The Pied Piper of Hamelin Class Play or Assembly
The Pied Piper of Hamelin Class Play or Assembly is based on the poem by Robert Browning, has a cast of 30 and a duration of around 20 minutes.
It has a very welcome ‘twist’ of the tail (thinking rats, here) which will warm the hearts of everyone, especially animal lovers. As one of the lines clearly states ‘There were no animals killed during this production today!’
Mayor: Now, wait a minute! We seem to have got things the wrong way round here!
(Enter Rats 2 – 8, lining up menacingly)
Rat 2: Oh, really?
Mayor: Yes, really! I mean, who or what do you think the poet was referring to when he used the term ‘vermin’?
(Enter Councillors 1, 2 and 3)
Councillors: (Together) Rats!
(Councillors and Mayor go over to the narrator and read from the poem)
Mayor: They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
Councillor 1: And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks’ own ladles,
Councillor 2: Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats,
Councillor 3: And even spoiled the women’s chats,
By drowning their speaking,
Mayor: With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.
(Everyone turns to the rats to see their reaction. Rats all stand with arms crossed, looking furious – and then all suddenly burst out laughing)
Mayor: What’s so funny?
Councillor 1: Yeah!
Councillor 2: I wouldn’t be laughing
Councillor 3: If I were in your shoes!
Rat 1: (Shaking his head) Where do you get all this stuff?
Rat 2: We weren’t the guilty ones!
Rat 3: OK so we might have nibbled at the odd piece of cheese
Rat 4: And maybe the odd sip of soup.
Rat 5: But fought with dogs?
Rat 6: Killed cats?
Rat 7: Bitten babies?
Rat 8: Drowned ladies speaking with shrieking and squeaking?
Rat 1: Are you serious?
Rat 2: Do we look like we could take on cats and dogs?
Rat 3: Or babies! Have you heard one screaming recently?
(All rats cover their ears)
Rat 4: Now that is a noise to deafen even the chattiest of ladies!
Rat 5: You paint a totally false picture of us rats.
Narrator: But you do come with something of a reputation!
Rat 6: Oh, you mean that Bubonic Plague thing?
Narrator: Well, yes. That did wipe out a rather large percentage of the human race!
Mayor: (Triumphantly) There you go!
Rat 7: But it taught you lot to keep cleaner afterwards!
Rat 8: Clear up your own rubbish!
Rat 1: Shame they didn’t clear out some of the human variety!
Mayor: (Exploding) Pardon!
Narrator: (To Mayor) It has to be said, your townsfolk didn’t seem to think very highly of you!
Pied Piper: And with good reason! Let me pick up the story here.
(Narrator gestures for everyone else to return to their seats)
Pied Piper: You see, I’d heard that the town of Hamelin wanted to be rid of their rats!
(All rats jump up in indignation)
Pied Piper: (To rats) Sit down, gentlemen, please. I have other ‘rats’, if you’ll pardon the expression, to deal with!
(Pointing to Mayor and Councillors) This lot!
Also available: Red Riding Hood