Tom Thumb Play Script With Suggested Songs Ages 9 - 14 by David Barrett (includes performance licence)
See below for script sample. This is a panto-style play with 9 suggested songs. The duration is about 1 hour. There are lots of speaking roles and chorus work. Please note, this is a script with suggestions for songs. Tom is one of seven brothers. Their parents cannot afford to feed them and leave them to fend for themselves in the forest. They knock on the door of a mysterious cottage hoping for shelter from a storm. Unbeknown to them the cottage belongs to an ogre who eats children.
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You will need a performance licence for every performance of the play.
Tom Thumb Script Sample
Jack, The Woodcutter
Mabel, His Wife
The Captain of the Guard
The Children’s Army
Scene 1, In the Village Outside Tom’s Cottage
The villagers are very miserable. The crops have failed and they are hungry. The children are dressed in rags and have dirty faces. Tom is curled up inside a big bucket on one side and cannot be seen by the audience or cast. One side of the stage is the interior of the cottage.
SONG 1 Try to Remember the Kind of September
(At the end of the song most of the villagers drift upstage and carry on with menial tasks such as carving wood, hanging washing and bartering goods. The children play simple games with sticks and nuts. Enter Jack, the woodcutter.)
JACK Ah, there you are, wife.
MABEL Well, Jack, how much money did you take at market. You should have got a fair price for those hard-wood faggots. Good quality they were.
JACK (Dejected) Not a farthing, Mabel. They did not sell.
MABEL What? What do you mean, ‘they did not sell’?
JACK They were damp and rotten, that’s what. There must be a leak in the shed roof.
BEN I told you, father, there is a hole big enough for Tom to climb through in that shed roof. You wouldn’t listen to me.
ZAK That’s because he climbed onto the roof and fell through.
JACK Speaking of Tom, where is the boy?
BILL We haven’t seen him since dinner.
DICK That was two days ago! We didn’t eat yesterday.
MABEL You can’t expect to eat every day. We simply don’t have the money to buy food.
JACK And there’s a limit to the number of wild berries we can gather. It’s more important to gather wood to sell.
HARRY I’m so hungry, Ma. Will we be eating today?
MABEL Well, all you’ll have is turnip stew. I was relying on your father bringing some meat home from the market.
PETE But we had turnip stew last time we ate.
ZAK And the time before.
JACK Enough! If you boys worked a little harder we might be able to buy food. Now, let’s all go and find Tom and then we can go and collect some more wood from the forest.
BEN I’m frightened of the forest. Wild bears and wolves live there.
DICK Don’t be such a wimp, Ben.
BILL Perhaps we could kill a bear and eat it.
ZAK Perhaps pigs might fly.
MABEL Come on, let’s go and find Tom. He can help repair the damage he caused to the roof.
PETE He’s probably hiding again like he normally does.
HARRY Let’s check all the usual places first.
Exit Jack, Mabel and the boys. Tom pops his head out of the bucket to check all is clear.
TOM Hello! Did you hear that. What a cheek; I get blamed for everything. It’s just ‘cause I’m the youngest – and the smallest. They think I’m stupid but I’m smarter than all of them put together. One day I’ll show them – you’ll see. It’s really miserable living here; never enough to eat, the rain comes through the roof, there are no blankets on my bed and I’m always cold and hungry. And now that winter is coming things will get even worse.
SONG 2 A Winter’s Tale (Tom and Chorus)
The villagers join in the chorus. After the song, enter Jack, Mabel and the boys.
JACK Ah, there you are Tom Thumb. Where have you been?
TOM Oh, just here and there, nowhere in particular.
MABEL I’ll give you nowhere in particular. (She grabs him by the ear.) Get into that house. It’s time you were in bed.
TOM Why? I’m not tired.
MABEL Don’t you answer me back, boy, or you’ll be straight to bed with no supper.
TOM (Aside) Oh great, just like every other day.
TOM I said I’m going to behave.
They all enter the house. Exit villagers.
JACK Now wash your hands ready for supper.
PETE (Looking in the bucket) There isn’t any water.
JACK Then sit down at the table.
They sit at a long table, the boys along the sides and the parents at each end.
MABEL Who’s going to say grace?
MABEL Ben, don’t be naughty.
BILL I will, I’ll say it.
JACK Very well, go ahead.
BILL For the little we are about to receive may the Lord make us truly thankful, even though it is only turnip stew again.
Jack serves a spoonful to each person.
TOM Is that all I get.
ZAK You’re only small, that’s all you need.
TOM If I’m not fed properly I’ll never grow big, will I!
BEN You’ll never grow big anyway.
JACK That’s enough talking. Get on with your meal.
PETE Meal is a slight exaggeration, I think.
MABEL Now we have a hard day ahead of us. We will need to collect double the normal amount of wood to make up for the disaster at the market.
The boys groan.
JACK Now, to bed – all of you.
TOM Please father, let me go at the top end. I keep falling out of the bottom.
JACK You will go where you are told, boy.
HARRY Why can’t we have a bed each. It’s too squashed all in the one bed.
JACK There’s not room for more than one bed. You know that.
MABEL Shoo, shoo! Into bed. (She shoes them off.)
Exit boys, grumbling and pushing one-another.
JACK Now, Mabel, you and I must have a serious talk.
MABEL It’s not true. You can’t believe idle village gossip.
JACK What on earth are you talking about, Mabel?
MABEL Oh, nothing, Jack.
Tom enters, out of sight of his father and mother, and eavesdrops.
JACK The truth is that we simply cannot afford to feed seven boys anymore.
MABEL But we can’t let them starve either.
JACK Precisely. But I have an alternative suggestion. We must take them into the forest and leave them there to fend for themselves.
Tom looks shocked and wipes away a tear with the back of his hand.
MABEL Jack, how could you suggest such a thing?
JACK What alternative do we have? They will starve if we leave them here.
JACK It is for the best, dear.
MABEL My heart will be broken in two.
Tom sniffs violently.
JACK What was that?
MABEL Just the wind, dear.
JACK Then we have our decision. The answer is blowing in the wind.