Robin Hood and the Unnecessary Rescue

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27+ characters. Approximately 35 minutes running time. Comedic version of Robin Hood (sequel to Robin Hood and the Wedding of Doom).

Sheriff Nottingham has once again set his sights on marrying an unlucky young woman. Only this time, she has a plan of her own! All of our old favorite characters (Robin Hood, Maid Marion, Will Scarlett, Friar Tuck, etc.) get mixed up in the action. This is a sequel to ‘Robin Hood and the Wedding of Doom,’ but may be performed as a stand-alone play.

Playwright’s note: As in the tradition of English panto, the original production featured multiple characters breaking into song. We’ve used pop, rock, Broadway, TV theme shows, you name it. We’ve also written a number of parody songs based on popular tunes. The key is to let the actors find songs that work for them, that they want to sing. The play can, of course, also be done without music. Most actors will play more than one part in the show. In general, the students involved in our productions have been in grades 3-9.

David Neilsen is the author of two Middle Grade horror/comic/fantasies published by Crown Books for Young Readers. His debut novel, Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom, was named an Editor’s Pick by Amazon, won the Silver Falchion Award for Best YA/Tween Horror or Fantasy of 2017, and was a Semifinalist for Best Middle Grade / Children’s Book in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. His second book, Beyond the Doors, was published in August of 2017. His plays are written originally for a children’s summer theater camp he’s been running for a number of years. David is a professional storyteller based in Sleepy Hollow, NY, and lives with his wife, son, daughter, and two very domineering cats.

Excerpt from the play:

CHARACTERS:

FIRST GUARD – A lowly (and slightly dim) soldier working for the Sheriff of Nottingham.
SECOND GUARD – Anther lowly, slightly dim soldier working for the Sheriff of Nottingham.
SIR GUY – The no-nonsense right hand of the Sheriff of Nottingham.
LITTLE JOHN – Robin Hood’s right-hand-man.
ROBIN HOOD – A notorious outlaw. The good guy.
WILL SCARLET – One of Robin’s Merry Men. Young, excitable, eager.
JUAN PABLO – One of Robin’s Merry Men. Good with knots.
FRIAR TUCK – A Merry Man. Likes to eat.
THE POOR – A trio of impoverished peasants who all speak as one.
MAID MARIAN – A proud, intelligent, independent woman and Robin’s true love.
THE SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM – The bad guy.
FLUNKIE – Works for The Sheriff of Nottingham.
SAD PEASANT – A sad peasant.
LADY CHATTERBOX – The Sheriff’s Bride-to-Be. Deliciously evil.
VARIOUS MERRY MEN – Members of Robin’s band.
CHAIR PEASANT – A peasant forced to pretend to be a chair.
DOOR PEASANT – A peasant forced to pretend to be a door.
MASTER COOK – a Master Cook.
CHEF ONE, CHEF TWO, CHEF THREE, CHEF FOUR – Chefs working under Master Cook.
PUPPY PRISONER – A prisoner afraid of puppies.
MR. and MRS. CHATTERBOX – Parents of Lady Chatterbox.

TIME:  The 15th Century. On a Wednesday.

SETTING:  England

SCENE ONE: Sherwood Forest – Day

(Enter FIRST GUARD, SECOND GUARD, and SIR GUY. Sir Guy is wearing a dress. They carry a medium-sized BUNDLE with them.)

FIRST GUARD:
I still say this is a bad idea.

SECOND GUARD:
You mean entering Sherwood Forest, home of the notorious criminal Robin Hood, while carrying a valuable gift meant for the Sheriff of Nottingham?

FIRST GUARD:
It just seems like we’re asking for trouble. The Sheriff doesn’t do well with disappointment.

SECOND GUARD:
You can’t take it personally. Maybe he was unresolved trust issues with his father.

FIRST GUARD:
Didn’t he execute his father?

SIR GUY:
Quiet! We’re supposed to be in disguise!

SECOND GUARD:
Right. Sorry, Sir Guy.

SIR GUY:
Don’t use my real name! I’m a penniless woman who has nothing worth stealing.

FIRST GUARD:
Sorry, Sir Guy. I mean Lady Guy.

SIR GUY:
Just keep moving. We’re almost out of the forest. A few more yards and Robin Hood will have missed his chance to rob us!

(Enter ROBIN HOOD, dressed as an old beggar, and LITTLE JOHN, wearing a rhinoceros mask.)

ROBIN HOOD:
Spare a farthing for an old, rhinoceros trainer?

SIR GUY:
(speaking in a high voice)
I’m afraid we have no farthings to spare, Mr. Rhino Trainer.

ROBIN HOOD:
You’re a remarkably manly-looking woman, Madam.

SIR GUY:
I have a glandular condition.

ROBIN HOOD:
You’re wearing armor bearing the family crest of Sir Guy.

SIR GUY:
I’m his third cousin twice removed. On his mother’s side.

(Robin Hood pulls his sword.)

ROBIN HOOD:
Nice try, Sir Guy! Hand it over!

SIR GUY:
Never! Guards! Kill him!

(Little John pulls his sword out as well.)

FIRST GUARD:
Look out! The rhino is armed!

SECOND GUARD:
Run away! Run away!

(The Guards run offstage.)

ROBIN HOOD:
Two against one, Sir Guy.

(Sir Guy groans and hands over the bundle.)

SIR GUY:
You will regret this, Robin Hood! This is a gift for the Sheriff of Nottingham from his soon-to-be fiancé, Lady Chatterbox!

ROBIN HOOD:
The Poor thank the good Lady Chatterbox for her donation. Be gone!

(Sir Guy exits. Robin tries to undo the bundle’s knot. Fails.)

LITTLE JOHN:
That’s supposed to be an engagement gift? Doesn’t look like much.

ROBIN HOOD:
Agreed, Little John. Yet it is tied with a devil of a knot.

LITTLE JOHN:
One of the Marry Men will untie it. Come! Let us return to camp!

ROBIN HOOD:
To camp!

(They exit.)

SCENE TWO: Robin’s Camp – Later

(WILL SCARLET, in a dress, finishes a song as JUAN PABLO and other MERRY MEN applause.)

JUAN PABLO:
You have a lovely singing voice, Will Scarlet. And the dress almost makes you attractive.

WILL SCARLET:
High praise, Juan Pablo.

(Enter Robin Hood and Little John.)

ROBIN HOOD:
Another successful plunder, men! Juan Pablo, you are good with knots, yes?

(He tosses the bundle to Juan Pablo.)

JUAN PABLO:
I’ll have it open in a jiffy.

(Enter FRIAR TUCK, followed by THE POOR–three peasants who speak together as one. Friar Tuck munches on a turkey leg.)

FRIAR TUCK:
I am sorry, Poor, but we simply have no food to spare.

THE POOR:
We are hungry!

FRIAR TUCK:
Believe me, Poor, I hear you. Next time Robin steals from the rich, we’ll give you a call.

ROBIN HOOD:
How goes it with The Poor, Friar Tuck?

FRIAR TUCK:
Same old, same old.

THE POOR:
So hungry!

FRIAR TUCK:
It’s like a broken record.

(He exits. The Poor follow him. MAID MARIAN enters.)

MAID MARIAN:
Robin! You’ve returned!

ROBIN HOOD:
Maid Marian! Good to see you, old chum!

MAID MARIAN:
Old chum? Seriously?

LITTLE JOHN:
That’s emotional for Robin.

ROBIN HOOD:
Juan Pablo! How goes it with the knot?

JUAN PABLO:
It’s a tricky one! Something between a Valdotain Tresse and a Zepplin Bend. I’ll have it in a sec.

MAID MARIAN:
What is that?

ROBIN HOOD:
A gift for the Sheriff from his soon-to-be fiancé.

MAID MARIAN:
That monster is forcing a woman to marry him again? You must rescue her!

LITTLE JOHN:
From her wedding?

MAID MARIAN:
The poor, helpless woman is no doubt even now praying for death!

ROBIN HOOD:
Good Heavens! I didn’t realize! Men! A bride-to-be needs our help! Will! Little John! Come! We must rescue a fair maiden from the Sheriff of Nottingham!

(Will, Robin, and Little John run off.)

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