Elementary level

by Peter Griffith

 

A Pinch of Salt is a dramatic retelling of the English folk-tale which was used by Shakespeare as the basis for his play 'King Lear'.

 

When she refuses to join her silly sisters in flattering her father, Princess Cordelia is thrown out of the palace and has to find her own way in the world.

 

A Pinch of Salt is a story of mad kings and arrogant princes, of downtrodden servants and blind beggars – a story full of charm, humour and bitter-sweet fantasy.



 

Photos of 'A Pinch of Salt'

 

 

Extract from the script 'A Pinch of Salt'

Llyr: Stand forward, Cordelia. You are my youngest daughter, you are my favourite. Now tell me: how much do you love me?
Cordelia: Father, this whole competition is silly.
Llyr: Cordelia this is your last chance: how much do you love me?
Cordelia: I love you…as fresh meat loves salt.
Llyr: What?…Is that all you can say?
Cordelia: Yes father. That is all I can say.
Llyr: You are my favourite, the one I love the most. And you don’t love me at all. I give you everything – I give you my love all these years. And this is all you can say. You love me “as meat loves salt”?
Cordelia: That’s right, father.
Llyr: Get out of my palace, you ungrateful girl! I never want to see you again! Get out! Cordelia, I never want to hear your name again. I never want to see your face again. You are an ungrateful wicked girl. Out of my house this moment! Go - and never come back!

by Peter Griffith

 

Two young detectives and their dog investigate the mysterious death of Miss Blightwell's pets. But only Snuffles the dog is clever enough to understand the danger coming from the leaking yellow-and-black barrels in the neighbours' yard. In the end, with the help of the village policeman, the terrible truth emerges: Miss Blightwell is living next to a storage dump for used nuclear fuel! Fortunately, the Minister for the Environment is able to promise that all will be well.

 

Through the irony of the play's ending, the audience is encouraged to consider the environmental problems caused by the nuclear power industry and the world's high demand for energy. The accompanying Teachers' Pack contains contributions from Greenpeace as well as material from the nuclear industry.



 

Photos of 'BDS and the Faceless Ghost'

 

 

Extract from the script 'BDS and the Faceless Ghost'

Minister: I promise that this radio-active storage-place will be closed. Everything will be moved away, and the area will be cleaned up.
Proon: That sounds better, madam.
Minister: So you can all live in health and peace here, and no-one in the village will be in danger again.
Proon: Bravo!
Minister: And as a special gesture of goodwill...the government will give your friend a new hamster, a new canary, and a new goldfish!
Deirdre: Oh wonderful. Miss Blightwell will be pleased. But what will you do with all the radio-active waste?
Billy: What will we do with the nuclear waste that is stored here?
Minister: Er...well, all the used nuclear fuel will be taken away from here, and stored...somewhere else!
Proon: Ah well, that's all right then. Well madam, I'm so glad everything has turned out happily in the end.

by Peter Griffith

 

Billy lives in dread of his mother (who wants him to wash and to dress neatly) and his father (who beats him if he is disobedient). Then he meets Gerald – a tame gorilla! Billy soon finds that Gerald is a real friend – gentle, helpful and reliable. But none of the adults in Billy's life shares his enthusiasm for the hairy giant. The local shopkeeper throws Billy and Gerald out of his shop – the schoolteacher Mrs Snootly is horrified to find a gorilla in her classroom – Billy's father is terrified – and in the end the army are sent to kill Gerald. Where can Billy find a home for his gorilla – a place where Gerald can live in safety?

 

Billy's Friend is a plea for tolerance towards foreigners: Gerald has a dark skin and doesn't speak our language, but he is far less aggressive than most human beings.



 

Photos of 'Billy's Friend'

 

 

Extract from the script 'Billy's Friend'

Mr. N: Billy, you give that magazine back this minute! Or I call the police...Or I tell your father!
Billy: I haven't got your magazine, really...I...oh no! Gerald – put that back – I'm terribly sorry, Mr. Noodleton. It's not me. It's my friend here.
Mr. N: Friend? I don't see anyone.
Billy: No...he's gone again.
Mr. N: Billy, this is terrible. You tell silly stories about a friend, and you try to steal my magazines. I must tell your father.
Billy: No, please, don't tell my father. You see, I really have got a friend here. My friend Gerald...Keep it back!
Mr. N: Who are you talking to there? Let me see...Aaaaaaaaaarrrrgh! Go away! Go away you horrible great hairy thing! Aaaaaaaargh! Help! Help! Take that thing away from me! Help! Catch it, catch it! It's horrible! It's dangerous! No – don't let it come near me!
Billy: It's all right. He's quite friendly. Please be quiet. You're frightening him.
Mr. N: Keep that thing away from me!
Billy: It's all right. He's not dangerous. Really.
Mr. N: Now you just take that horrible animal away from here!
Billy: Come on Gerald – it's time for us to go.