Roald Dahl School Assembly or Class Play
Cast size: The small speaking cast of 6 can be increased to include the whole class by adding a supporting cast of characters taken from the five books.
September 13th is Roald Dahl Day. And to celebrate this great writer, I have written an Assembly which attempts to capture just some of the man's genius. It is just a short assembly, looking at 5 of his works - The Magic Finger, BFG, The Giraffe the Pelly and Me, Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts; but in looking at these books again, I for one was reminded of Dahl's amazing ability to create the most bizarre characters, and situations .. out of nothing. He was, I think, a genius and his memory stays vividly alive through his numerous brilliant books.
The play has a small speaking cast - teacher (narrator) plus 5 students, who are asked to pick their favourite author (Roald Dahl - no surprises there!) and favourite books. These are The Magic Finger, The BFG, The Giraffe the Pelly and Me, Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts. The supporting cast i.e. characters taken from these books, is left to the teacher (real one!)'s discretion i.e. depending on how many children there are in the class. Different 'favourites' could obviously be chosen and added to the ones 'my five' chose; and I have similarly left out extracts from the books, plus musical excerpts from the movies which could be added. This assembly can thus be expanded upon in a way to suit the individual class and their Dahl preferences. I hope I have provided a good starting point!
If you are interested in looking at more great writers from Britain, I have written a Great British Writers Assembly which, along with Dahl, features the works of C.S. Lewis, A.A. Milne, Lewis Carroll and J.K. Rowling. A good resource to have during National Children's Book Week, 1-7 October?
Lucy: I wonder if they'll make a movie out of my favourite ..
Teacher: Which is?
Lucy: The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me.
Teacher: And why did you choose that one?
Lucy: I loved the animal characters in it, including the monkey who isn't mentioned in the title! The three of them - the giraffe, the pelican and the monkey - make up a window cleaning gang, the giraffe acting as a ladder because of his magically long neck; the pelican acting as the bucket, with his special ‘Patented beak' and the monkey acting as the cleaner.
Teacher: So, whose windows do they go round cleaning?
Lucy: Well, they're lucky enough to land a job with the richest man in England - the Duke of Hampshire - who needs just 677 windows cleaning at his house - well, more of a palace, really. But as well as making friends with the Duke, and rescuing his wife's jewels into the bargain, they also make a very special friendship, right at the beginning with a young lad called Billy, who acts as Narrator.
Sophie: A bit like in Magic Finger, when you see the plot unfolding through the eyes of a young girl?
Lucy: That's right. Only this is a young boy! And he has dreams of one day owning a sweet shop - a bit like Roald Dahl did!
Teacher: Mr. Dahl obviously had a very sweet tooth! Sweets seem to come up in his stories quite a bit! And did Billy's dream come true, in The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me?
Lucy: Yes it did! And the last few pages of the book give the most amazing descriptions of the sweets given away, on opening day. I wish I'd been there!
Teacher: Mr. Dahl really did have the most incredible imagination! So, which book did you choose, Alice?
Alice: I chose Revolting Rhymes, Miss. These cover some of my favourite fairy tales but they're nothing like the original! No happy endings - well, not in the way you'd expect!
Teacher: Perhaps not for kindergarten, then?
Alice: Hmm. Maybe not - there's nothing sweet and innocent about these fairy tale characters! Take Little Miss Riding Hood, for example. Not only does she shoot the wolf at point blank range, but she goes on to do the same to the Three Little Pigs whom she is meant to be rescuing, in the last story!
Sophie: I remember that! And just so she can add a pigskin bag to her wolfskin coat!
Alice: And Goldilocks doesn't come out much better - she's described as a ‘brazen little crook'!
Harry: But that's what's so great about Roald Dahl. He takes characters who you'd expect to be all sweet and sickly - and makes them far more interesting! He's the master of ‘the twist'!
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