Guy Fawkes on Trial
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This is a short play with cast of 6. It could be used in the classroom or put on as a performance in front of the school, or used by a drama club. It presents a ‘new take’ on history’s verdict – an interesting twist when the only witness is found guilty by the only member of the jury! i.e. Guy Fawkes walks (free)! I have added at the end of the script a Fact File – which I thought would be useful (a) as an introduction to the subject (b) as the basis for a quiz, to test the children’s knowledge.
This play is actually included in the Guy Fawkes Assembly which has a cast of 30 and covers all the facts plus a reading of 'Remember, Remember, the fifth of November'.
The Accused - Guy Fawkes
Member of the Jury
(I also have lecture notes on The Gunpowder Plot, Plague and Great Fire of London - see lectures section or drop me a line)
Prosecutor: Of course, my Lord! So, to give you a summary of this man’s terrible crimes ..
Judge: (Impatiently) Yes, yes, yes! The blowing up of the Houses of Parliament! But guess what? They’re still here!
Defense: (To Prosecutor) So what’s your problem?
Prosecutor: (Exploding) My problem? My problem? Only the fact that Mr. Fawkes actually intended to blow them up, along with King James himself!
Jury member: (Gasping) The fiend! I knew it! The minute I looked at him! I saw that guilt - written all over his face! Guilty as charged!
Judge: (Slamming down hammer) Order! Order! (Turning to Prosecutor) Am I to believe that the fate of this unfortunate man (pointing to Guy Fawkes) rests in the hands of (pointing to jury member) this …. this lunatic?
Prosecutor: Absolutely, my Lord! None of the other jurors turned up!
Judge: I’m guessing - stuck in a traffic jam too? (Sighing) Ah well! So be it! On with the evidence!
Policeman: Ah, that would be me! Caught him red-handed, I did!
Guy Fawkes: (Exclaiming in outrage) Man-handled, more like! An absolute outrage! Depriving an innocent man of his liberty!
Jury member: (Exclaiming in sympathy) Outrageous! Man handling, you say! Depriving this innocent man of his liberty?
Prosecutor: Objection! Objection! Whoever said this man was innocent?
Judge: Objection sustained! (Turning to jury member) May I remind you that you have to decide whether this man is innocent or guilty (pauses for emphasis) AT THE END OF THIS CASE! (Shaking his head) Proceed!
Policeman: Thank you, m’lord! As I was saying – caught this rogue red-handed!
Judge: (Impatiently) Yes, yes! But where? When? Doing what? We need to know just a little more detail!
Policeman: (Huffily) Of course! I was just getting to that bit. So, there I was (looking at Judge) down in the cellars, under the Houses of Parliament, on the night of November the 4th 1605, having a quiet look around when
Jury member: (Jumping up, shouting excitedly) It was him!
Judge: What are you talking about? Sit down! How many more times do I have to tell you to wait your turn?
Jury member: But don’t you see? You’ve got the wrong man! It was him (pointing at the policeman), not him (pointing at Guy Fawkes)!
Prosecutor: This is preposterous! You can’t go accusing the witness!
Defense: And why not? Let’s hear it!
Policeman: Hear what? There I was, down in that cellar, going about my duty ..
Jury member: Ah right! The duty of blowing up the King of England!
Policeman: No! No! You’ve got it all wrong! I was down there to arrest him (pointing at Guy Fawkes)!
Jury member: Or so you say!
Prosecutor: Objection! Objection! We are here to try Guy Fawkes, not my witness!
Judge: Overruled! I find this new slant to the story rather interesting!
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