:

So, can I come in?

The boy squeezes in before Dean can stop him. DEAN:

What are you doing? No. Get out of my tent.

BOY:

What’s your name? Are you homeless? Do you live in this tent? Pooh, something really stinks in here.

Dean sniffs and wrinkles his nose. DEAN:

Oh yeah. It must be the banana in my bag. It’s probably gone bad.

The boy gets out of the tent followed by Dean. BOY:

That’s really pongy.

DEAN:

I’ll have to throw it away. 121


BOY:

Wait a minute I can smell it out here too.

He sniffs at Dean. BOY:

It’s not a banana. It’s you! You stink!

DEAN:

That’s not a very nice thing to say.

BOY:

I can’t help it. You smell of pooh.

DEAN:

It’s called dung actually. And I only smell of it because I was cleaning out the cow shed yesterday and I didn’t get the chance to have a shower.

BOY:

You went on holiday without having a shower?

DEAN:

I’m not on holiday, stupid.

BOY:

Don’t call me stupid, stinky. You’re the one with cow pooh all over you.

DEAN:

You better go away or you’ll be feeling a stone in your ear.

BOY:

Alright, be like that stinky boy.

DEAN:

I’m not a stinky boy.

The boy skips off taunting Dean. BOY:

Stinky boy, stinky boy, everyone hates a stinky boy.

DEAN:

No they don’t. Shut up. You don’t know anything.

NARRATOR 1:

Dean was a bit upset after the boy ran off.

NARRATOR 3:

Of course he was. I’d be upset if someone shouted stinky boy at me

NARRATOR 2:

So would I. Especially as I’m a girl.

NARRATOR 1:

Anyway!

NARRATOR 2:

Sorry. 122


NARRATOR 1:

Dean decided he should try and have a wash in the duck pond.

DEAN:

Oh no, I didn’t bring any togs. I can’t get into the pond in the nude. Someone might see me. And there’s no towel. I’d have to run around and drip dry.

NARRATOR 2:

(Giggling) In the nude.

NARRATOR 3:

(Also giggling) That would be funny.

NARRATOR 1:

No it wouldn’t! Stop giggling. Dean packed up all his things and decided to go and find somewhere he could have a nice hot shower.

The tent disappears. DEAN:

Come on Wolfgang. How hard can it be to find a shower in the city?

Just as Dean is leaving Bernie enters. She’s wearing the same school uniform as the boy. BERNIE:

Hiya.

DEAN:

Oh no, not another person.

BERNIE:

Lovely day isn’t it. Pity we have to go back to school.

DEAN:

Don’t come near me.

BERNIE:

Excuse me?

DEAN:

I’m… dangerous!

BERNIE:

What? Why?

DEAN:

I’ve got a dangerous disease. Yeah, that’s it. You can’t come anywhere near me. If you can smell me you’re too close.

BERNIE:

I can’t smell you. Well, what do you smell like?

DEAN:

Like a horrible disease. I’ve got to get to the hospital right 123


now. BERNIE:

But you’re going the wrong way.

DEAN:

I don’t need your opinion about where the hospital is.

Dean runs off, but Wolfgang falls from his rucksack (or has been left on the ground). BERNIE:

Wait.

DEAN:

(From offstage) Leave me alone.

BERNIE:

You left your Teddy.

She picks up Wolfgang gingerly by the foot. BERNIE:

I suppose I’d better look after you. I hope you haven’t got a disease too.

Bernie exits. End of Scene 2.

124


Scene 3 – The Hotel. The scene changes from the park to the hotel as the narrators talk. The smartly dressed Hotel Manager is standing with a clipboard checking that everything is up to standard. NARRATOR 3:

Poor Dean smelt of pooh and had a terrible disease.

NARRATOR 2:

He probably got the disease from the pooh.

NARRATOR 1:

What on earth are you talking about?! Dean hasn’t got a disease.

NARRATOR 3:

But he just said he had.

NARRATOR 1:

He was lying.

NARRATOR 2:

Lying? But that’s terrible.

NARRATOR 1:

He only did it because he didn’t want that girl to smell him.

NARRATOR 2:

(The penny drops) Oh! I see.

NARRATOR 3:

So… Does that mean it’s okay to lie sometimes?

NARRATOR 1:

We haven’t got time to talk about that. The story is getting away from us. (Looking around) Where are we now?

NARRATOR 3:

It looks like the entrance to a posh hotel.

MANAGER:

Silk curtains. Perfect. Shiny floor. Perfect. Vase of flowers. Perfect. And a beautiful fragrant smell.

A posh lady in a big hat walks on with her suitcase. MANAGER:

Ah Mrs. Fitzpatrick. Lovely to see you again. Your room is just this way.

The posh lady smiles and exits. NARRATOR 2:

What are we doing here?

NARRATOR 3:

Where’s Dean. 125


MANAGER:

Oh my goodness what’s that horrible smell?

NARRATOR 2:

That must be him now.

Dean enters. DEAN:

Em, hello. Excuse me.

MANAGER:

Yes, can I help you?

DEAN:

Is this a hotel?

MANAGER:

Of course it’s a hotel. It’s the Great Big Grand Hotel. It’s famous.

DEAN:

Oh, I see. Well, I was wondering…

MANAGER:

Where is that smell coming from?

DEAN:

If I could have a room.

MANAGER:

You?

DEAN:

Yes.

MANAGER:

But you’re just a boy.

DEAN:

I know but I really need a room.

MANAGER:

Do you have any idea how much a room here costs?

DEAN:

I’ve got fifteen euro. It’s all my savings.

MANAGER:

Fifteen euro. That would buy you about half an hour.

DEAN:

Great! That’s all I need.

Dean shoves the money in the manager’s hand. DEAN:

Where do I go? Can I have the key?

MANAGER:

Oh my goodness it’s you that smells. Get out of here. 126


DEAN:

But please mister. I just want to have a shower.

MANAGER:

Not in my hotel you don’t. Out you go. I can’t have smelly little boys stinking up the foyer.

The Manager turns his back on Dean and looks at his clipboard. NARRATOR 1:

Dean couldn’t believe how mean the hotel manager was.

NARRATOR 2:

He wasn’t one bit worried about Dean was he?

NARRATOR 3:

And he was so snooty.

NARRATOR 2:

But what can Dean do? He really needs a shower.

NARRATOR 1:

Wait, I’ve got an idea.

Narrator 1 pulls out a large red button with Fire Alarm written underneath it. NARRATOR 1:

Dean pretends to leave but he hides behind the silk curtains.

Dean looks about then hides. The posh lady enters. MANAGER:

Ah madam. Can I help you?

NARRATOR 1:

But as soon as he gets a chance.

NARRATOR 2:

He sets off the fire alarm!

NARRATOR 1:

I was going to say that.

NARRATOR 2:

Sorry, I got carried away.

Dean presses the button and a loud fire alarm bell goes off (or all the children offstage make the sound of a fire alarm). Lots of guests run across the stage in different directions screaming. The Hotel Manager tries to keep order. MANAGER:

Oh my goodness that’s the fire alarm. Try to stay calm everybody. There’s nothing to panic about. Come along madam this way. (Tip: The Manager can improvise more lines here if they want).

The Manager helps the posh lady out of the hotel. 127


DEAN:

Brilliant. Now I can sneak into one of the rooms and have a wash.

NARRATOR 1:

Quick as a flash Dean ran into the first room he found.

The set changes around Dean. DEAN:

Wow, look at that great big shower and all those fluffy towels. This is going to be the best wash I ever had.

Dean puts his rucksack down and pulls his jumper over his head. NARRATOR 1:

Watch out Dean someone’s coming.

Just then the Posh Lady bustles back on. POSH LADY:

I don’t care about a silly old fire alarm. I must get my handbag. It’s got my tablets in it.

The Posh Lady screams when she sees Dean with his jumper over his head. Dean runs about like a headless chicken until he can pull his jumper back down. POSH LADY:

Who are you? What are you doing in my bathroom? Help! Help! Thief. Thief!

NARRATOR 2:

But he’s not a thief.

DEAN:

I only want to have a wash.

POSH LADY:

There’s a thief in my room. A stinky thief!

NARRATOR 3:

Quick Dean run for it.

Dean grabs his rucksack and runs on the spot. The Posh Lady and the bathroom disappear offstage. The Manager enters as if Dean has run into the hotel foyer. MANAGER:

You! I should have known you were up to no good.

NARRATOR 2:

Watch out Dean!

MANAGER:

Come here you nasty little boy. 128


NARRATOR 3:

Leave him alone you big bully.

Still running on the spot Dean leans to the left, then the right as the Manager tries to catch him. The Manager disappears offstage as if Dean has run out of the hotel. (Tip: Music might be a helpful for the chase sequence.) MANAGER:

(Exiting) I’ll call the Guards on you. You stinky little thief.

NARRATOR 2:

That was close.

NARRATOR 3:

He nearly caught him.

NARRATOR 1:

But Dean got away and he ran and ran and ran until he couldn’t run any more.

Dean finally stops running. End of Scene 3.

129


Scene 4 – The Schoolyard. As Dean gets his puff back a school fence appears behind him with a sign for the name of the school (Tip: why not use the name of your own school). A school bell rings and the sound of children playing is heard from offstage. Dean moves downstage (which means to the front of the stage). DEAN:

This isn’t fun any more. I want to go home.

NARRATOR 2:

But he didn’t have a mobile phone so he couldn’t call anyone.

DEAN:

I don’t even know where I am or how to get back.

NARRATOR 3:

And he was so worried about the horrible Hotel Manager that he didn’t dare go to the Gards.

NARRATOR 1:

This is terrible.

DEAN:

Wait a minute. I think I’ve got an idea.

NARRATOR 1:

I knew he’d think of something.

DEAN:

I’ll find out where the bus station is. Fifteen euro should be enough to get me home.

NARRATOR 1:

That’s a brilliant idea.

NARRATOR 3:

Well it would be if he still had the money.

NARRATOR 1:

What?

NARRATOR 2:

Don’t you remember? He gave it all to the horrible hotel manager.

NARRATOR 1:

Oh no.

DEAN:

Oh no! I gave my money to the horrible hotel manager. Now I’ll never get home.

NARRATOR 3:

It was a very strange thing, but just then Dean really began to miss his family. Even his dad.

Dean takes out the photo from his pocket and looks at it. 130


DEAN:

At least I’ve still got my photo.

NARRATOR 3:

In the photo he saw his sister Amy.

DEAN:

You always pull a silly face Amy.

NARRATOR 2:

His mum.

DEAN:

Hi mum. You always look embarrassed because you don’t like having your picture taken.

NARRATOR 1:

And his dad.

DEAN:

Hi dad. I know we don’t always see eye to eye, but I wish you were here now. And there’s me. And Wolfgang. Where is Wolfgang by the way? Wolfgang? Oh no! Don’t tell me I’ve lost Wolfgang too!

Dean puts his hand in front of his face. He’s trying hard not to cry even though he is very upset. NARRATOR 3:

Poor Dean. Miles from home. No money for the bus.

NARRATOR 2:

No Wolfgang.

NARRATOR 3:

Things were as bad as they could be and Dean was trying hard not to cry.

NARRATOR 2:

We can’t leave him like this.

NARRATOR 1:

Wait a minute. Look who’s coming. It’s that girl again. Maybe she’ll help.

Bernie enters. She sees Dean and comes over to him. BERNIE:

Are you okay?

DEAN:

I’m fine. Leave me alone. Go away.

BERNIE:

Did you find the hospital? You said you had a terrible disease.

DEAN:

What? 131


BERNIE:

This morning. In the park.

DEAN:

I don’t know what you’re talking about. Go away.

BERNIE:

And you dropped this.

Bernie pulls Wolfgang out of her bag. DEAN:

Wolfgang!

Dean is really happy to see Wolfgang. DEAN:

I thought I’d lost you!

BERNIE:

Don’t mention it.

DEAN:

Oh, sorry. Thanks.

Dean walks away. BERNIE:

I’m Bernie by the way.

Dean comes back and shakes Bernie’s hand. He keeps as far away from her as he can. DEAN:

I’m Dean. But you should stay away from me.

BERNIE:

Why? Do you really have a terrible disease?

DEAN:

No. But I don’t smell very nice.

BERNIE:

Well, you do smell a bit unusual. That’s true. But I don’t mind. My dad loves fishing and he smells of fish all the time.

DEAN:

I smell of dung.

BERNIE:

What’s that?

DEAN:

Cow pooh.

BERNIE:

Eugghhh. Why don’t you have a wash?

DEAN:

Because I can’t. I ran away from home and now I can’t find 132


anywhere to get clean. BERNIE:

You ran away from home?

Just then two of Bernie’s friends enter. SINEAD:

Hiya Bernie.

MARÉAD:

Who’s this? You don’t go to our school.

BERNIE:

Hi Maréad and Sinead. This is Dean. He’s a friend of mine.

MARÉAD:

Pooh, what’s that smell?

Dean sighs. DEAN:

It’s me, alright! I smell of dung.

SINEAD:

What’s dung?

DEAN:

Cow pooh! Don’t you city people know anything?

MARÉAD & SINEAD: Eugghhhh! BERNIE:

Dean ran away from home.

MARÉAD & SINEAD: Wow! Really? DEAN:

Don’t tell anyone though. It’s a secret.

SINEAD:

I recognise your face.

DEAN:

Do you? How come?

MARÉAD:

I recognise your face too. I know why. Your picture’s in the paper.

DEAN:

What? Oh no. I bet it’s because the Gards are after me.

SINEAD:

The Gards are after you? Why? What did you do?

DEAN:

You promise not to tell anyone? 133


MARÉAD: SINEAD: BERNIE:

I promise. I promise. I promise.

DEAN:

Cross your hearts and hope to die.

M,S & B:

Cross our hearts and hope to die.

DEAN:

Well, it all started when this boy told me I was stinky.

BERNIE:

That was rude.

DEAN:

Yeah, but it was true.

DEAN:

So I tried to have a shower in a hotel, but the manager was really horrible to me and he took all my money.

SINEAD:

He took all your money?

DEAN:

Well, I gave it to him, but then he never gave it back. So I set off the fire alarm.

MARÉAD:

You set off the fire alarm!

DEAN:

It’s the only way I could sneak into one of the rooms.

SINEAD:

You sneaked into one of the rooms!

DEAN:

Stop repeating everything I say! I sneaked into one of the rooms and then this posh lady came in and caught me.

M, S, & B:

Oh no!

DEAN:

Oh yes. And she called me a thief, but I didn’t steal anything. Honest. And then the hotel manager said he’d call the Gards on me. So I ran off and that’s why my picture’s in the paper.

The school bell rings, it’s time to go back into class. DEAN:

I better go. I don’t want to get caught.

BERNIE:

Wait. My house isn’t far from here. Look you can see it. It’s just over the road. Number six. I’ll leave the window open 134


tonight and you can get in and have a shower. DEAN:

Really?

BERNIE:

Yeah. I’ll signal with my torch when the coast is clear.

The bell rings again. Dean runs off. BERNIE:

Number six. Don’t forget. Poor Dean.

MARÉAD:

Bernie.

BERNIE:

What?

MARÉAD:

I don’t think his picture was in the paper because the Gards were after him.

SINEAD:

You’re right. It wasn’t that. I remember now. It was because his family were looking for him.

MARÉAD:

Yeah, that’s it. They’re really worried about him.

SINEAD:

We should tell someone Bernie.

BERNIE:

But we can’t. We promised we wouldn’t.

SINEAD:

Well then you’ll have to get the paper and show it to Dean. That way he’ll know he’s not in trouble.

The school bell rings again and the girls run off. NARRATOR 1:

See. I told you she’d help.

NARRATOR 2:

But what if Dean doesn’t come back?

NARRATOR 3: End of Scene 4.

What if he forgets where she lives?

135


Scene 5 – Bernie’s House The scene changes to Bernie’s House. NARRATOR 2:

Where are we now? Why is it dark all of a sudden?

NARRATOR 1:

Because it’s nighttime.

NARRATOR 3:

I’m scared.

NARRATOR 1:

Ssshh. (Stage whisper) We’re in Bernie’s house. Waiting for Dean. It’s later that night and Bernie’s dad is checking his fishing gear before he goes to bed.

Bernie’s dad enters singing quietly. He is carrying a big net. BERNIE’S DAD:

(Singing) ‘I will have a fishy, on a little dishy, I will have a fishy, when the boat comes in’.

NARRATOR 3:

Bernie’s dad? Dean won’t come if he sees Bernie’s dad is still up.

NARRATOR 1:

Ssshh. Here comes Bernie now.

Bernie enters in her dressing gown. She has a folded newspaper under her arm. BERNIE’S DAD:

Hello pet! What are you doing up?

BERNIE:

Oh…. Hi dad. I couldn’t sleep. I thought I’d just read the newspaper until I got drowsy. But you should go to bed. You look really tired.

BERNIE’S DAD:

That’s very thoughtful of you. I’m off to bed right now as it happens. I was just mending my fishing net. Good night love.

Bernie’s dad exits with his net, singing his song. BERNIE’S DAD:

(Sings) ‘I will have a fishy, on a little dishy, I will have a fishy, when the boat comes in’.

Bernie takes out a torch and switches it on and off three times. NARRATOR 1:

Bernie had left the kitchen window open and now she flashed her torch to let Dean know the coast was clear. 136


BERNIE:

Where are you Dean? I hope you’re out there.

NARRATOR 2:

But nobody came.

NARRATOR 3:

Dean was nowhere to be seen.

NARRATOR 1:

But Bernie didn’t give up. She flashed the torch every ten minutes.

NARRATOR 2:

But she got drowsier and drowsier until eventually she fell asleep.

Bernie falls asleep. Suddenly Dean’s rucksack is thrown on stage. After two seconds Dean creeps on very quietly as if he’s in a dark room. DEAN:

(Whispering) Bernie? Bernie, are you there?

Just then Bernie’s dad creeps on behind Dean in his pyjamas holding his fishing net over his head. Dean creeps one way and Bernie’s dad follows. Dean freezes and so does Bernie’s dad. Dean creeps the other way and Bernie’s dad follows again, but this time he suddenly swoops the net over Dean’s head and catches him. BERNIE’S DAD:

Gotcha!

DEAN:

Aaaghhh!

BERNIE:

(Waking up) What’s going on?

BERNIE’S DAD:

Burlegar! Burlegar! I mean burglar! Burglar!

DEAN:

Let me go. I’m not a burglar.

BERNIE:

Dad! Wait a minute. I’ll put the light on.

Bernie mimes switching on the light. There is a sound effect (perhaps a ‘ting’ from a triangle) and suddenly everybody can see each other. BERNIE’S DAD:

It’s a boy!

BERNIE:

Dean, you came.

DEAN:

Tell your dad to let me go. 137


BERNIE’S DAD:

What’s going on?

Just then Bernie’s mum enters in her dressing gown. BERNIE’S MUM:

What’s all the noise down here? Who’s this?

BERNIE:

Mum. Dad. Try not to freak out. This is Dean. He’s my friend.

BERNIE’S DAD:

What’s he doing creeping around the house in the middle of the night? Like a burlegar. I mean a burglar.

BERNIE’S MUM:

Take that net off the poor boy.

DEAN:

I’m not a burglar honestly.

BERNIE:

No, he’s not. I left the window open for him on purpose.

BERNIE’S DAD:

What?! Why did you do that?

BERNIE:

Because he needed to have a wash because he smelled of dung, which is cow pooh, and he went to a hotel to have a shower but they chased him away for setting off the fire alarm…

DEAN:

You promised you wouldn’t tell anyone.

BERNIE:

Sorry, but it’s okay Dean. I found the newspaper. Listen to this.

Bernie reads from the newspaper. BERNIE:

‘We’re very worried about our son Dean. He’s only ten years old and he’s been missing since Sunday. If you see him could you please ring this number’.

Bernie gives the newspaper to Dean. He reads the next bit. DEAN:

‘If you’re reading this Dean, we miss you very much and we’re not angry with you at all. Please come home son.’

BERNIE:

It wasn’t the Gards looking for you. It was your family. 138


DEAN:

They miss me.

BERNIE’S MUM:

Of course they do. Why don’t we give them a ring? Would that be alright?

Dean nods. BERNIE’S MUM:

And Bernie’s dad will make you some sandwiches, won’t you Tony?

BERNIE’S DAD:

Of course I will. You must be starving young man. Come on. Let’s see if we can brew up some hot chocolate as well.

Bernie’s dad, Dean and Bernie exit. Bernie’s mum takes her mobile phone out of her pocket and rings the number in the newspaper. NARRATOR 2:

Thank goodness Dean is safe.

BERNIE’S MUM:

Hello? I’m sorry for ringing so late, but I’ve good news. We’ve found your son.

Bernie’s mum exits talking into the phone. NARRATOR 3:

What a relief.

NARRATOR 1:

Dean ate two plates of sandwiches and two mugs of hot chocolate. I knew he’d be alright in the end.

NARRATOR 2:

He was so hungry he also ate a banana and four chocolate biscuits. I have to admit I was a bit worried.

NARRATOR 1:

It was two o’clock in the morning but Dean’s family drove all the way from the farm to come and collect him.

The doorbell rings, ‘ding-dong’. Dean runs on stage followed by Bernie and Bernie’s dad, just as Bernie’s mum is bringing Dean’s mum and dad and Amy in (from the other side of the stage). DEAN:

Mum!

DEAN’S MUM:

Thank goodness we’ve found you. Are you alright?

AMY:

We were so worried. 139


DEAN:

I’m sorry. I didn’t think. I just wanted to do my own thing.

NARRATOR 1:

And then something amazing happened. Dean’s dad said he was sorry too.

DEAN’S DAD:

I shouldn’t have made you do all those chores son. It wasn’t fair. I’m really sorry.

DEAN’S MUM:

Come on. Let’s go home.

Dean nods. DEAN’S MUM:

Thanks for looking after him.

BERNIE’S MUM:

Don’t mention it. It was all down to Bernie really.

DEAN:

Can Bernie come and visit the farm some time?

DEAN’S MUM:

Of course she can. Why don’t you all come for lunch next weekend?

BERNIE’S DAD:

That’d be lovely.

DEAN’S MUM:

Now, it really is time for us to go. You need a good night’s sleep Dean. But first you need a bath.

DEAN:

Yeah. A great big super-duper bubbly bath!

Everybody in the play is given a small pot of soapy water and they begin to blow bubbles. Some nice music would be good here. NARRATOR 2:

And Dean went home and had that great big soapy bubble bath.

NARRATOR 3:

And Wolfgang had one as well, because he was pretty smelly by then too.

NARRATOR 1:

And the very next weekend Bernie and her family came to visit.

NARRATOR 2:

Her dad fished in the pond with Dean’s dad. 140


NARRATOR 3:

Her mum met all the animals with Dean’s mum.

NARRATOR 1:

And Dean and Bernie and Amy climbed to the top of the oak tree and talked about Dean’s adventure all over again. And they didn’t go anywhere near the cow dung!

NARRATORS:

The end!

All the actors come back on stage and take a bow and share the bubble blowing with the audience.

141


Undercover Robot The play was created with the following pupils of Saint Anne’s National School, Fettercairn, Tallaght.

Saint Anne’s ‘Coolpops’ Islamyiat Adigun Jubril Akintola Warren Bolger Daniel Carpaci Elle Chan Myah Darcy Rachel Lee Amy Legget Lauren McDona Susanna Oladosu Gerard O'Reily Adesope Yusuff April 2012

142


Characters in the play: Professor Jay, the Alien – a boy or a girl The Clicks, other Aliens – boys and girls Narraw-nerual, the Robot – a boy or girl Vincent van Scoff (Narraw-nerual’s disguise on Earth) – a boy Ruby the Dog – a girl Rosy the Mouse – a puppet Decorators – boys and girls Customers at the Restaurant – boys and girls The Health Inspectors – a boy and a girl

Setting & Costume:

The sets can be very simple. There could be a sign showing where each scene takes place and some chairs and tables as needed. Costume will be an important part of the play though, as Ruby needs to look like a big dog (ears, a tail, whiskers.), Professor Jay and the Clicks need to look like people from another planet, Narraw-nerual should look like a robot and Vincent Van Scoff should look like a robot disguised as a chef. The customers should look like adults who are dressed up to go out and the health inspectors should have some kind of uniform or badges saying Health Inspector. Rosy the mouse is a puppet. You could make her or she could be adapted from a toy or you might find a ready-made puppet. Make sure she’s not too small though (like a finger puppet) or she won’t be seen. She could be wearing a little apron as she’s quite houseproud and her voice can be provided by the person operating her onstage (the puppeteer), or from offstage, whichever is easier. Tip: Remember when acting with puppets, always look at the puppet and never at the person doing their voice. The puppeteer should also keep looking at the puppet even when it’s not speaking or moving.

143


Scene 1 – A Faraway Planet Professor Jay walks on backwards leading Narraw-nerual the robot. Prof Jay is instructing the robot how to walk. PROF JAY:

Left foot. Right foot. That’s it. You’re getting it. Left foot. Right foot. Well done Narraw-nerual. Left. Right. Left. Right. Good. Stop.

Professor Jay takes out a colourful feather. PROF JAY:

I just have to make the final adjustments.

Professor Jay touches the robot on the head and shoulders with the feather. PROF JAY:

Now you’re ready. It’s time to bring you to life properly.

There is a chime from a triangle. Ting! The other aliens enter. Strange music plays. The aliens lean from side to side and turn around as they walk. They bow to each other politely until they are in a semi-circle around the professor and Narrawnerual. PROF JAY:

My friends. Welcome.

The aliens all make clicking sounds with their mouths and nod their head. PROF JAY:

Thank you. Thank you. You are too kind. But yes, I am very proud of my latest invention.

The aliens all make more clicking noises. PROF JAY:

Yes, it is exactly what you asked for. A robot explorer!

The aliens click more loudly (but don’t show any emotions). PROF JAY:

It’s mission, as you have asked, is to travel to the faraway planet of Earth and find out all about human emotions.

The aliens click. PROF JAY:

Exactly my friends. And so now we must bring it to life in the time honoured way.

The Clicks all hold hands. Professor Jay holds the feather over the robot’s head as 144


The Clicks start to hum a strange alien tune. PROF JAY:

Ooooooooooo. Ooooooooooo. Ooooooooooo. Tayama sondiga. Sondiga, Sondiga. Lirbuj Alotnika. Lotnika, lotnika. Drareg o yaller. O paller, o mallar, o dallar. Ooooooooooo. Ooooooooooo. Ooooooooooo.

As Professor Jay sings the robot slowly opens it’s eyes (which have been closed up until now.) The aliens all click their approval. The robot looks about. PROF JAY:

Hello Narraw-nerual.

ROBOT:

Hello. What is Narraw-nerual?

PROF JAY:

It is you. It’s your name.

ROBOT:

And what am I?

PROF JAY:

You are a living robot. Invented by me, Professor Jay. And these are The Clicks.

The Clicks all click hello to the robot. ROBOT:

Hello Clicks. Hello Professor Jay.

PROF JAY:

The Clicks asked me to make you. Your mission is to travel across the universe to Earth and find out all about human emotions. The Clicks are very interested in emotions because we don’t have them here.

ROBOT:

What is emotions?

PROF JAY:

Well, we’re not exactly sure. That’s what we’re sending you to find out.

The Clicks all click at once. PROF JAY:

Yes, yes. They say there’s no time to lose. But you will need a disguise.

A screen comes on. It has the words Disguise Machine written on it. 145


PROF JAY:

Another one of my inventions. Now, Narraw-nerual if you walk inside, the Disguise Machine will decide the best disguise to help you look like a human on Earth.

ROBOT:

Very well.

The robot walks behind the screen. There is a sound effect (perhaps a wirring sound or a flash bang wallop), and a Chef walks out. PROF JAY:

Amazing. What are you disguised as?

ROBOT:

I am a Chef. My name is Vincent Van Scoff.

PROF JAY:

Perfect. Humans love chefs. They always have them on their television programmes.

Professor Jay puts his hand behind the screen and pulls out a large wooden spoon. PROF JAY:

Here. All chef’s have a wooden spoon. But this is a very special one. It’s actually a computer disguised as a wooden spoon.

Professor Jay puts his/her hand behind the screen again and pulls out a pair of large glasses. PROF JAY:

And these are Emotion Glasses. They’ll help you to see emotions and feelings more easily.

The Clicks all click. PROF JAY:

But now we must hurry to your space ship. The rain has stopped and it’s the perfect time to leave.

They all begin to leave. PROF JAY:

Good luck Narraw-nerual!

The Clicks all click. End of Scene 1 Tips: The Aliens could be dressed in different coloured paper. Try wrapping each other in paper and making strange shapes with sellotape and staples. Find a way to 146


make Professor Jay stand out from the group. Clicking is one idea for the alien language but you can come up with one that suits your actors. They might make a different noise or speak by waving little flags. Their name (currently The Clicks) should reflect how they speak. The Disguise Machine is a simple screen. It could be a large piece of cardboard just as long as it’s big enough to hide the person behind it. The actor playing Vincent Van Scoff brings it on, but is hidden behind it. When the robot goes behind the screen they swap places. Then Vincent Van Scoff steps out on stage and the actor playing the robot hands the wooden spoon and the glasses to Prof Jay before taking the screen off. The old switcheroo!

147


Scene 2 – An Old Empty House, Ireland, The Earth. Rosy the mouse is dusting with a tiny feather duster. ROSY:

Dust, dust, dust. There’s so much dust in this old house. But I think…. I might have finally….. finally…. got this room clean! Wheeeeeeeeee!

Rosy whizzes around the stage. (She could even dust a couple of people in the audience.) Suddenly the sound of barking is heard from offstage. Rosy freezes ROSY:

Oh no! That stupid Ruby is home. She’ll mess up all my hard work. Ru-by! Don’t come in here. Don’t you come in here!

Ruby bounds on stage barking. Rosy hides her face behind her feather duster (she pops out from behind it every time she speaks). RUBY:

There you are Rosy. You’ll never guess what I did today.

ROSY:

I don’t want to know. I told you not to come in here.

RUBY:

I chased two big rats….

ROSY:

Eugh rats!

RUBY:

Right through the middle of a muddy field…

ROSY:

Eugh mud!

RUBY:

Then I saw a lovely bin bag full of tasty rubbish.

ROSY:

Eugh rubbish!

RUBY:

But don’t worry Rosy. Before I came home I jumped in a great big puddle and had a lovely wash.

Rosy takes the feather duster away just as Ruby goes to shake herself. ROSY:

Noooooooo!

Ruby shakes herself in slow motion. ROSY:

Aaaaagggghhhhh! 148


The audience are sprayed with water. ROSY:

Stop it! Stop it you great big stupid…. dog! You’ve messed up my lovely clean room. Not to mention the poor audience. Look at them they’re soaked.

RUBY:

There’s no need to be rude. This is my house too you know.

ROSY:

It’s my house. I was here first.

RUBY:

No you weren’t.

ROSY:

Yes I was.

RUBY:

Weren’t.

ROSY:

Was, was, was! It’s my house.

RUBY:

No it isn’t. And anyway we’re animals. Animals don’t clean houses.

ROSY:

Speak for yourself. I happen to be a very tidy mouse.

RUBY:

You’re a very moany mouse.

ROSY:

And you’re a very stupid dog.

Ruby growls at Rosy and starts to chase her. RUBY:

Come here and say that.

ROSY:

Na na na na na. Can’t catch me.

RUBY:

I’m going to stick you down the toilet and flush the chain.

ROSY:

Oh no you won’t.

RUBY:

I’m going to throw you out of the window without a parachute.

ROSY:

Na na na na na. 149


RUBY:

I’m going to grab you by the tail and eat you for my tea.

ROSY:

You say that every time. But you’re too slow to catch me.

Ruby pounces but Rosy escapes. Just then there’s the sound of the triangle, ‘ting’. Ruby and Rosy freeze. ESTATE AGENT:

Now Mr. Van Scoff, this is the house.

As Vincent and the Estate Agent enter. Ruby and Rosy rush across the stage. They don’t have time to hide so Ruby lies on the floor and pretends to be a rug and Rosy hides behind her feather duster. ESTATE AGENT:

It’s been empty for ages, so it’s a bit… well it’s needs decorating. I’d get rid of that dirty old rug straight away if I were you.

Ruby growls. Rosy shushes her. The Estate Agent looks around nervously. ESTATE AGENT:

But it is very cheap. In fact it’s a bargain.

VINCENT:

I will take it!

ESTATE AGENT:

Really? I mean wonderful. Where are you from by the way?

VINCENT:

From? Where am I from?

ESTATE AGENT:

Do you mind me asking? It’s just you have an unusual way of talking.

VINCENT:

No, I don’t mind. I will tell you right now.

Vincent looks at his wooden spoon and then says. VINCENT:

France. Yes, that’s it. I am from Paris, France. I am a French Chef.

ESTATE AGENT:

Well that certainly explains your funny accent. I expect all chefs are a little bit crazy. That will be ninety thousand euro please. 150


VINCENT:

Very good.

ESTATE AGENT:

How would you like to pay?

VINCENT:

With diamonds.

ESTATE AGENT:

Diamonds!

Vincent gives the Estate Agent a small bag. The Estate Agent looks inside and is amazed by what she or he sees. ROSY:

Diamonds?

RUBY:

Shush.

VINCENT:

Is zat okay? Diamonds are very valuable I believe.

ESTATE AGENT:

They certainly are. Diamonds will do nicely. A pleasure to sell you a house Mr. Van Scoff.

The Estate Agent exits. VINCENT:

The first part of the plan has worked.

Just then Ruby gets an itchy nose. She needs to sneeze. ROSY:

Put your paw over your nose!

But Ruby can’t hold it in and she sneezes loudly and then freezes. Vincent looks around. He scans the room with his wooden spoon. He stops at Ruby. VINCENT:

You are not a rug after all. Hello Mr Hairy Person.

Ruby jumps up and barks at him. VINCENT:

I’m terribly sorry. Miss Hairy Person.

Ruby barks again. VINCENT:

No, no, no. I don’t want to hurt you. How do you do. I am Vincent Van Scoff the French chef.

Ruby barks. 151


VINCENT:

You seem surprised that I speak your language, but I know lots of languages, so it’s actually not that surprising. May I ask your name?

Ruby barks. VINCENT:

Ruby?

Ruby barks as if saying yes. VINCENT:

Ruby what?

Ruby barks. VINCENT:

Ruby ‘I Don’t Know’. Well it’s nice to meet you Ruby I Don’t Know.

ROSY:

What’s going on?

Vincent doesn’t see Rosy. He is scanning the house with his wooden spoon. RUBY:

Sshh. I’m having a conversation.

ROSY:

With a human?! You should bite his leg. Don’t you see. He’s going to throw us out of our house.

Ruby barks very loudly. VINCENT:

Sorry. What did you say?

Ruby barks again. VINCENT:

Throw you out of the house? Well, I don’t know. Would you like me to throw you out of the house?

Ruby gets very upset and is practically howling. Vincent scans Ruby with his wooden spoon. VINCENT:

Very interesting. You are sad, which is also unhappy, dejected, downcast and miserable.

Vincent puts on his emotion glasses. 152


VINCENT:

Ah, now I can see it. Fascinating. It’s blue.

Ruby howls louder. VINCENT:

Dark blue.

ROSY:

Now look what you’ve done you horrible man. You’ve gone and upset my best friend. I hope she bites you! What are you doing Ruby. Don’t nuzzle him. Bite him!

But Ruby rubs her head against Vincent’s hand (like dogs do). Vincent immediately feels her emotion. He starts to wail and cry too. VINCENT:

Oh dear, that’s terrible. Being sad isn’t nice at all. Oh it’s awful. Of course I won’t throw you out of the house. That would be the worst thing in the world.

Ruby begins to cheer up. And so does Vincent. VINCENT:

That’s better. In fact why don’t you come and work for me in my new restaurant.

Ruby barks a question. VINCENT:

Yes. I’m going to open it up right here in the house. You could be the chef.

Ruby is very excited. She runs around barking. VINCENT:

Now this looks like a much nicer emotion. It’s all orange with purple spots!

Rosy runs offstage and Vincent follows her, scanning her with his wooden spoon. ROSY:

Ruby! Come back. Where are you going? What about me?! Well, if the house is going to become a restaurant at least it will be nice and clean. And there’ll be lots of food around!

The decorators (wearing overalls) enter from all sides. Rosy runs off squeaking. As they work they sing or speak the decorator’s song. Some sweep the stage, others mime painting the walls. Others bring on tables and chairs. They cover the tables 153


with paper table cloths and add plates and cutlery and menus until the stage has been turned into a restaurant by the end of the song (everything happens quite quickly here). DECORATORS:

Look at this old house here Could this be a rest-au-rant? You wouldn’t want to come here And bring your favourite aunt. But fear not, we’re the decorators Our job is transformation. We’ll make this old place live again It will be a real sensation. We’ll take the boards from the windows There really is a nice view. We’ll paint the walls and sand the floors We’ll even install a new loo. We’ll clean away all the cobwebs We’ll put in a shiny new kitchen We’ll make the place smell, all homely as well And no longer a home for the pidgeons!

Cooing noise. DECORATOR 1:

Shoo.

DECORATOR 2:

Go on you pidgeons. Get out of here.

DECORATORS:

Now just look at this beautiful bistro We’ve worked all night long and it’s done Now all it needs, are customers to feed We hope they’ll arrive very soon.

DECORATOR 3:

Bye Mr. Van Scoff. It’s all finished.

Vincent enters. VINCENT:

Zat is absolutely marvellous! I hope the humans like it. Now to make some nice food for them.

Vincent exits. 154


End of Scene 2. Tips: A counter or table would be handy for the beginning of this scene so that Rosy isn’t on the floor. When Ruby shakes herself try this in slow motion for added effect. You could also have a couple of people near the audience who spray everyone with water from plant sprayers for added fun. When Ruby “talks” to Vincent think of what she might be saying and see if she can bark in the rhythm of real words (but without using real words). Rosy speaks to Vincent sometimes but he doesn’t notice her (until the last scene). Vincent will need three pockets in his costume. One for his wooden spoon, one for his glasses and one for his bag of diamonds.

155


Scene 3 – The Restaurant Ruby enters frying some sausages in a pan. She is now wearing a chef’s hat and an apron. RUBY:

Sizzly sausages in the pan.

She mimes popping a sausage in her mouth. RUBY:

I pop one on my tongue, and swallow it right down. Sausages are the most delicious thing in the world.

Ruby barks with delight. Rosy enters. She can smell the sausages. ROSY:

What on earth are you doing Ruby? And what’s that lovely smell?

RUBY:

I’m frying sausages, silly. It’s actually quite easy peasy when you know how.

Rosy jumps onto Ruby’s shoulder and looks down into the pan. ROSY:

Sausages! Yum! Can I have a nibble?

Ruby shakes her off. RUBY:

Of course not.

ROSY:

But you always share you food with me.

RUBY:

You mean you always steal my food.

ROSY:

No I don’t.

RUBY:

Yes you do!

ROSY:

I thought you didn’t mind.

RUBY:

Well, I do mind. These sausages are my wages and you’re not allowed any. You don’t work here remember.

ROSY:

I could be a chef too? You could ask Mr. Van Scoff.

RUBY:

You’re too small to be a chef. How would you reach the 156


cooker? ROSY:

Alright then, I could be a waiter.

RUBY:

Don’t be silly. You couldn’t even carry one plate. Your arms are too small.

Rosy starts to cry. ROSY:

It’s not fair.

RUBY:

Don’t be such a cry baby.

ROSY:

If a mouse can’t work in a restaurant then neither can a dog. It’s unhygenic.

RUBY:

Unhy what?

ROSY:

Unhygenic. It means disgusting and dirty and yuk and smelly. Which is the perfect description of you, Ruby the dog!

RUBY:

Go away moany the mouse or I’ll pop you in the pan and fry you too.

ROSY:

You’ll have to catch me first. Nah nah nah nah nah.

Rosy goes to run away but Ruby doesn’t chase her. RUBY:

I don’t have time to chase you today. Now go away, here comes Mr. Van Scoff.

ROSY:

You’re no fun any more.

Vincent enters. VINCENT:

Good morning Ruby.

Ruby barks. VINCENT:

Sausages, really? They do smell nice.

Vincent pops a sausage into his mouth. 157


VINCENT:

Mmmm. Zis is most delicious to my taste buds.

ROSY:

How come everyone gets a sausage except me.

RUBY:

Ssh!

VINCENT:

Now Ruby. I want to make a special dish for the opening of the restaurant. Something that makes people have lots of emotions.

Ruby barks. VINCENT:

Yes, I agree. I think sausages should definitely be included. I’ve also noticed that humans, I mean people, really like chocolate.

Ruby barks. VINCENT:

But that is a wonderful idea. Sausages dipped in chocolate! Brilliant. Well done Ruby.

ROSY:

What? That’s the most stupid idea I ever heard.

RUBY:

Ssshhh. Nobody asked your opinion.

VINCENT:

Come along Ruby. Let’s start preparing the new dish right away.

Ruby barks. Vincent and Ruby exit. ROSY:

Hah. Well I don’t have to worry. Nobody will want stupid sausages dipped in chocolate. The restaurant will close down and everything will go back to normal.

Some customers enter. ROSY:

Customers! Quick I better hide.

End of Scene 3.

158


Scene 4 – The Restaurant The customers are a mix of posh people and normal people and some celebrities. They look around and find a seat as they talk to each other in rhyme. CUSTOMER 1:

This must be the place.

CUSTOMER 2:

They’ve made it really pretty.

CUSTOMER 3:

I like the way it’s decorated.

CUSTOMER 4:

It’s not far from the city.

CUSTOMER 5:

I hope the food is nice here. I saved up all my money.

CUSTOMER 6:

I can smell some spice there.

CUSTOMER 1:

Do you think they cook with honey?

Vincent enters. VINCENT:

Welcome everyone. I am Vincent Van Scoff. Make yourselves at home and be as emotional as you like.

CUSTOMER 2:

Emotional?

CUSTOMER 3:

Haven’t you heard, he’s French.

VINCENT:

Look right through the menu, tell me what you want.

The customers lift their menus from side to side (as if reading in an exagerated way). VINCENT:

I’ll serve your dinner straight away, in my brand new restaurant. Now, who would like sausages dipped in chocolate?

The customers all talk at the same time. CUSTOMER 4:

Sausages dipped in chocolate!

CUSTOMER 6:

That sounds interesting.

CUSTOMER 5:

What a mad idea. 159


CUSTOMER 1:

I’ll have the sausages.

CUSTOMER 2:

Me too.

CUSTOMER 3:

Me three.

VINCENT:

Coming right up.

As Vincent exits he shouts, VINCENT:

Ruby, sausages for everyone!

ROSY:

They won’t be so happy when they taste them. Everyone knows sweet and savoury don’t mix.

Rosy zips off stage. CUSTOMER 1:

Mm. I can smell something cooking.

CUSTOMER 3:

What a lovely activity.

CUSTOMER 2:

I can hear something sizzling.

CUSTOMER 4:

Like a sausagey symphony.

Vincent walks back on stage with a big pan of chocolate sausages. He serves them to the customers. VINCENT:

Here you are everybody. Sausages dipped in chocolate Bon Appetit!

The customers shake out their napkins and tuck them under their chins. They mime eating the sausages as they are served and immediately become very happy. CUSTOMER 3:

It’s sausagey and chocolatey all at once.

CUSTOMER 2:

It’s sweet and savoury all at the same time.

CUSTOMER 4:

It’s unusual, but mouth-watering.

CUSTOMER 1:

It’s crazy but appetising. 160


CUSTOMER 5:

I declare it’s my favourite thing ever!

CUSTOMER 6:

You’re right. It’s utterly delicious and if I had three wishes, I’d ask for three times more sausages in chocolate.

CUSTOMERS:

Hooray!

The customers pick up their plates and twirl around the restaurant singing the ‘Yum yum’ song. Vincent puts on his Emotion Glasses and records their emotions with his wooden spoon. CUSTOMERS:

Yum yum yum, Yum yum yum, Yum yum yum yum, This is the best food, I’ve had in my tum!

VINCENT:

This is very good. I am picking up all sorts of emotions here.

CUSTOMERS:

Yum yum yum, Yum yum yum, Yum yum yum yum, It’s so tasty, you won’t leave a crumb!

VINCENT:

There’s some amazement. And some excitement over there. And lots and lots of happiness. Yes. Happiness is very pretty. It’s pink and orange with yellow stripes.

CUSTOMERS:

Yum yum yum, Yum yum yum, Yum yum yum yum, I’ll come back tomorrow, and I’ll bring all my chums!

The customers twirl offstage taking their plates with them. VINCENT:

Thank you for coming. Goodbye now. Come again. Goodbye.

Ruby enters woofing and twirling to the ‘Yum yum’ song. She collapses onto the floor. She is tired but happy. VINCENT:

Well done, Ruby. The sausages were a great success.

Ruby barks. 161


VINCENT:

Really? All of them?

Vincent looks in the pan, there is only one sausage left. VINCENT:

Only one left. What should I do?

Ruby barks. VINCENT:

Go to the shops and get some more. That’s a very good idea Ruby. I won’t be long.

Vincent exits singing the ‘Yum yum’ song. As soon as he’s gone Rosy pops up on one of the tables. ROSY:

Phew. I’m glad all those people have gone. Gallumphing around like elephants. I couldn’t hear myself think.

RUBY:

Rosy, there you are. Guess what?

ROSY:

What?

RUBY:

I saved you a sausage.

Ruby takes the sausage out of the pan and offers it to Rosy. ROSY:

Oh Ruby, that’s very kind of you.

But just as Rosy is about to take a bite Ruby darts off in the other direction. RUBY:

Only joking! Na, na, na na, na!

Ruby laughs at Rosy then she pops the sausage into her own mouth and eats it noisily. RUBY:

De-licious!

ROSY:

That was mean.

RUBY:

I told you. The sausages are my wages. You didn’t do any work, did you?

ROSY:

It’s not fair. 162


Ruby yawns. RUBY:

I worked so hard today. Now it’s time for a well-earned nap. Don’t put your dirty paws all over my nice clean tables while I’m asleep.

Ruby falls asleep. Rosy fumes. ROSY:

Well! My dirty paws?! I’ll show her! You think you’re so clever Ruby the dog, but I’ll show you who’s the clever one.

Very carefully Rosy creeps close to Ruby. Ruby nearly wakes up but doesn’t. ROSY:

Hello? Fleas? Are you in there?

We hear some little high-pitched voices (from off stage). ROSY:

Oh good. Well would you please come out because I’ve got something I want you to do for me.

The fleas are curious. ROSY:

There will be lots of free food.

The fleas are excited. ROSY:

I knew you’d like the sound of that. Hoppy fleas come out please.

Rosy watches the fleas hop out of Ruby’s fur. ROSY:

That’s right. All of you hop out there. Now follow me into the kitchen.

Rosy dances offstage with the excited fleas following her. ROSY:

Yum, yum, yum, Yum, yum, yum, Ha, ha, ha, ha!

End of Scene 4. 163


Tip: the first part of the scene could be a bit like a dance routine with the customers all reading their menus at the same time and miming eating their sausages one after the other for example. You could try adding music as well. The sausages could be real, but it’s probably easier and less messy to make most of them from paper or plasticine or wool and for the customers to pretend to eat them. All the customers take their plates and sausages offstage, these can then be used again in the next scene. The fleas at the end of the scene are invisible to the audience, but Rosy can see them, which helps the audience to “see� them. They all speak at the same time in a sort of high-pitched gibberish. They are quite mischievous.

164


Scene 5 – Next morning in the restaurant Ruby snores. Time passes until an alarm clock goes off. ALL (offstage):

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring!

RUBY:

What’s that?! Time to get up already? I was having such a lovely dream about chasing my tail.

Vincent enters. VINCENT:

Ah good morning Ruby. The fridge is full of sausages and lots of people have been calling on the telephone. They all want to come to the restaurant.

Ruby barks. VINCENT:

Yes, it’s wonderful isn’t it. Are you ready to start cooking again?

Ruby barks and exits. VINCENT:

I hope The Clicks will be pleased with my research. I have recorded lots and lots of emotions. But there is one problem. Most of the emotions so far are pleasant ones. I really need to find some unpleasant emotions too.

Ruby barks from offstage. VINCENT:

What? The customers are here already!

The customers enter. CUSTOMERS:

Hello Mr. Van Scoff. We’re so happy to be back in your restaurant.

VINCENT:

Although, I do like happiness. It is a very, very nice emotion. Hello, hello. So nice to see you again. Sit right down. Would you like to look at the menu?

CUSTOMER 1:

No thanks.

CUSTOMER 2:

We don’t need to. 165


CUSTOMER 3:

We know exactly what we’d like.

CUSTOMERS:

Sausages dipped in chocolate please!

VINCENT:

Wonderful. Coming right up!

Vincent exits. Rosy pops up near the audience. The customers don’t see her. ROSY:

They’re going to get a really big surprise this time. Those sausages dipped in chocolate have something new and very special added.

CUSTOMER 4:

I can smell them cooking.

CUSTOMER 6:

My mouth is watering at the thought of them.

CUSTOMER 5:

I took out my savings so I could afford them.

Vincent enters with the pan of sausages and serves them to the customers. VINCENT:

Here we are now. Sausages for everyone!

The customers tuck their napkins under their chins. CUSTOMER 1:

They smell delicious.

CUSTOMER 2:

I can’t wait to eat them.

ROSY:

We’ll see about that.

The fleas start to giggle. CUSTOMER 3:

Wait a minute. What’s that? There’s something moving in my dinner.

The fleas become louder. CUSTOMER 4:

There’s something hopping up and down in mine.

ROSY:

Tee hee hee.

CUSTOMER 5:

The food’s alive. 166


VINCENT:

Is something the matter?

CUSTOMER 6:

Eugghhhh! It’s fleas! There are fleas in my dinner!

All the customers jump up screaming. Two climb onto their chairs. The fleas giggle. CUSTOMER 1:

Is this what we’ve been eating all along?

CUSTOMER 2:

It’s outrageous.

CUSTOMER 5:

I’m not paying for this.

VINCENT:

How interesting.

He scans the customers with his wooden spoon. VINCENT:

These are the emotions I need.

CUSTOMER 3:

I’m going to sue you.

VINCENT:

That person’s angry.

CUSTOMER 4:

What if we get sick?

VINCENT:

And that one is frightened. And she is frustrated and he is disgusted. And everyone is outraged. Lots of green and black. This is wonderful.

Ruby enters. She barks. VINCENT:

Ruby. Yes, there were fleas in the food. Everyone is furious. Isn’t it amazing?

CUSTOMER 6:

Is that a dog?!

CUSTOMER 1:

I don’t believe it. A dog for a chef.

CUSTOMER 2:

No wonder there are fleas in the dinner.

CUSTOMER 3:

This is disgraceful.

CUSTOMER 4:

I’m leaving right now and I’m never coming back again! 167


CUSTOMERS:

We’re leaving right now and we’re never coming back again.

CUSTOMER 5:

And I’m going to call the health inspectors!

All the customers leave. VINCENT:

Goodbye. Goodbye now. Have a nice day. Thank you for coming. Wasn’t that fascinating?

Ruby barks. VINCENT:

Oh yes. I suppose it is bad for business. I hadn’t thought about that.

ROSY:

Tee hee hee.

RUBY:

Rosy!

ROSY:

How did it go today Ruby?

RUBY:

It was you, wasn’t it? You put the fleas in the food?

ROSY:

I just told them where the kitchen was. They were your stinky fleas.

Ruby is so angry she growls loudly and begins to chase Rosy around Vincent’s legs. VINCENT:

Oh my goodness. What is this? Another hairy person. A little tiny one.

ROSY:

Na na na na na. You’ll never catch me.

But Ruby pounces on Rosy and holds her in her mouth and shakes her. ROSY:

You caught me! You never catch me. Ow, stop it. You’re making my head spin. Put me down. It’s all hot and wet and smelly in here.

Vincent scans Ruby with his wooden spoon. VINCENT:

I can see that you are very angry Ruby, but you are not 168


going to eat your little friend are you? ROSY:

Let me go!

VINCENT:

If you eat her. That will be the end of her and she will be gone forever.

Ruby thinks for a moment and then spits Rosy out on the floor. Ruby barks. VINCENT:

She put the fleas in the food. I see.

RUBY:

That was a really mean thing to do.

ROSY:

You wouldn’t play with me and you wouldn’t let me have a sausage. You’re supposed to be my friend.

Suddenly Ruby turns around and begins to bark. VINCENT:

What? Someone else is here.

The two Health Inspectors enter. They are shocked to see Ruby dressed as a chef. INSPECTOR 1:

I don’t believe it. The report was true.

INSPECTOR 2:

A dog working in a restaurant! It’s outrageous.

INSPECTOR 1:

And what’s this? A mouse too? That’s breaking all the rules.

INSPECTOR 2:

Are you Mr. Vincent Van Scoff.

VINCENT:

I am.

INSPECTOR 1:

Well, we’re the health inspectors and we’re closing this restaurant down right now!

The Health Inspectors wrap some yellow tape around the tables and hang up a sign saying ‘Restaurant Closed!’ They exit. RUBY:

Now look what you’ve done Rosy.

ROSY:

I didn’t know that would happen. 169


VINCENT:

Actually Ruby. I don’t mind the restaurant being closed. You see it’s time for me to go back home.

Ruby barks. VINCENT:

Back to Paris? Not exactly. But my home is very far away. And I have to tell the people there what I have discovered. Thank you for helping me Ruby.

Ruby rubs her head against Vincent. He pats her. VINCENT:

I’ve learnt a lot of things about feelings and emotions while I was here. And one thing I’ve discovered is that being happy is the best of all. So don’t be too cross with your little friend. The house is all yours again now. Goodbye.

Vincent exits. There’s a strange noise from offstage as Vincent / Narraw-nerual’s space ship takes off. Ruby turns her back on Rosy. She is in a huff. ROSY:

I’m sorry Ruby. I know you liked being a chef.

RUBY:

Yes I did.

ROSY:

But it was very hard work.

RUBY:

That’s true. And I did miss running around outside and jumping in puddles.

ROSY:

So are we friends or enemies?

RUBY:

I think we’re a bit of both. I suppose you could say we’re frenemies.

ROSY:

Frenemies. Hooray! That’s exactly what we are. Sometimes we like each other and sometimes we don’t.

RUBY:

But I suppose I’d miss you if you weren’t here.

ROSY:

And I’d probably miss you too. Still, I bet you can’t catch me. Wheeeeeeeee!

Ruby chases Rosy around and off the stage. 170


RUBY:

Bet I can. Come here you silly mouse.

ROSY:

Na na na na na.

The End.

171


Bob Wheat’s Fabulous Hairy Tale The play was created with the following pupils of Saint Martin De Porres National School, Aylesbury, Tallaght.

Saint Martin De Porres ‘A Team’ Daniel Cleary Aideen Cooke Amy Cullen Chimdindu Disu Niamh Fullam Adam Karim Nathan King Kim McCarthy Kian McGurik Róisín Murray Caylynn Nolan Eimear O’Duffy Khadijat Oladipupo Ese Oghina Jordan Scannell

April 2012

172


Characters: Bob Wheat – a farmer* Big fat chickens Jill, Bob’s wife Dylan, their son Lily, their daughter Radio Voice Tannoy Voice Saleslady at Crazy Woody’s Crazy Woody The Bookshop Assistants (girls or boys or both.) Dr. Sheldon Herman McFigerson Bald person for the experiment Farm workers *The part of Bob can be shared. You can take it in turns to play Bob in each scene if you want. Stage Helpers Stage Helpers help to change the set while the play is happening and sometimes tell the audience important information. They can also have parts in the play, but when they are Stage Helpers they wear overalls or aprons so they are different from their character.

Setting The set should be very simple. Something like colourful cut-outs that give us an idea of each place and that can be moved on and off stage quickly and easily. A sign at the beginning of each scene will also help to let the audience know where they are (this can also be announced). The bed in scene 2 should be a ‘standing up’ bed. This is where the actors stand up and two Stage Helpers hold pillows behind their heads as if they were lying down. The actors then hold a blanket or duvet in front of themselves and hey presto, they look like they’re in bed. This also means someone can get in behind the cover and attach the hair to Bob’s 173


legs. Bob’s amazingly hairy legs could be made from wool stitched on to material and tied round the leg under Bob’s pyjamas, or they could be part of the pyjamas. When the hair grows in the night Bob’s pyjama’s split like the Incredible Hulk’s trousers.

174


Scene 1 – Bob’s Farmyard. A sign on stage says ‘Wheat’s Farm’. The chickens enter and are scratching around for corn and clucking. Their clucks turn into words. CHICKENS:

There’s no corn here. No corn here. Where’s Bob? Where’s our breakfast?

COCKEREL:

Cock-a-doodle-do! Wake up Bob.

The chickens cluck loudly. CHICKENS:

Wake up Bob. Bwuck, bwuck, bwuck. Wake up and feed us.

COCKEREL:

This is disgraceful. The sun’s been up for ages. Where is he?

The chickens cluck loudly. CHICKENS:

Disgraceful. Sun’s been up for ages. Bwuck, bwuck, bwuck.

COCKEREL:

Cock-a-doodle-do!

Bob runs in still wearing his pyjamas and some wellies. He is carrying a bucket of feed for the chickens. BOB:

Alright, keep your beaks on, I’m coming. Hold your eggs every one, breakfast is on its way.

The chickens cluck as if they are still a little bit annoyed. Bob mimes feeding the chickens. BOB:

Sorry ladies (to the cockerel) and gentleman. I overslept.

The chickens cluck. BOB:

I didn’t even hear the alarm. I was having a lovely dream about a giant watermelon.

The chickens cluck. Jill enters carrying the big book of accounts. She notices Bob’s pyjamas. JILL:

Bob, you’re still in your pyjamas. 175


BOB:

The chickens don’t mind, do you girls?

The chickens cluck disapprovingly. BOB:

Sorry I was such a sleepy head this morning.

JILL:

That’s okay Bob. You’re working so hard on the farm. No wonder you’re tired.

BOB:

You’re working hard too Jill. Is there any chance we can get some other people to come and work for us?

The chickens cluck hopefully. Jill opens the big book of accounts. JILL:

Well, I’ve just been doing our accounts in the big book of accounts.

BOB:

Well done Jill. You always were good at maths.

The chickens cluck. JILL:

And I’ve added up all the money we’re going to earn and I’ve taken away all the money we need to spend…

BOB:

And?

CHICKENS:

Bwuck?

BOB:

Is there anything left over?

JILL:

I’m afraid not.

The chickens cluck. BOB:

So we can’t afford to pay anyone to come and help us.

JILL:

No.

BOB:

And I suppose that means…

JILL:

I’m sorry Bob. There’s just no spare cash for your watermelon project. 176


BOB:

I could have won this year. I know I could. I could have grown the biggest watermelon ever.

JILL:

One day Bob. One day you will.

The chickens agree. JILL:

But right now we need every cent we can get. We might even have to borrow the children’s savings.

BOB:

Oh no. We can’t do that.

Lily and Dylan enter in their school uniforms. LILY & DYLAN:

What can’t you do? Hi mum. Hi dad. Hi chickens.

The chickens cluck. BOB:

Oh nothing.

JILL:

Good morning Lily. Good morning Dylan. Your dad was just saying he can’t do his watermelon project this year.

LILY:

That’s a pity dad.

DYLAN:

You were so excited about it.

BOB:

Yes, I was, but there’s just not enough time. Too much to do!

LILY:

Well, we could help.

DYLAN:

We could stay home from school and work with you and mum.

JILL:

Oh no you don’t!

BOB:

That’s very kind of you both, but you need to go to school. It’s very important to get a good education.

JILL:

And to see your friends. Now off you run or you’ll be late for the bus. 177


LILY & DYLAN:

Okay. Bye. See you later.

Lily and Dylan run off. JILL & BOB:

Bye.

The chickens cluck goodbye. JILL:

Now, here’s a list of all the jobs for today. Do you want to go and get dressed?

BOB:

There’s no time. Just tell me what we have to do.

JILL:

Well it’s a busy day today.

BOB:

What’s new!

CHICKENS:

Bwuck! It’s a busy day today.

JILL:

There’s lots and lots and lots of things to do.

CHICKENS:

To do.

JILL:

We have to bail the hay.

BOB:

We have to bail the hay?

JILL:

And milk the cows and feed the pigs and clean the horses too!

BOB:

Oh my goodness that’s loads! We better get on with it straight away.

Bob rushes off. Jill shakes her head and follows him. The chickens cluck. The Stage Helpers make the stand-up bed on stage and bring on a chair and a bedside locker or little table. One Stage Helper tells the chickens to shoo. They cluck and exit. STAGE HELPER:

‘That night when all the jobs were finally done.

End of Scene 1.

178


Scene 2 – Bob & Jill’s Bedroom. Bob enters still in his pyjamas. He turns over the sign, which says ‘Wheat’s Farm’. On the other side it says, ‘Bob & Jill’s Bedroom’. BOB:

That was a very long and busy day.

He sits down on the chair and sighs loudly. BOB:

I’m exhausted.

Jill enters (in her dressing gown) with a mug of tea in one hand and a tin marked fertiliser in the other. JILL:

Here’s your tea Bob.

She puts it on the table. BOB:

Thanks Jill. What have got there?

JILL:

It’s fertiliser.

She hands it to him. He looks into the tin. BOB:

Oh yes, it pongs. Is that all we’ve got left?

He puts it on the table next to his tea. JILL:

I’m afraid so.

BOB:

I’d better get some more.

JILL:

We really do need it to help the crops grow.

BOB:

I’ll just have a quick sit down and drink my tea and then I’ll go and order some on the computer.

JILL:

Okay, but try not to fall asleep.

Jill exits. BOB:

Of course I’m not going to fall asleep.

Bob instantly falls asleep. He has a dream where lots of watermelon seeds 179


dance around his head and a then a tiny watermelon grows into a huge watermelon. The huge watermelon is actually a balloon. Suddenly it bursts and Bob wakes up. (The Stage Helpers create the dream with pictures of watermelons and a big green balloon. Some nice dream music would be good here). BOB:

My beautiful watermelon. Oh I was dreaming. I must have fallen asleep after all. I better drink my tea.

Bob picks up the tin of fertiliser by mistake and drinks it down while thinking of his watermelon. He suddenly realises what he’s done. BOB:

EUGHHHHH!!!!!

Jill rushes in. JILL:

What’s wrong Bob?!

BOB:

This tea tastes like fertiliser.

Jill sees what Bob has done. JILL:

It’s because it is fertiliser, you silly. You drank the wrong one.

BOB:

Yuk. What an idiot. I didn’t use my head. I’ve drunk fertiliser instead of tea.

JILL:

I think you need an early night. You’re far too tired. Come on let’s get straight into bed.

Bob and Jill get into bed. They both turn to the left and then to the right (as if in their sleep). There is a funny sound effect as if something is growing. A picture of the moon turns into a picture of the sun. Jill yawns and stretches. JILL:

Bob, something’s tickling me under the covers. Did you forget to cut your toenails?

Bob doesn’t wake up. BOB:

Hm. Mm.

Jill starts to giggle. 180


JILL:

Stop it. It’s really tickly.

BOB:

It’s the dog. It’s got under the covers. Shoo Rex, get out.

Jill wakes up properly. JILL:

It can’t be the dog. He’s out in his kennel.

Jill pulls the covers back to reveal Bob’s amazingly hairy legs. JILL:

Oh my goodness. It’s your legs! Look!

Bob looks at his legs and is shocked. BOB:

How did that happen?

Jill starts to laugh. JILL:

They’re so hairy. It must have been the fertiliser.

Lily and Dylan run in. DYLAN:

What’s all the noise?

LILY:

What’s going on?

They see Bob’s legs and start to laugh. DYLAN:

Dad, your legs are mad!

Bob gets out of bed and starts to walk around staring at his hairy legs. BOB:

Why are you laughing? It’s not funny.

JILL:

No, I suppose it’s not. Not for you. It’s just your legs do look...

Jill bursts out laughing. LILY:

Like a monkey’s.

DYLAN:

Or a gorilla’s. 181


Jill, Dylan and Lily all laugh. BOB:

It’s true. I’m like something from the jungle, only I’m not a gorilla.

Bob is upset. His family try to stop laughing, but occasionally a giggle escapes from one of them. BOB:

What am I going to do?

LILY:

I know. Mum, you could shave dad’s legs with your pink and blue ladyshaver.

JILL:

Well, I could try, but the hair is so thick I think it would get clogged up.

They giggle. An alarm clock goes beep-beep-beep-beep, beep-beep-beep-beep, and then the radio comes on. (The voices on the radio comes from offstage). RADIO:

Welcome to the Wake Up Ireland radio show.

BOB:

Well, at least I heard the alarm today.

RADIO:

We’ll be back after these adverts.

CRAZY WOODY:

(sings) Crazy, crazy, crazy. It’s Crazy Woodys. (speaks) Come on down to Crazy Woodys. We’ve got everything you need.

LILY:

Dad, did you hear that?

CRAZY WOODY:

And we can solve any problem.

DYLAN:

They can solve any problem.

JILL:

Maybe they’d have something strong enough to shave your legs.

BOB:

That’s a point.

CRAZY WOODY:

Cra-zy Woodys! We’ve got what you need. 182


BOB:

I’m going there straight away.

Everybody exits as the Stage Helpers change the scene quickly. End of Scene 2.

183


Scene 3 – Crazy Woodys The sign is changed to one that says ‘Crazy Woodys’ and the set changes to become a DIY store. There are customers browsing and there is an announcement on the tannoy that tells people what’s on sale (you can make a good tannoy voice by holding your nose when you speak). Bob enters wearing a dressing gown over his pyjamas. TANNOY:

Bing bong. On special offer today at Crazy Woodys we have brown paint, bolts. And nuts. Rainbow paint. Bubble wrap, spray-on paint, lamps, toilets, baths, other types of paint, king-sized beds and false teeth.

BOB:

False teeth? That’s a bit odd.

SALESLADY:

Hello sir. How can I help you?

Bob is a bit embarrassed. BOB:

Well, actually, I have a very unusual problem.

SALESLADY:

And what’s that sir? There’s nothing too unusual for Crazy Woodys.

BOB:

If I tell you, you promise not to laugh?

SALESLADY:

Of course not. We never laugh at our customers, sir.

Bob opens his dressing gown to reveal his super hairy legs. The saleswoman wants to laugh but she pretends to cough instead. BOB:

You’re not laughing are you?

SALESLADY:

No. I just have a frog in my throat.

She coughs to stop herself laughing. Crazy Woody enters wearing a cowboy hat. SALESLADY:

Oh look. There’s Crazy Woody himself. I bet he’ll know just the thing to help you. Mr. Woody!

CRAZY WOODY:

Well howdy. Is there something I can help you with?

SALESLADY:

Yes, this man… 184


BOB:

I’m Bob.

CRAZY WOODY:

Howdy Bob.

SALESWOMAN:

He’s got…

She starts to cough. BOB:

What she’s trying to say is that I’ve got amazingly hairy legs.

Bob shows Crazy Woody his legs. SALESLADY:

Excuse me I must get a glass of water for my throat.

The Saleswoman dashes off laughing and coughing. BOB:

You’re not going to laugh at me are you?

CRAZY WOODY:

No siree Bob! I am not going to laugh. That is the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen.

BOB:

What can I do? My legs are a disaster.

CRAZY WOODY:

Do not concern yourself sir. I have just the thing for you. It came in yesterday.

BOB:

Really? What is it?

CRAZY WOODY:

A mini-lawnmower!

BOB:

A mini-lawnmower?

CRAZY WOODY:

It’s just what you need. It will mow your legs like a field of hay. And what’s more it has a ninety-year guarantee.

An alarm goes off and somebody walks across the stage with a sign saying ‘Ninety Year Guarantee!’ CRAZY WOODY:

That’s right ninety years! That’s why they call me Crazy Woody. That there mini lawnmower will last you a lifetime. 185


BOB:

Don’t say that! I don’t want to mow my legs for the rest of my life. Every time someone sees them they burst out laughing and I can’t even get my trousers on.

CRAZY WOODY:

Oh dearie me. That is a pickle of a problem. What you need is a cure for hairy legs.

BOB:

I know. But I can’t afford to go to the doctor.

CRAZY WOODY:

Well, why don’t you try the bookshop; it’s right next-door. You might find the cure in a book. Did you know books are the best place to find the things you want to know?

BOB:

That’s not a bad idea. Thanks Mr. Woody.

CRAZY WOODY:

Call me Crazy.

BOB:

You’ve been really helpful Crazy. And you didn’t laugh.

CRAZY WOODY:

Tell you what. You can have the mini lawnmower for free! How about that? It’s a present from me to you. That’s how cra-zy I am!

BOB:

Thanks Crazy Woody. You’re the best.

The Stage Helpers change the scene to the ‘Books Of Any Kind’ bookshop. As the set is changing one of the Helpers gives Crazy Woody a small box with Mini Lawnmower written on it. He gives the box to Bob and they shake hands. Crazy Woody exits and we are now in the bookshop. End of Scene 3.

186


Scene 4 – The Books of Any Kind Bookshop Bob is looking around (at the bookshelves). BOB:

There are so many books here. Where do I start?

The Bookshop Assistants, who are both very cheerful and helpful, enter carrying some books. ASSISTANT 1:

Now sir, let me guess. You’re looking for a book about sleeping?

BOB:

Sleeping?

ASSISTANT 2:

Or books about beds or how to avoid nightmares?

ASSISTANT 1:

We also have ‘Bananas In Pyjamas’ - the book.

ASSISTANT 2:

And we have a book about Pyjama Girls.

BOB:

I’m not looking for any of those books. Why did you think that?

The Assistants look at each other, but decide not to mention Bob’s pyjamas out of politeness. ASSISTANT 1:

Em. No reason.

ASSISTANT 2:

So what are you looking for?

BOB:

I’m looking for a book about…

Bob gets embarrassed. BOB:

Actually, I think I’ll just browse.

ASSISTANT 1:

Okey dokey.

ASSISTANT 2:

Shout if you need us.

The Assistants exit. Bob walks on the spot (facing the audience) as if he is going deeper and deeper into the shop. BOB:

This bookshop is much bigger than it looks from the 187


outside. There are lots of little rooms and so many books.

Bob stops walking on the spot. BOB:

Wow, it feels like I’ve walked for miles. There must be something here that will help me. Wait a minute what’s this?

One of the Stage Helpers holds out a book called ‘Jungle Legs’. BOB:

‘Jungle Legs’. That sounds like the book I’m looking for.

Bob tries to take the book, but it tilts forward and the Stage Helper makes a creaking noise. STAGE HELPER:

But the book was actually a lever and suddenly Bob found himself walking down a dusty corridor into a secret laboratory. Dan, dan, dan!

The Stage Helper exits. Bob looks around. He is amazed. BOB:

Where am I? What is this place? It’s full of test tubes and funny coloured liquids.

Herman McFigerson enters wearing a white coat and glasses. He is reading aloud from a large recipe and doesn’t see Bob at first. HERMAN:

Four drops of carbonated sulphate. Two drops of peptic solution. Six drops of…

BOB:

Hello. Excuse me.

Herman screams and drops his recipe. HERMAN:

Dr. Sheldon. Dr. Sheldon, come quick.

DR. SHELDON:

What is it Herman? Did you see another spider? I keep telling you they’re more afraid of you, than you are of them.

HERMAN:

No. No, look. It’s a man. A man in a dressing gown!

BOB:

Yes. Hello. I’m Bob. Bob Wheat. 188


DR. SHELDON: BOB:

What are you doing in here Bob Wheat? Well, I tried to pull a book out of the shelf and then a door opened and then I found my way in here.

DR. SHELDON:

This is the back room of the bookshop. Nobody’s allowed in here.

BOB:

It doesn’t look like a back room. It looks like a laboratory to me.

HERMAN:

Well, that’s because you’re dreaming. Yes. You’re fast asleep. None of this is real. Ooooh, oooh, oooooh.

BOB:

I’m not asleep.

DR. SHELDON:

Nice try, Herman.

HERMAN:

Thank you Dr. Sheldon.

BOB:

What’s going on?

DR. SHELDON:

I could ask you the same thing Bob. If that is your real name! Why did you sneak into our laboratory? And why are you dressed like that?

HERMAN:

I know. It’s his disguise. He’s a spy!

BOB:

I am not a spy.

HERMAN:

Yes you are. I bet he’s one of those sneaky scientists that are trying to steal our ideas, Dr. Sheldon.

DR. SHELDON:

You may be right Herman.

HERMAN:

We should grab him.

BOB:

What? I’m not a spy. Leave me alone.

DR. SHELDON:

Yes, catch him and lock him in the cupboard.

They try to catch Bob. 189


BOB:

Stop it. Get off me. I’m not a sneaky scientist. I’m a farmer!

HERMAN:

Just what a sneaky spying scientist would say.

DR. SHELDON:

How did you know to pull the special book?

BOB:

I picked that book because I thought it would help me. I have the same problem.

DR. SHELDON:

What problem?

BOB:

Jungle legs!

Bob shows them his hairy legs. BOB:

That’s why I have this mini lawnmower.

Bob shows them the box. Dr. Sheldon and Herman are very excited. DR. SHELDON:

Do you see what I see Herman?

HERMAN:

It’s a miracle Dr. Sheldon.

Dr. Sheldon and Herman laugh and dance around Bob with glee. DR. SHELDON:

(Sings) Hair, lovely hair!

HERMAN:

It’s here, it’s there, it’s everywhere.

TOGETHER:

It’s super-thick, high tensile hair!

BOB:

What going on? Are you making fun of me?

DR. SHELDON:

Not at all. Nothing could be further from our minds.

HERMAN:

You have the very thing we need.

DR. SHELDON:

You see, we’re making a cure for baldness, but we’re missing a key ingredient.

HERMAN:

Super thick, high tensile, best quality hair. 190


BOB:

And is the hair on my legs super thick, high whatsit, top quality hair?

HERMAN:

It certainly is.

DR. SHELDON:

I’ve never seen anything like it Bob. It’s a miracle. And we will pay you one hundred euros a week for all the hair on your legs.

BOB:

One hundred euros a week!

The giant watermelon floats over Bob’s head and disappears. BOB:

I don’t know what to say.

DR. SHELDON:

Alright two hundred.

BOB:

Two hundred euros a week?!

DR. SHELDON:

Three hundred then, but that’s my final offer.

BOB:

I’ll take it!

HERMAN:

You drive a hard bargain Bob.

DR. SHELDON:

Now, Herman take him into the hair-collecting booth and mow his legs with the mini lawnmower.

Herman takes Bob offstage. BOB:

It won’t hurt will it?

DR. SHELDON:

Of course not.

Everyone offstage makes the sound of the lawn mower. BOB:

Aaaagh. Ouch. Ooh. That tickles!

DR. SHELDON:

That’s good Herman, make sure you get it all.

BOB:

Hoorah, I can see my legs again!

DR. SHELDON:

Next we put all the hair into a big test tube. 191


Bob and Herman come back on. Herman has a container full of hair. DR. SHELDON:

And add the other secret ingredients.

Herman squeezes a coloured bottle over the hair. He gives Dr. Sheldon a wooden spoon. DR. SHELDON:

And then we mix it all together. Mixy, mixy, mix. Herman fetch the test subject.

Herman exits and comes back with a bald person (a swimming cap is a good way to make someone look bald.) DR. SHELDON:

Are you ready test subject?

The bald person nods. Dr. Sheldon takes an eye-dropper out of her pocket and dips it into the hair mixture. She then squeezes the eye-dropper over the bald person’s head. He immediately starts to shake his head from side to side, makes a funny noise and runs off stage. BOB:

Is he alright?

DR. SHELDON:

He is perfectly fine. The formula is soaking into his head

There is a sound effect like a bang on a drum or a ‘ting’ on a triangle. The man runs back on with a full head of hair. HERMAN:

It worked! It worked Dr. Sheldon.

DR. SHELDON:

Oh my goodness it did!

BOB:

That’s amazing.

HERMAN:

We can help all the bald people in the world now.

DR. SHELDON:

Bob you’re a hero. Here’s your three hundred euros.

Dr. Sheldon gives Bob three green one hundred euro notes. DR. SHELDON:

Can you come back next week?

BOB:

You bet I can! I’ll come straight to the back of the 192


bookshop and pull the lever. DR. SHELDON:

But it will be a different book. We change it every week for security reasons.

HERMAN:

And next week it’s my turn to choose.

DR. SHELDON:

I thought it was my turn.

HERMAN:

No. It’s definitely my turn.

BOB:

Well, tell me what is it?

HERMAN:

It will be ‘Hell’s Heroes’ by Darren Shan, because that’s my favourite book.

BOB:

‘Hell’s Heroes’ by Darren Shan. Got it. See you next week.

Bob exits whistling. DR. SHELDON:

And then I get to choose the next one.

HERMAN:

As long as you don’t choose something stupid again like ‘Jungle Legs’.

Dr. Sheldon and Herman exit as the Stage Helpers change the scene back to the farm. DR. SHELDON:

If I hadn’t chose ‘Jungle Legs’, Bob would never have found us.

End of Scene 4.

193


Scene 5 – Back on the farm A Stage Helper brings on a sign that says ‘Back on Bob and Jill’s farm a few weeks later’. STAGE HELPER 1: Back on Bob and Jill’s farm a few weeks later.

Two Farm Workers pass each other in cut-out tractors. FARM WORKER 1: I’ve finished bailing the hay. Now, I’m off to stack the bails in the barn. STAGE HELPER 2: Bob was able to pay some Farm Workers to help him and Jill. FARM WORKER 2: I’ve finished harvesting the peas. Now I’m off to milk the cows.

Farm Workers 1 and 2 exit. Farm Worker 3 walks across the stage with a bucket of chicken feed. FARM WORKER 3: Here chick, chick, chickens. STAGE HELPER 2: And everything was running smoothly.

The chickens enter clucking. CHICKENS:

Look at this lovely fat corn. Bwuck, bwuck, bwuck. Things have definitely got better around here.

Jill enters. JILL:

The hay is bailed, the peas are harvested, the chickens are fed. I can’t believe it. Thank you so much.

FARM WORKER 3: Don’t mention it. I’m off to help with the apples now.

Farm Worker 3 exits. Bob enters. He is wearing shorts and he has super hairy legs again, but now he doesn’t mind. He is carrying what looks like a chocolate milkshake with a straw and he sings to Jill. BOB:

(Sings) Oh what a beautiful farm I have,

The chickens cluck. 194


BOB:

Oh what a beautiful day.

The chickens cluck. BOB:

I’ve got a beautiful feeling,

The chickens sing along with the last line. BOB: CHICKENS:

Everything’s going my way. Bwuck, bwuck, bwuck, bwuck, bwuck, bwuck, bwuck.

JILL:

You’re in a good mood Bob.

BOB:

That’s because I’m not tired any more. Since we got the Farm Workers to help us I’m enjoying being a farmer.

JILL:

I know what you mean. Now I’m not worried about money all the time I’m enjoying being a farmer too. How’s your fertiliser milkshake?

BOB:

Well, it’s still mostly disgusting. But I’ve added more milk, a banana, some chocolate ice cream and lots and lots of sugar and it very nearly, almost tastes delicious.

Just then Lily and Dylan enter with a giant watermelon. It has a sticker on it that says ‘First Prize’. LILY:

Dad, guess what? You won first prize at the country show!

DYLAN:

The judges said they’d never seen a watermelon as big as this.

JILL:

Well done Bob!

BOB:

That’s wonderful. It’s my dream come true!

LILY:

Everybody was asking what your secret is dad.

BOB:

Well, it wouldn’t be a secret if I told them would it?

JILL:

Lots and lots of good old fertiliser. Isn’t that right Bob? 195


BOB:

That’s part of it.

Bob comes to the front of the stage to share a secret with the audience. BOB:

And, don’t tell anyone, but also some super-special growing formula from Herman and Dr. Sheldon!

Bob winks at the audience. The chickens cluck. CHICKENS:

Bwuck, bwuck, bwuck. And that’s the end of Bob Wheat’s fabulous hairy tale. Bwuck, bwuck, bwuck. Everybody lived happily ever after. Even us chickens! Bwuck, bwuck, bwuck!

The End.

196


Oceana’s Challenge The play was created with the following pupils of Saint Martin De Porres National School, Aylesbury, Tallaght.

Saint Martin De Porres ‘Gizmos’ Jasmine Donnelly Saidat Ige Marvis James Cian Kelly John Long Grace Fitzsimons Robyn Flynn Jordan McDonagh Rosemary Midonga Alex O’Neill Loveth Ota Róisín Rahill Sinead Reynolds Theo Rosu

April 2012

197


Characters: Sea creatures - Every child in the play has their own undersea creature (fish, crabs, octopi etc.), for the opening sequence (or a different class could provide the sea creatures). Neptune, king of the sea Merpeople Oceana Laguna, her mum Percy, a dolphin Shell and Aqua, Oceana’s friends Captain Colin Shimbob, captain of the submarine Lola Star-Shimbob, assistant captain Colin Junior, their son Erika Pikett, a documentary director Shush Lake, a marine biologist Bult Boovia, a cameraman Stage Helpers Stage helpers help to change the set while the play is happening. In this play they could also be the Sea Creatures. Setting The play is set under the sea and this should be established from the start. A sign at the beginning of each scene will make it clear where the scene takes place (this could also be announced), but creating a back-drop with drawings of an undersea world will really help show the audience where they are. Having sea creatures swim across the stage during and between scenes will help to make the setting more three-dimensional. The sea creature puppeteers could wear blue or green clothes to make them more like the sea. The mermaids all have cut-out tails which could be made of cloth or paper. Adding cardboard will help make them a bit more solid. The tails should come out from the side of the actor (so they look like they are floating) but not get in the way of the legs too much.

198


Percy could be played by an actor (perhaps with a dolphin mask), or by a toy or puppet, or by a large cut-out. If he is a puppet his voice can be provided by the puppeteer or from off stage. Tips: Attach some cut-out fish to sticks and hold the sticks between your fingers so that the fish all move at the same time (like a real shoal). Make several cut-outs of the submarine in different sizes. Then as it arrives it can get closer and closer by getting bigger and bigger! Note: If you want to make the play simpler and smaller (to perform in your classroom or with your friends at home), the whole thing could be performed on a table top with toys or puppets. (This will also make it easier to make the characters swim.)

199


Scene 1 – Pearl Palace. The play begins with an empty stage. There is music or undersea sounds. Gradually different sea creatures begin to appear one by one and swim or scuttle in different directions. It is as if we are looking through the glass of an aquarium. One sea creature swims past pulling a sign that says, ‘Deep Under the Ocean.’ Suddenly a Merman enters disturbing all the fish and making them dart away. He blows into a big shell, which sounds like a horn. Other Merpeople enter including Oceana, Laguna, Shell and Aqua. MERMAN 1:

Citizens of Pearl Palace. Today is Merday. The day that all the Merpeople in all the seas in all the world celebrate their secret existence.

The Merpeople all cheer. MERMAN 1:

And who better to lead our celebration here at Pearl Palace than…

MERMAN 2:

Oh my goodness.

MERMAID 1:

Who could it be?

MERMAN 1:

The king of the seven seas himself…

MERMAID 2:

I can’t believe it. No way!

MERMAN 1:

It’s Neptune!

The Merpeople go crazy. (Neptune is a big celebrity under the sea.) They cheer wildly and chant Neptune’s name. Some of the mermaids scream. Aqua faints and has to be fanned back awake by Shell and Oceana. Neptune enters. (He has a blue tail, a crown and a big three-pronged trident). He is very charming and friendly and he says the following lines to people on stage or in the audience. NEPTUNE:

Hello there. How are you doing? Nice to see you. That’s a cool tail. Loving the scales. Good to see you again. That seaweed really works in your hair.

The Merpeople scream and cheer and faint. Neptune speaks to the whole crowd. NEPTUNE:

It’s always so nice to come back to Pearl Palace. You 200


Merpeople are some of the best Merpeople in the sea.

They all cheer. NEPTUNE:

Now, I’m afraid I can’t stay very long…

MERPEOPLE:

Oh.

NEPTUNE:

But only because I promised I’d visit all the other Mer colonies in this part of the ocean.

The Merpeople cheer. NEPTUNE:

But before I go I will say… Happy Merday!

MERPEOPLE:

Happy Merday!

NEPTUNE:

And let’s say the Mer oath together as we do every Merday. Everybody now, after me. We, the Merpeople.

MERPEOPLE:

We, the Merpeople.

NEPTUNE:

Do solemnly swear.

MERPEOPLE:

Do solemnly swear.

NEPTUNE:

To uphold the Mer law.

MERPEOPLE:

To uphold the Mer law.

NEPTUNE:

We will be generous and kind to our families and friends.

MERPEOPLE:

We will be generous and kind to our families and friends.

NEPTUNE:

We will be fierce and frightening to our enemies. Raaaa!

MERPEOPLE:

We will be fierce and frightening to our enemies. Raaaa!

NEPTUNE:

We promise to avoid all Land People on pain of banishment.

MERPEOPLE:

We promise to avoid all Land People on pain of banishment. 201


NEPTUNE:

And to keep the secret existence of Merpeople a big secret for evermore!

MERPEOPLE:

And to keep the secret existence of Merpeople a big secret for evermore!

Everyone cheers. Neptune smiles and waves at the crowd. SHELL:

What’s ‘pain of banishment’?

OCEANA:

It’s when you’re sent away and you can never come back again.

AQUA:

That would be awful.

SHELL:

Land People must be really terrible.

NEPTUNE:

Now, a little fish tells me that someone in Pearl Palace is getting her grown up tail this full moon.

AQUA:

Oh my goodness! Oceana, that’s you.

OCEANA:

What?

AQUA:

Neptune is talking about you.

NEPTUNE:

Is there an Oceana in the crowd?

SHELL:

I can’t believe it.

OCEANA:

Mum, did you tell him? How does he know?

LAGUNA:

She’s over here.

OCEANA:

Mum!

LAGUNA:

Don’t be shy. You can get his autograph. Come on let’s go and meet Neptune.

Oceana and Laguna bow hello to Neptune and exit offstage with him followed by all the other Merpeople. Shell and Aqua trail behind. Some of the sea creatures come out again, but suddenly they all dart away as if startled by 202


something. (A little bit of scary music will help set the mood here). From the other side of the stage a small submarine appears (as if it is still far away). It crosses at the back of the stage and exits. Just then Oceana bursts back onto the front of the stage full of excitement followed by Aqua and Shell. She is waving a piece of green paper. OCEANA:

Wasn’t that amazing?! Did you see me talking to Neptune? He was so cool. And he gave me his autograph.

SHELL:

You’re lucky.

OCEANA:

Well I am the oldest.

AQUA:

Can we have a look?

OCEANA:

No, don’t touch! It’s very delicate. It’s seaweed paper.

AQUA:

I just want to see how he writes his name.

OCEANA:

Well you can look with your eyes, not with your fingers.

AQUA:

You sound like my mum.

SHELL:

When she’s talking to the Merbabies.

AQUA:

We’re not kids you know.

OCEANA:

Actually you are. You don’t get your grown up tails until next year. But I’m practically a grown up now. That’s why Neptune wanted to meet me.

SHELL:

That doesn’t mean you can show off.

OCEANA:

I’m not showing off.

AQUA:

Yes you are.

SHELL:

It’s totally gone to your head.

AQUA:

Come on Shell, let’s go and play with someone else. Oceana’s too grown up to play with us.

Aqua and Shell “swim” off. 203


OCEANA:

Fine. Be like that. See if I care. You’re just jealous.

Some little fish enter. They have little fish voices. OCEANA:

Stupid friends.

FISH:

Stupid friends. Stupid friends.

OCEANA:

I don’t care if I have no one to play with.

FISH:

No one to play with. No one to play with.

OCEANA:

I wasn’t showing off. You don’t think I’m big headed do you fish?

FISH:

Big headed. Big headed. Showing off. Big headed.

OCEANA:

Oh go away, stupid fish. It’s not fair.

The fish swim away. Oceana starts to cry. OCEANA:

At least nobody can see your tears when you cry under water.

Oceana is about to swim off when Laguna enters. LAGUNA:

There you are Oceana. I’ve been looking for you. It’s time for your advanced swimming lesson.

OCEANA:

Not now mum.

LAGUNA:

But the full moon is tonight and you must keep practising.

OCEANA:

I’m not in the mood.

LAGUNA:

A new tail is a big responsibility. You’ve got to be able to change direction in the blink of an eye and swim round obstacles without slowing down.

OCEANA:

But I know all that already.

LAGUNA:

Just because you met Neptune doesn’t mean you don’t 204


have to practice. OCEANA:

Not you as well! Alright, I’ll do it. Just leave me alone!

LAGUNA:

Oh dear. What’s wrong? You’re not coming down with fish pox are you Oceana?

OCEANA:

No. I’m fine. Nothing’s wrong.

LAGUNA:

Are you sure?

OCEANA:

Yes. Why do you always have to know everything?

LAGUNA:

Alright. Practice by yourself, but don’t swim too far from Pearl Palace. You’re not a grown up yet.

Laguna swims off. OCEANA:

Why is everyone picking on me today? I am a grown up. Nearly. At least Neptune thinks so.

Oceana swims off in the opposite direction. The middle-sized cut-out of the submarine moves across the stage and off. The largest cut-out then comes back the other way, so it looks like the submarine is getting closer. End of scene 1

Tips: Try to get the audience to say the Mer oath too. Play around with the little fish voices so that they overlap and echo Oceana.

205


Scene 2 – Inside the Submarine. A sea creature swims past with a sign that says, ‘Inside the Submarine’. In a narrow space in the centre of the stage Captain Shimbob, Assistant Captain Lola Shimbob and their son Colin are miming steering the ship. Erika Pikett the documentary maker, Shush Lake the marine biologist and Bult Boovier, the cameraman are at the edge of this space, (Bult and Shush on one side and Erika on the other). They are each holding up a round porthole and looking out of it. CAPTAIN S:

Ten degrees to starboard.

Lola mimes turning a wheel to her right. LOLA:

Ten degrees to starboard. Levelling out. Pressure good.

SHUSH:

This is amazing. Look Bult. So many different types of sea creature.

BULT:

Yeah man. It really is fishy out there.

ERIKA:

This part of the ocean has never been explored before. Do you realise we’re in actual uncharted waters. We’re off the map! Isn’t that right Captain Shimbob?

CAPTAIN:

That is correct Erika. This should be the perfect place to start making your documentary.

COLIN:

Dad! Rock at twelve o’clock.

CAPTAIN S:

Rock at twelve o’clock. Evasive move 14 Mrs. Shimbob.

LOLA:

Yes, Captain Shimbob. Brace yourselves.

Everyone bends their knees except Bult. Lola mimes pulling a lever. LOLA:

Evasive move 14.

Everyone leans to the same side. Bult staggers and falls over. (Shush takes his porthole and keeps holding it until Bult gets back up). CAPTAIN S:

Half power ahead. Good work Mrs. Shimbob.

LOLA:

Thank you captain. 206


COLIN:

Are you alright?

BULT:

Yeah. I’m fine. I meant to do that. I fall over every day.

COLIN:

You’re the cameraman aren’t you?

BULT:

That’s right. Falling over is a big part of my job. I’ve fallen over all over the world. It’s radical man. Totally radical.

COLIN:

It must be really cool to make films.

BULT:

Yeah, it’s totally cool. Hey dude, are they your parents?

COLIN:

Yeah.

BULT:

And they like, own this submarine?

COLIN:

Yeah. They love it. They spend practically all their time on it and they’re always talking about it. In fact they never change the subject. They want me to come and work with them full time when I’m old enough.

BULT:

And is that what you want to do? Live the rest of you life under water? Imagine that. Living in a metal tube. I’ve heard of tinned tuna, but I’ve never heard of a tinned human.

Bult laughs. COLIN:

Actually, I want to be an explorer and go to lots of different countries, but I don’t want to upset mum and dad.

ERIKA:

Do you think this would be a good place to stop Captain?

CAPTAIN:

What’s underneath us Colin?

Colin mimes looking into a piece of equipment. COLIN:

It’s okay dad. No rocks. Just sand. 207


CAPTAIN:

Yes, we can put her down here Erika.

ERIKA:

Shush?

CAPTAIN:

Sorry. Was I speaking too loud?

ERIKA:

No, that’s his name.

SHUSH:

Shush. Shush Lake, remember?

CAPTAIN:

Oh sorry, I keep forgetting.

SHUSH:

It is an unusual name alright. My parents liked things to be quiet all the time. I think that’s why they called me Shush.

LOLA:

And were you quiet as a child?

SHUSH:

No. I was very noisy. My parents would shout, Shush, shush. Or shush, Shush all the time. In the end I left home and became a marine biologist.

COLIN:

That’s a really cool story.

BULT:

Not as cool as this one. There was this time when I was making this film in Africa and a man-eating tiger tried to eat my camera?

ERIKA:

Not that again.

CAPTAIN:

Propellers to forty percent. Twenty percent. Ten percent. All stop.

LOLA:

All stop. Ballast to tanks. Settling on the bottom. And we’re here everyone.

They all clap. SHUSH:

I can’t wait to explore. Can we go diving straight away?

CAPTAIN:

I don’t see why not. Myself and Lola will come with you. Colin you stay here and watch the ship. 208


COLIN:

Aw dad.

BULT:

Hey, don’t worry man. I’ll keep you company.

ERIKA:

Bult, you are so lazy.

BULT:

I need to clean my camera Erika.

COLIN:

Wow, can I have a look at your camera?

BULT:

Sure, no problem. You can clean it if you like. It’s very expensive and technical and digital, so you’ll have to be careful.

The crew exit to the back middle of the stage, as if they are walking to the back of the submarine, and then offstage. (They take their portholes with them.) End of Scene 2. Tip: There is lots of fun to be had miming the different controls for the submarine and working out a sequence of movements for the captain, Lola and Colin. The portholes can be a cut out circles of cardboard.

209


Scene 3 The fish enter with Oceana. FISH:

Big headed. Big headed. Showing off. Showing off. Showing off.

OCEANA:

Stop saying that. Silly fish.

FISH:

Silly fish. Silly fish.

OCEANA:

Yes you are. But it’s better than having no one to talk to.

Suddenly the fish dart away and the middle-sized submarine enters and moves across the stage. OCEANA:

What’s that?! Is it a whale? I’ve never seen a whale like that before. It’s got two whirly things at the back.

The submarine stops and four little human shapes swim out from it and exit. Oceana is amazed. OCEANA:

It just had babies. Wow! That’s strange they have two tails instead of one. I better call Percy. He’ll know what kind of a creature that is.

She takes her conch shell, which is hanging around her neck, and blows a note. (This can come from offstage). Everybody offstage makes a loud ‘whoosh’ sound and Percy arrives super speedily. PERCY:

You called Oceana?

OCEANA:

Yes. Look Percy. There’s a strange new whale in our waters. It’s got whirly things at the back and it’s just had four babies with two tails each. Isn’t that amazing.

PERCY:

Quick Oceana hide. That’s not a whale. It’s a submarine. And those aren’t babies. They’re Land People.

OCEANA:

Land People!

They hide behind a rock or some seaweed just as Captain Shimbob, Lola, Shush and Erika swim past wearing swimming goggles and flippers. 210


OCEANA:

They don’t look so terrible. They look a bit like me just with two tails instead of one.

PERCY:

Those are called legs. They use them for walking on the land.

OCEANA:

This is so amazing. I wish I could go and have a look at their submaroo.

PERCY:

It’s called a submarine. And you can’t go and look at it. You know the Mer Law. You must avoid Land People at all costs.

OCEANA:

But the Land People aren’t in the submarine. And anyway why are they so bad?

PERCY:

Don’t you remember the stories?

Oceana replies as if she’s remembering a boring lesson in school. OCEANA:

Yeah. Hundreds of years ago Merpeople were friendly with Land People.

PERCY:

But then the Land People caught some of the Merpeople and took them away from the sea and put them in a thing called a zoo and treated them badly.

OCEANA:

And after that the Merpeople disappeared and kept themselves hidden.

PERCY:

Exactly. And now Land People don’t think you exist any more.

OCEANA:

But that was hundreds of years ago. Maybe Land People are different now.

PERCY:

I don’t think so. They still catch dolphins. They make us jump through hoops for fish. How would you like that?

OCEANA:

It wouldn’t hurt to take a peek.

Oceana swims around the stage. 211


PERCY:

I don’t think that’s a good idea Oceana. You really should pay attention to me. I am your guardian dolphin after all.

Oceana ignores Percy. The submarine, which is on stage disappears and a Stage Helper holds up a porthole centre stage. Colin enters on one side of the porthole sweeping the submarine. Oceana approaches the other side of the porthole just as Colin looks out. They both jump back with fright. COLIN:

I must be seeing things.

OCEANA:

That was a Land Person!

PERCY:

What did you see? Come away from there, Oceana.

Colin and Oceana move back to the porthole. COLIN:

What are you? Can you hear me?

OCEANA:

Are you speaking to me? I can’t hear you.

PERCY:

Who are you talking to?

Bult enters the submarine side and sees Colin talking to the porthole. Colin doesn’t notice him. Bult creeps up behind Colin and sees Oceana through the porthole. COLIN:

I can’t believe my eyes. Are you a mermaid?

OCEANA:

I can’t believe my eyes. You’re a Land Person.

Bult turns to face the audience. His face is full of surprise and he mouths the words, ‘it’s a mermaid!’ He sneaks off. PERCY:

Oceana! If that’s a human in there, you’re breaking the law.

COLIN:

I can’t hear what you’re saying.

OCEANA:

I.

Oceana points to herself. COLIN:

You. 212


OCEANA:

Oceana.

She points to herself and to the sea around her. COLIN:

Live in the sea. Yes. You live in the sea. I understand.

He points to himself. COLIN:

I live...

OCEANA:

You’re name is.

Colin points up towards the land. COLIN:

On the land.

OCEANA:

Up? Up? Skyboy! That’s a nice name. Hello Skyboy.

PERCY:

Oceana. Come on. You’ll get into trouble.

Oceana waves. Colin waves back. Oceana beckons to Colin. OCEANA:

Can you come out here?

Colin shakes his head. He gestures to the sub. COLIN:

I’ve got to look after the sub.

Just then Bult enters behind Oceana with a big net. BULT:

Here fishy, fishy, fishy.

PERCY:

Watch out Oceana.

COLIN:

Stop! What are you doing Bult? Don’t touch her. Leave her alone.

Percy swims between the net and Oceana. Percy gets caught in the net. PERCY:

Quick. Escape Oceana!

OCEANA:

Oh no, you’re caught. I can’t leave you. 213


PERCY:

You must. Go on. Hurry up before the others come back.

Oceana looks through the porthole as Colin. She is very angry and upset. OCEANA:

I hate you Land Boy.

Colin shakes his head. COLIN:

No. I didn’t know he was going to do that. I’m sorry. I would never try to catch you.

Oceana swims on the spot and Bult and Percy and Colin in the submarine all move away from her and exit as if she is swimming away from them. OCEANA:

What have I done? I should have listened to Percy. What was I thinking? I should have never trusted that Land Boy.

Oceana exits. End of Scene 3.

214


Scene 4 – Inside the Submarine The sea creatures come back onto the stage and one of them pulls a sign that says, ‘Back inside the submarine.’ The sea creatures exit. (Use the centre of stage and the portholes again for the submarine.) ERIKA:

You saw a what, Bult?

BULT:

I know it’s sound crazy, but it’s true.

ERIKA:

There’s no such thing.

BULT:

Yeah, I thought that, but then I saw one!

ERIKA:

You saw a mermaid?!

BULT:

Cross my heart and hope to die.

SHUSH:

But if you saw a mermaid. How come you caught a dolphin?

BULT:

The dolphin is the mermaid’s friend.

ERIKA:

Do you know how nutty that sounds?

BULT:

If we keep the dolphin…

SHUSH:

You can’t keep a dolphin in a net like that. It’s cruel.

BULT:

But the mermaid will come back if we keep the dolphin.

ERIKA:

I think he’s gone completely mad.

CAPTAIN S:

I may be able to explain. Some people have a bad reaction to being in a submarine.

LOLA:

Yes, there’s probably not enough air getting to his brain.

CAPTAIN S:

He’s seeing things.

BULT:

I’m not seeing things.

ERIKA:

But mermaids don’t exist Bult.

BULT:

She was real. Just like I’m standing here now. She was a 215


girl from the waist up and a fish from the waist down and she was waving at Colin. Tell them Colin. ERIKA:

What? Is that true? Did you see this creature as well?

BULT:

It wasn’t a creature it was a mermaid.

ERIKA:

Okay. Did you see the mermaid Colin?

COLIN:

Well… There was a starfish on the porthole. Maybe that’s what Bult saw. I was tapping the glass to get it to move.

BULT:

What are you talking about?! You were having a chat with her.

COLIN:

Maybe you dreamed it.

BULT:

I didn’t dream anything. I saw something Erika, I really did.

SHUSH:

We have to let the dolphin go.

BULT:

No. Please. Can we just keep him for one day? Then the mermaid, I mean the creature thing that I saw, which was definitely something unusual, might come back. I’m really honestly not crazy.

ERIKA:

Okay. One day, but that’s all. Now come on everyone let’s get some sleep.

Everyone exits except Colin. He looks out of the porthole at Percy in the net. COLIN:

Don’t worry dolphin. I’ll let you go.

Bult comes back on and makes Colin jump. BULT:

There you are! You big fat liar.

COLIN:

Bult. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

BULT:

You’re just trying to keep the discovery of a lifetime for yourself. 216


COLIN:

What?

BULT:

I bet you’re going to come back here with your mum and dad and catch that mermaid yourself.

COLIN:

No way. I don’t believe in catching things and keeping them prisoner.

BULT:

Are you for real?

COLIN:

She’s my friend. We were communicating. We said hello to each other.

BULT:

You are so lame man. We have a duty to catch that mermaid and show her to the world.

COLIN:

Why?

BULT:

Because people have a right to know that mermaids exist. And because it will make us rich and famous! Our pictures will be in the newspaper. How totally radical is that?

COLIN:

I don’t care about being rich or famous.

BULT:

But you do want to be an explorer, don’t you? If you discovered a mermaid, you could do whatever you wanted.

COLIN:

Really?

BULT:

Oh yes my friend. You would be the toast of the town.

COLIN:

But what about her family and friends? We can’t just take her away from them.

BULT:

Don’t be such a wimp! Fish don’t have families, and one way or another I’m going to put your fishy girlfriend in the zoo!

Bult exits. Colin looks confused. End of Scene 4.

217


Scene 5 – Near Pearl Palace The submarine disappears and the sea creatures swim on pulling a sign that says, ‘Back at Pearl Palace.’ Shell and Aqua enter and play with the sea creatures. Oceana rushes on and all the creatures dart off stage. AQUA:

What did you do that for Oceana?

SHELL:

We were playing and now you’ve frightened them away.

OCEANA:

I need your help.

AQUA:

You need our help? But we’re just kids.

SHELL:

Yeah, I thought you were so grown up.

OCEANA:

Shell, Aqua, listen to me. I’m sorry for showing off and being big headed before, but I really need your help.

AQUA:

Why?What’s happened?

SHELL:

You look really worried.

OCEANA:

Percy’s been kidnapped by Land People.

SHELL & AQUA:

What?!

AQUA:

You’re making that up.

OCEANA:

I’m not. I swear. I can prove it.

Oceana blows into her conch shell, but Percy doesn’t answer her call. SHELL:

Where is he? Percy always comes when you blow into your shell.

OCEANA:

I saw a thing that looked like a strange kind of whale, so I called Percy and he told me it was a submarine, which is what Land People use to travel under the sea.

SHELL:

I don’t believe it.

AQUA:

Land People. Really? 218


OCEANA:

Yes. And one of them had a net and was trying to catch me, so Percy swam between us, but he got caught instead.

SHELL:

I thought our parents just made Land People up to stop us swimming too far away.

AQUA:

We should report this to the Mer-patrol.

OCEANA:

No. We can’t. I’ll be banished.

SHELL:

Why?

OCEANA:

Because it’s all my fault. I was curious. I went and looked into the Land People’s ship.

SHELL:

You did not! Wow. That was really brave.

AQUA:

Really stupid, you mean.

OCEANA:

I just wanted to see what it looked like, but there was a boy inside.

SHELL:

Eugh! Did it have great big teeth?

OCEANA:

No. He was like us, just without a tail. He was trying to talk to me and I thought he was being friendly, but then the other Land Man tried to catch me.

AQUA:

Like in the old stories.

OCEANA:

I can’t let Percy be kidnapped. He’d hate to be kept in a big fish tank. You have to help me rescue him.

SHELL:

Of course we will.

Just then there is a sound effect ‘ting’ and the full moon comes out. A shaft of moonlight falls through the water and hits Oceana. (This could be done with a torch or you could paint the shaft of moonlight). AQUA:

Look, it’s the full moon.

OCEANA:

Ooh! 219


SHELL:

What’s wrong?

OCEANA:

Oh no. I’m really itchy. Ooh! Ow!

Oceana scratches her tail. AQUA:

It’s your new tail. It must be growing.

Oceana starts to giggle madly. OCEANA:

Now it’s tickling me. I can’t bear it.

AQUA:

Yes, look. I can see the new scales.

OCEANA:

Ow! Ow! Ooh! Now it’s hurting.

Oceana goes behind a rock or offstage so that her tail can be changed. OCEANA:

It really stings. Owwwww!

SHELL:

That doesn’t sound good. I’m glad I don’t get my new tail until next year.

OCEANA:

Owwww.

AQUA:

Poor Oceana. It sounds dreadful.

There is another sound effect. A ‘ting’ on a triangle or a bang on a drum. OCEANA:

Thanks goodness. It’s stopped hurting. Wow! Look at that.

AQUA:

Show us.

SHELL:

Let’s see.

Oceana enters with her new tail. AQUA:

That’s amazing. You really look like a grown up now.

OCEANA:

Do I? I’m not sure if I feel like one yet.

SHELL:

It’s a beautiful tail Oceana. It looks really powerful. 220


OCEANA:

Well, this is a good time to try it out. I’m going to save Percy. Let’s see if all my advanced swimming lessons worked.

AQUA:

We’ll be right behind you.

SHELL:

And we’ll bring the fish.

Oceana exits. Everyone offstage makes a loud ‘whoosh’ noise. AQUA:

Wow, did you see that?

SHELL:

She’s as fast as a shark. We better try and catch up with her.

Aqua and Shell exit. End of Scene 5.

221


Scene 6 – Outside the submarine. The sea creatures pull a sign across stage that says, ‘Outside the Submarine’. Percy is still caught in the net, but Colin enters in his diving mask and tries to free him. Percy makes a clicking dolphin noise. COLIN:

It’s alright, I’m trying to help you.

Bult enters in his diving mask with a harpoon gun. Percy clicks to try and warn Colin. BULT:

What are you doing? Get away from that dolphin.

COLIN:

Bult, put that harpoon gun down. It’s dangerous.

BULT:

I’m going to catch me a mermaid and you’re not going to stop me.

Percy clicks. BULT:

That’s right Mr. Dolphin. Whatever it is you’re saying.

Oceana enters. OCEANA:

He’s saying, you better watch out. There’s a very angry mermaid right behind you.

BULT:

I knew she’d come back!

Oceana spins around creating a whirlpool in the water. Bult and Colin are pushed backwards. BULT:

Aaahhh. What’s happening?

OCEANA:

Seaweed monster come to me, help me to set Percy free.

Lots of blobs of seaweed form into a monster. The monster pulls the net off Percy. BULT:

What’s that thing? Aaaagghhh. Stay away from me seaweed dude.

The monster comes towards Bult. Bult fires his harpoon at it and an arrow 222


comes out in slow-motion. The seaweed monster turns back into blobs of seaweed and floats away. BULT:

Gotcha! Ha! That was easy.

PERCY:

Be careful Oceana. He has a weapon.

Bult turns his harpoon towards Oceana. BULT:

And now to catch me a fish girl!

COLIN:

Bult stop. You’ll hurt her.

OCEANA:

Take that Land Man!

Oceana flicks her tail at Bult. He is knocked backwards by the surge in the water and his arm, with the harpoon gun, flies up. Shell and Aqua and the little fish enter behind Bult just at that moment and take the gun from him. AQUA:

We’ll take that.

SHELL:

Sorry we were so long. You swim fast now Oceana.

COLIN:

There are more of you. It’s amazing.

AQUA:

So these are Land People.

SHELL:

They look so strange.

PERCY:

We must go before more of them see us.

OCEANA:

I should knock their heads against a rock and make them into fish food.

PERCY:

They’re not all bad. That one was trying to help me.

COLIN:

I’m so sorry. We’re not all like him.

BULT:

Well, if I can’t catch these mermaids, at least I can film them.

Bult takes his camera from round his neck and starts filming. 223


COLIN:

Bult what are you doing? Stop filming.

BULT:

Smile everyone. This is my ticket to fame and fortune.

Colin grabs the camera from Bult and throws it to Oceana. BULT:

No. Give me that back. Hey fish face that’s mine!

Oceana looks into the camera and films Bult and Colin. Aqua and Shell pick up the net and throw it over Bult. BULT:

What are you doing? Stop that. Let me go.

Colin points to himself. COLIN:

I

OCEANA:

You.

Colin crosses his finger over his heart. COLIN:

promise.

OCEANA:

You swear.

Colin points to his mouth and then at Oceana. COLIN:

Not to tell anyone about you or your friends.

PERCY:

He’s promising not to tell the other Land People.

Oceana nods and smiles at Colin. COLIN:

But maybe one day when I’m older I’ll come back and we will meet again.

OCEANA:

What’s he saying now Percy?

PERCY:

He’s promising never to come back again.

OCEANA:

That’s a pity.

PERCY:

It’s the way it has to be Oceana. Merpeople and Land 224


People just don’t mix. OCEANA:

Goodbye Skyboy. You are nice, but the other Land Man wanted to catch us. We can never show ourselves if there are Land People like him about. Goodbye.

Oceana blows a kiss to Colin. Oceana, Shell, Aqua and Percy exit. COLIN:

Goodbye. I wish I could have gotten to know you better.

Erika and Lola enter in their diving masks. ERIKA:

What’s going on out here?

LOLA:

Are you alright Colin?

COLIN:

I’m fine mum. But I think Bult might have gone completely crazy.

BULT:

Don’t listen to him. He’s the crazy one.

ERIKA:

What happened? Why are you tied up in the net?

BULT:

It was the mermaids.

ERIKA:

The mermaids?

BULT:

Yes. The mermaid came and she had mermaid friends. But she created a monster out of seaweed and then the fish stole my gun and she took my camera.

ERIKA:

Wait a minute. You lost your camera?

BULT:

I didn’t lose it. The mermaid has it.

LOLA:

Oh dear. I think he really is a bit crazy.

ERIKA:

Yes. We’d better get him back to land. He needs to see a doctor. And we can’t film anything anyway if he doesn’t have his camera.

They all gather around Bult, who is still in the net, and lead him offstage. 225


BULT:

I don’t need a doctor. I’m telling you the truth. There was a mermaid and she had a really powerful tail. And there were two other mermaids as well. And the dolphin could talk.

ERIKA:

Of course it could, Bult. There, there now. Everything will be alright.

As they exit. Oceana enters unseen and speaks directly to the audience. OCEANA:

So please don’t tell anyone that you saw a mermaid, will you? Just say that mermaids are mythical creatures and you’d have to be a little bit crazy to believe in them. (Whispering) Goodbye.

Oceana disappears off stage. An octopus swims across the stage pulling a sign that says ‘The End’. The End.

226


Deadly Drama: Eight Plays From D24