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St. George's Day Set of 5 Plays on England:
1. St. George Meets Robin Hood
2. A Brief History of the English Monarchy
3. Famous People
4. England's Geography and 'Places'
5. English Customs
This set of 5 plays, with 6 speakers each, plus quizzes, was written in celebration of St. George's Day. Narrated in all 5 plays by St. George himself, .... with a little help from Robin Hood!
Play 1 St. George meets ... Robin Hood
St. George: Ah Robin! Thank you so much for joining me this morning. I trust you have been given an explanation as to why you are here?
Robin Hood: Indeed. And may I say, it is an honour to fulfill such a role. That is, to one such as yourself.
St. George: It is me who should thank you. I am fully aware of the depth of my ignorance regarding England - its history, its people, its culture ...
Robin Hood: Which is why I have been brought in - to bring you up to speed! Don't worry, I'll give you all the information you need.
St. George: And how are you going to do that?
Robin Hood: Hey! No need to sound so worried.
St. George: Well, wouldn't you be, knowing as little as I do?
Robin Hood: I have to admit, you did seem rather an odd choice as England's patron saint.
St. George: No one was more surprised than me when they told me I was to replace Edward the Confessor. I mean, at least he lived in England!
Robin Hood: True. But you were a real inspiration to our fighting forces in the Crusades. Our knights were more than happy to adopt your example of virtue and chivalry.
St. George: I take that as a great compliment. I thank you.
Robin Hood: You are too modest, sir! It took a huge amount of courage to champion the cause of Christianity - when you knew it could only lead to one thing.
St. George: My death? Well, it seemed a small price to pay in such a noble fight!
Robin Hood: But as the Emperor's favourite, it would have been so much easier to have kept quiet and continue leading a comfortable life.
St. George: I'm not sure being in the Roman army was exactly comfortable!
Robin Hood: But a lot better than being tortured in prison and then beheaded!
St. George: Well, if you put it like that! But nobody with a conscience could have accepted that persecution of the Christians. I had to do what I felt was right!
Robin Hood: Even if it cost you your life?
St. George: Just so. Now perhaps you can see why I feel I should be taken seriously. Without all that ‘saving a princess from a dragon' stuff!
St. George: Please! A little respect for the dead! OK so Henry VIII wouldn't be most women's number one choice husband
Robin: Not if they valued their necks!
St. George: But his daughter certainly made up for his lack of heart!
Elizabeth I: Good Queen Bess! That's what they called me!
St. George: And you certainly won the hearts of your subjects!
Victoria: And courtiers! Though I'm glad you didn't go the way of your father
Elizabeth I: What? With six husbands? No, I was married to my country.
St. George: What a sense of duty! Like our other queen here
John: But wait a minute! Let's not forget all those kings between these two.
Richard III: Yes. What about the Stuarts?
Victoria: What about the Stuarts? It was one of them who allowed this country to become a republic - for eleven years!
Richard III: What? No monarchy?
Robin: None! Charles the first got so carried away with his idea of ruling through Divine Right - that he failed to see that no divine power would save him from the chop!
Richard III: So who took over from him?
Robin: Initially, something called a Council of State, which appointed Oliver Cromwell, who had led the Parliamentarians or Roundheads against the King's supporters, the Cavaliers.
Richard III: So how did we get back to having monarchs again?
Robin: Because Oliver's successor, Richard Cromwell didn't do a very good job at ruling either. So Parliament asked Charles II to be king!
Richard III: Wow! For an outlaw, you sure know your way around England's ruling system!
St. George: So, where were we? Ah yes, Charles II - the Merry Monarch!
Victoria: He may have been merry but I doubt whether all his subjects shared his merriment - what with the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London!
St. George: And then that massive transformation of our country - in your reign, Ma'am.
Victoria: Indeed. I was of course blessed with having the greatest brains around.
John: (Sarcastically) So modest!
Victoria: No, I don't mean my brains! I mean those of such great men as George Stephenson, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Isaac Newton
Robin Hood: But, if I may be so bold, Ma'am. ‘Common' is hardly a word we normally associate with royalty. And what, apart from your own devotion to the church, could you possibly have in common with this Saint?
Queen Eliz: OK. Shall we tell them, George? .... You don't mind if I call you that, do you?
St. George: Not at all Ma'am. Though I think I'll refrain from calling you Lizzie!
Queen Eliz: (A little huffily) I should think so! Well, George. Time, I think, to tell them what we do share in common.
St. George: After you, Ma'am!
Queen Eliz: "I promise that I will do my best:
To love my God,
To serve the Queen (that's me!) and my country
To help other people
And to keep the Guide Law."
St. George: My turn!
"On my honor I promise that:
I will do my duty to god and The Queen
Queen Eliz: Me again!
St. George: (Coughing) Ma'am! It's my turn, remember?
I will do my best to help others, whatever it costs me
I know the Scout Law, and will obey it."
Robin Hood: Ah! Now I see! Our very own
Queen Eliz: Girl Guide
St. George: And Boy Scout! Well, patrons of, that is!
Robin Hood: And to think I thought you two only had princesses, and the rescuing of, in common!
Queen Eliz: What? All that poppycock about dragons?
St. George: It made a good story. But do you really think that slaying a dragon would earn me a place in the history books? Along with these great gentlemen?
Queen Eliz: Of course not! It was those other great qualities - of standing up for what you believed in
St. George: Like when I stood up for my faith, even though it cost me my life.
Churchill: "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak.."
Shakespeare: (Interrupting) "Friends, Romans and countrymen, lend me your ears .."
Lennon: Sadly that Emperor Diocletian didn't lend his or he wouldn't have had you beheaded ...
Churchill: (Coughing) Er. Excuse me. Allow me to finish my quotation ...
Robin Hood: Which was?
Churchill: That "Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen".
St. George: Nah! That Emperor of mine was certainly lacking in that quarter!
Queen Eliz: But let's look on the bright side, George! If he hadn't made a martyr out of you, you would never have become the patron saint of England!
St. George: And scouting!
Churchill: And soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry!
St. George: So I guess losing my head was worth it after all!
Shakespeare: Indeed! "Although this be madness, yet there is method in it"!
Lennon: Seems a bit desperate to me!
Churchill: Ah. But "The British nation is unique in this respect. They are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst"!
Queen Eliz: Indeed. You can't change the way we are. We are English, after all!
Churchill: And proud of it! "There is a forgotten, nay almost forbidden word, which means more to me than any other. The word is ENGLAND".
Shakespeare: "Oh to be in England" ...
Churchill: (Coughing) ... Thank you, Robert Browning!
Lennon: Oh, you two and your quotes! How about we just ... "Let it be".
St. George: But before we visit any of these places, let us quickly look at where England itself is.
Robin: That's easy! South of Scotland and East of Wales!
St. George: It is made up of forty counties in nine regions - known as the South East, the South West, London, the East of England, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East and North West.
Ranger: The ‘backbone' of England is made up of a mountainous range called the Pennines. These go down the middle of the country, and to the west of them is England's largest national park - the Lake District.
Gardener: A stunning area, with 16 lakes scattered between towering peaks, the highest of which is Scafell Pike. A walker's paradise!
Butler: In contrast, there is East Anglia - a really flat area in the South East.
Beefeater: And then there are those great white cliffs of Dover, and further along to the furthest point West - Land's End.
St. George: An amazing variety of landscape - mountains, valleys, moorland, marshland, forests
Robin: Ah those forests! And my home - Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire!
Ranger: You certainly made that one famous! ‘Course our moorlands can be just as beautiful - offering a totally different landscape, without a tree in sight!
Butler: Though that's certainly not due to lack of rain!
Ranger: Indeed. And the Lake District has the highest rainfall of all. But it still doesn't put those walkers off!
St. George: England certainly is the place to be, if you wish to stretch those legs!
Gardener: Indeed! With fifteen National Trails
Beefeater: And all those Greenbelts around our major cities.
St. George: I'm guessing you're not talking about a fashion accessory?
Robin: No, no St. George! Greenbelts are stretches of land that cannot be built upon.
Ranger: It's all about protecting our environment!
Gardener: The more green land, the better!
Beefeater: Course, that's not always easy with a growing population. But even in our cities, there are beautiful parks. Take those in London - Hyde Park, Green Park, St. James Park
Butler: And the most beautiful gardens around our stately homes.
St. George: Thanks to great garden designers like that Capability Brown
Weatherman: Indeed. Every cloud has a silver lining!
St. George: Really?
Robin: Just an old English proverb. We have lots of those
Landlord: ‘The way to a man's heart is through his stomach'. Makes good business for me!
Weatherman: Birds of a feather flock together!
Morris Dancer: The grass is always greener on the other side!
Bobby: Live and let live! That's sometimes easier said than done!
Robin: The best things in life are free.
Landlord: Not in here, they're not! Now, I hate to mention the bill but ..
St. George: That's all right, guv! This one's on me!
Robin: I say! You're a fast learner! That sounded almost convincing!
Bobby: Sounded to me like he (looking at landlord) thought you were going to leg it!
Landlord: Not for one minute! But I do have other customers to serve - like a party I'm expecting any minute who will be most upset if their afternoon tea is served late!
Robin: What? With scones and cucumber sandwiches?
Landlord: You've got it! Bob's your uncle!
St. George: (Looking at Bobby) Is he? I'd never have guessed!
Robin: (Sighing) No, just a figure of speech, sir! A bit like ‘Stone the crows!' or ‘Gordon Bennet!'
St. George: (Puzzled) Who's he?
Robin: (In exasperation) Oh never mind! Time to pay the bill, I think!