Great Britain Assembly

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Great Britain Assembly

Great Britain Assembly is an assembly written in celebration of Great Britain as a country – its culture and its people. It combines coverage of serious achievements, past and present, with a humorous look at our heritage. Narrated by Queen Elizabeth I (with a little help from her number II, 4 centuries on!) this play aims to present as comprehensive a picture as possible of what it is to be British – quirks and all! I have included mention of at least 35 Great Britons – I would like to have included many more but that would have doubled the length of the play(approximate running time 20 – 30 mins); and tried to capture just a little of our national character.

Description

Great Britain Assembly

Great Britain Assembly is an assembly written in celebration of Great Britain as a country – its culture and its people. It combines coverage of serious achievements, past and present, with a humorous look at our heritage. Narrated by Queen Elizabeth I (with a little help from her number II, 4 centuries on!) Great Britain Assembly aims to present as comprehensive a picture as possible of what it is to be British – quirks and all! I have included mention of at least 35 Great Britons – I would like to have included many more but that would have doubled the length of the play(approximate running time 20 – 30 mins); and tried to capture just a little of our national character.

Great Britain Assembly Extract:

Elizabeth 1: I take it back! Who are this rowdy lot?

Shakespeare: It’s something called Football, m’lady. A strange national pastime, and for some, total obsession! Who would have thought kicking a ball around a rectangular strip of grass could inspire such passion!

Drake: Far livelier than bowls, that’s for sure!

Shakespeare:            And there’s no way a game of football could be interrupted..

Elizabeth I:  (Incredulously) Not even if your country was being invaded?

(Referee chasing two footballers, blowing his whistle)

Shakespeare:            Probably not! Nobody would dare to stand in the path of:

(Each fan steps forward, waving team scarf)

Man. Utd fan:            Manchester United!

Chelsea fan:               Chelsea!

(Exit)

(Another referee runs past, chasing two rugby players)

Elizabeth I:  Hey! Wait a minute! The ball changed shape!

Shakespeare:            That’s because they’re playing rugby, m’lady!

Elizabeth I:  Rugby?

Drake:           Another popular sport. Though let’s not forget …

(Cricketer, clad in ‘whites’ steps forward, only to be jostled by the rugby players, running past again)

Cricketer:    (Indignantly) Hey, I say!

Rugby player:            Get outta the way!

Cricketer:    (Exploding) Well, of all the …. That’s simply not cricket!

(Exit Cricketer and rugby players)

(Tennis player in ‘whites’ steps forward, brandishing tennis racket)

Tennis player:            Anyone for tennis?

(Exit)

(Next lines delivered  in the finest ‘upper class’ accents)

(Two ‘rowers’  row past, with fans carrying ‘University of Cambridge’ and ‘University of Oxford’ banners)

(Rower 1 accidentally knocks Rower 2 on the head with his oar)

Rower 1:      Sorry, old chap! Far too busy trying to win this confounded race!

Rower 2:      Steady on, old chap! There’s a way to go yet!

Cambridge fan:         Come on, Cambridge!

Oxford fan:                 Come on, Oxford!

(Exit rowers and fans)

Elizabeth I:  Good show, lads!

Shakespeare:            Tally ho! I say, isn’t this just splendid fun!

Drake:           Absolutely spiffing, old fellow!

Elizabeth I:  How about some nice cucumber sandwiches, and a super cup of tea?

(Waiter, with pot of tea and sandwiches appears)

Shakespeare:            Ah! Bob’s your uncle, right on queue! Tally ho!

(Enter Artful Dodger)

Artful Dodger:           OK, boys ‘n’ girls! Quick reality check! Anyone listening to you lot would think us Brits were all posh and upper class!

Elizabeth I:  (Sniffily) Personally, I see nothing wrong with that! But who on earth are you?

Artful Dodger:           Me? I go by the name of Artful Dodger. I worked for a group of pick pockets, in Victorian London

(Enter Charles Dickens)

Dickens:       Brought into existence by me, Charles Dickens, in my book Oliver Twist.

Shakespeare:            Ah! A fellow writer! What else did you write?

Dickens:       Well, let me see. There was David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, Nicholas Nickleby …

(Exit Dickens and Artful Dodger)

(Other writers, waiting at the side)

Shakespeare:            And let’s meet some other fine writers.

(Each step forward in turn, with accompanying ‘characters’, announce themselves and then sit down again)

Shakespeare:            And you are?

Stevenson:                 Robert Louis Stevenson.  Most famous for Treasure lsland,

(Parrot, on his shoulder, shrieks “Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!)

Kidnapped and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

(Exit)

Shakespeare:            And you?

Carroll:          Lewis Carroll. Most famous for

(Parade of characters walk past, shouting): Alice in Wonderland!

(Exit)

Shakespeare:            And you?

C.S. Lewis:   C.S. Lewis. Most famous for the Narnia series , including

The Lion:      The Lion

The Witch:  The Witch

Four children:            (carrying ‘Wardrobe’) And the Wardrobe!

(Exit)

Shakespeare:            And you?

J.K. Rowling:               J.K. Rowling. Famous for

Harry Potter:              Me! Harry Potter!

(Points to a child’s head, and pulls out a rabbit – or some such magic trick)

(Roald Dahl rushes on)

Dahl:              Hey! That’s my Magic Finger!

(Exit Rowling and Harry Potter)

Shakespeare:            And you are?

Dahl:              Roald Dahl. Famous for

(Glares at departing Harry Potter)

The Magic Finger, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach

(Interrupted by sound of gun shots. Dahl beats hasty exist as James Bond ‘coolly’ saunters on)

James Bond:      Double O 7 at your service!

Shakespeare:    And your creator?

(Enter Darwin, interrupting before exiting Bond has a chance to reply)

Darwin:                Now there’s an interesting question!

Shakespeare:    Ah! You must be Charles Darwin! And you certainly ‘put the cat amongst the pigeons’!

Darwin:                What? With my Origin of Species? I was just, as a scientist, telling the world about ‘natural selection’.

Drake:   No ‘justs’ about it. You were and remain a scientist of world renown!

(Exit Darwin)

(Line of Scientists line up)

 

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