Great Expectations – a play based on the book by Charles Dickens. This script is one of a series ‘What the Dickens!’ which so far consists of four of Dickens’ books:
Cast of 15
Duration: Around 15 – 20 minutes
Narrator: This is a tale of (pauses) Great Expectations. But please don’t allow yourselves to be fooled by the title. No. Sadly this is far from a tale of high hopes and their fulfilment. This is a tale that will take you to many dark places where you will meet many dark characters. Where treachery and skulduggery lurk in every corner. Where so-called gentlemen act as complete tyrants (pauses) and where ladies, frankly do not come out much better!
(Sound of ‘clanking’ from a blacksmith’s shed)
But wait! What is that I hear? Aha! A sound of decency. A bright ray of light shining through all this mirky darkness.
Joe: (Laughing) Did I hear someone compare my job to something bright and shining?
Narrator: (Shaking Joe’s hand) You did indeed! It’s so good to meet you!
Joe: And very good to meet you too, my friend!
Narrator: Ah, there you go! Warm and welcoming to everyone you meet. Never an unkind thought in your head. Always thinking the best of everyone!
Joe: (Smiling) Well, it doesn’t pay to carry bitterness around with you. My wife sadly carries enough for two of us – and look how happy that makes her!
Wife: (Shrieking) Joe? Joe Gargery? Have you not heard me yelling your name this past half hour?
Narrator: (Aside to audience) And there I was thinking the ear plugs were to protect his ears from the anvil!
Wife: (Rounding on Narrator) And what is your business in these parts?
Narrator: And a very good day to you as well, ma’am. I was just saying to your husband
Wife: (Interrupting) That good for nothing waste of time! And don’t you go wasting any more of his time! He has work to do! Isn’t that right, Joe Gargery?
Joe: If you say so, oh sweetness and light!
Wife: Bah! Don’t you go thinking you can sweet-talk your way around me! (Pauses as she looks around) And where’s that other waste of space, my young brother, Pip? Up to no good, no doubt!
Narrator: (Sarcastically) How lovely it must be to think so well of everyone around you!
These are also available in Readers Theater format.