10 characters; 5M, 1F, 4Either; Flexible casting; 14 pages in length. Approximately 10-15 minutes running time. A comedic adaptation of the English folktale by written by Andy Pavey.
Robin Hood is a hilarious adaptation of the English folktale. In this play for children, Robin Hood and his merry crew are all birds! When they find themselves chased by an unknown enemy, they have to get past the toll bridge operator in order to escape. The operator is Little John, a very large cow, who is demanding far more money than any of them have. After a tragic swordfight and rapid recovery, Little John joins the gang to help them steal birdseed from the royal birdfeeder. Unfortunately, the Sheriff of Nottingham has rigged it with PEANUT BUTTER! Will our heroes survive the sticky situation before getting captured? Find out in this swashbuckling comedy that kids will love to perform!
Andy Pavey is Drama Notebook’s resident playwright. Andy has written over 40 plays for Drama Notebook’s Script Library and each one will have you laughing out loud. Andy hails from the tiny riverside town of LeClaire, Iowa. Andy enjoys writing (of course), reading, backpacking, and riding his bicycle. After studying for two years at UWC-USA, an international residential school in New Mexico, he returned to his home state to attend Grinnell College. He previously spent nine years with Davenport Junior Theatre, the second-oldest children’s theatre in the United States, where he acted in productions, managed the props building, and wrote plays for young actors to perform. Enthralled with creative writing since he was very young, he is thrilled to be working with Drama Notebook to inspire others to think outside the box.
Excerpt from the play:
CAST OF CHARACTERS
ROBIN HOOD (a witty, cunning robin)
FRIER TUCK (a gluttonous chicken)
LITTLE JOHN (a large cow)
MAID MARIAN (an owl with a fantastic vocabulary)
TINKER (a woodpecker)
COOK (a bluejay)
WILL SCARLET (a cardinal)
GILBERT WHITEHAND (a penguin)
SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM (a human)
PRINCE JOHN (a human)
SETTING: Sherwood Forest.
At rise, ROBIN HOOD, FRIER TUCK, MAID MARIAN, TINKER, COOK, WILL SCARLET, and GILBERT WHITEHAND are fleeing an unknown enemy, running across the stage. There is a river center stage and a bridge spanning it. LITTLE JOHN stands guard.
Have we lost them yet?
By the looks of the men with the pointy swords, I’d say we haven’t!
GILBERT WHITEHAND turns around, notches an arrow, and fires it off-stage towards the pursuers. A scream is heard off-stage. The group reaches the bridge, but the massive LITTLE JOHN is blocking the way. Off-stage, footsteps and yells grow steadily louder.
LITTLE JOHN (pleasantly)
Good morning, and welcome to the Sherwood Forest Express Toll Bridge. My name is Little John. How may I help you today?
A toll bridge? In Sherwood Forest?
We need to cross this bridge right now! We’re being chased!
LITTLE JOHN (amused and taking his time)
What’s your name, little birdy?
I’m a Robin… (a long beat) Hood.
An extremely awkward beat. LITTLE JOHN looks confused.
I keep telling you, Robin, it’s all in the delivery.
Yeah, what’s with that long gap in the middle? (imitating ROBIN HOOD’S voice) “Robin… Hood.”
ROBIN HOOD (to WILL SCARLET)
Don’t patronize me. I’m working on it.
Okay, “Robin… Hood.” I can help you with that.
LITTLE JOHN pulls out a notebook and starts writing (alternatively, he could use a pocket calculator).
So you’re getting chased. Are you the good guys or the bad guys?
So, for seven birds, plus the 25% “bad guy” fee, your total comes to 20 gold pieces. I accept cash, checks, Bitcoin, Arby’s gift certificates…
FRIER TUCK pulls out a larger-than-life chocolate bar and slowly unwraps it during the following line.
ROBIN HOOD (pleading)
Listen, sir. We’re just vagabonds. Peasants, really. We have nothing but the clothes on our backs and the arrows in our quivers. We hardly ever know where our next meal is coming from. We’re practically starving.
After tossing the wrapper on the ground, FRIER TUCK begins noisily and sloppily eating the chocolate bar. Everyone turns to look at him, disgusted and/or horrified.
…Really, Tuck? Really?
FRIER TUCK (to LITTLE JOHN, with chocolate all over his face)
Hey, a bird’s gotta eat. Some people spend their income paying so-called “taxes,” and others decide to treat themselves to the finer things in life.
Well, well, well. Looks like you aren’t quite the “peasants” you made yourselves out to be. Get lost. I don’t want your business anymore.
Dejected, the animals hang their heads and look at each other with worry. Again, footsteps and yelling are heard from off-stage.
ROBIN HOOD (urgently, to LITTLE JOHN)
I didn’t want to have to do this… But I’m afraid you’ve left me no choice!
ROBIN HOOD unsheathes his sword and points it at LITTLE JOHN. Everyone is greatly startled. LITTLE JOHN slowly retrieves a sword and hides it behind his back and out of view.
Oh, Robin, don’t be so dramatic! He’s just a toll bridge operator doing his job. The poor thing has probably never seen a sword in his life. Put your weapon away.
LITTLE JOHN (unconvincingly)
Uh, yes, I am just a poor, sad little cow. Don’t hurt me. Moo.
As adorable and helpless as you are, we’re running out of options. (to LITTLE JOHN) Let us over the bridge this instant.
LITTLE JOHN (defiantly)
Do you have 20 gold? I’m not letting you across if you don’t pay.
FRIER TUCK opens up his backpack and shows its contents to LITTLE JOHN.
FRIER TUCK (face covered in chocolate)
I have 20 chocolate bars. Anyone remember the exchange rate?
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