12 characters; 12M. (All boys cast!) 23 pages in length. Approximately 15-20 minutes running time. A ghost story written by Andrew Beattie.

The New Boy is an English ghost story set in an all-boys prep school in the 1960’s. The play tells the story of twelve year old Ames and his arrival at his new school. Being the only new kid, Ames worries about not knowing any of the other boys, where to go or how to behave. Things begin to improve when he meets a boy who tells him all about the other students and the staff. He soon advises him to steer clear of his form master, Mr. Cratchet, and tells him about a student who was pushed out of a window just that summer. Ames meets other boys but things get creepy when the power goes out and an unplugged record player begins to play. Dead Poet’s Society meets The Sixth Sense in this chilling play for kids and teens!

Andrew Beattie is the author of a number of stage plays for children which have been published in the UK and have been performed by schools and youth theatre groups in the UK, Australia and the United States. These include adaptations of Mark Twain’s “The Prince and the Pauper”, published by Schoolplay Productions, and “Arthur, Boy-King of Britain”, a play that tells the story of the boy Arthur, the magician Merlin and the Sword in the Stone, which is published by Lazybee Scripts. He has also directed a number of school plays, including a stage adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach” at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012. In addition to writing stage plays for children, he has also written a number of books on travel, history and the environment. Learn more about Andrew on his website: http://www.andrewbeattie.me.uk/.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

AMES
BLENKINSOP
CULHAM
DALRYMPLE-HUGHES
EAVES
FOSSINGTON
GODDEN
HICKS
IVES
JOWETT
KINGFISHER
LYLE

Setting: The recreation room in the boarding house of a boys’ prep school in England. Shabby furniture; old arm chairs, tables strewn with half-finished model aircraft, a bookshelf with tatty old children’s books. On one side is a record player on a table. To another side of the stage is a small desk with a couple of chairs around it.

Time: 1960’s.

Costumes: All the characters are English schoolboys aged around twelve, and (except for Hicks and Ives) wear school uniforms, maybe slightly old-fashioned to define the era. Ames wears a blazer and cap but the others don’t. Hicks and Ives wear cricket whites.

Piano music (over speakers); Bach two-part prelude, perhaps. Grows louder as lights fade down, leaving a single spot focused on the desk.

Enter Ames. He sits at the chair, behind the desk, in a spotlight.

Music fades down.

AMES
I was the only new boy that term. Normally there are two or three new boys joining at the start of a new term. But that term I was the only one. I remember…so much from that first day. From those first few hours, in fact. That awful feeling as we came up the drive towards the front of the school. Getting my trunk out of the boot of the car – lugging it over towards where a master stood, by the front door of the school. Not really wanting to look back, but saying a forced “goodbye” to my mother. Wondering if she was going to cry. Then the master whisking me away and asking two prefects to help. They were older boys; two years older than me. In their final year, I think. They wore different ties because they were prefects. Not like this (indicates tie)…boring one. They seemed quite pleased with themselves. When we’d put my trunk in this hallway at the foot of some stairs one of the boys showed me up here.

Lights: slow fade up from here over next part of the speech.

I asked him whether some other boys would be along soon. He replied “You’re early.” “But will there be any other boys?” But he just left, then, without saying anything.
I sat down at this desk. The new boy, who doesn’t know anyone; doesn’t know anything, doesn’t know where to go, what’s good form and what isn’t. I thought that the master who had met me outside the front of the school had said something about “orange juice and buns for all returning boys, as they arrive” – but there wasn’t anything up here though. (looks around) Just a load of….tatty old books on a shelf, and a record player and some chairs. I wondered if I had come to the wrong place. The wrong school even. (Pause) But I hadn’t.

By now the lights on the room are fully up. Enter Blenkinsop, cheerily.

BLENKINSOP
Hello. You must be Ames.

AMES
Yes.

BLENKINSOP
You’re the new boy.

AMES
(nervous)Yes. I am.

BLENKINSOP
They told me you’d be up here. I’m Blenkinsop.

AMES
(nervously) Are you? I’m Ames.

BLENKINSOP
Yes. You just said.

AMES
Oh. Yes. Are you new too?

BLENKINSOP
New? Do I look as if I’m new?

AMES
Well –

BLENKINSOP
You’re the only new bug around here. Tell a new bug a mile off. Stop looking so neat! Your blazer’s about three sizes too big for you.

AMES
My mum said I’ll grow into it.

BLENKINSOP
It’s not “Mum”. It’s “Mater”. Mater for mothers, Soror for sisters. Latin. That’s what we say here. (pause) Didn’t you do any Latin at your last school?

AMES
Yes. I think we got up to the subjunctive.

BLENKINSOP
We’re way past that. We’ve done gerunds and gerundives. You need to make sure your tie’s not so straight….(he joggles Ames’s tie)…there.

AMES
Will it matter that I haven’t got as far as gerun…whatever you said?

BLENKINSOP
Can’t do much about it if it does, can we?

AMES
There was a master who met me down by the front of the school. He said that there were buns. And orange juice.

BLENKINSOP
Did he.

AMES
But I think I’ve come to the wrong place.

BLENKINSOP
Yes. I think you have too. There’s no buns or orange juice up here!

AMES
No. There’s lots of dust though.

BLENKINSOP
Mrs. Copeman hasn’t been round yet.

AMES
Mrs. Copeman?

BLENKINSOP
Does the cleaning. Changes the sheets. You have to strip your bed, every Saturday, and leave your sheets in the basket for her to collect.

AMES
Oh. I see. (pause) Where are they serving the buns and orange juice then? Perhaps we could go down together.

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