Great for elementary school, grades 5 – 6, or for middle schools. Easy to perform for high school and college teen and young adult drama groups of for Children’s Theater.
Lots of doubling! Lots of roles! Oliver and his cohorts come alive on the stage in a time frame adaptable to school classrooms and stages. A large cast allows roles for actors and students of all levels.
Oliver Twist: A Comedy for Youth : Adapted from Charles Dickens by Mickey Coburn
Available in print copies and downloadable PDF.
From the Play
Oliver Twist: A young orphan10 years old
Mr. Bumble: The Workhouse Beadle; Double as street person
Mrs. Bumble: His wife
Workhouse Boys: 4 double as Fagin’s boys
Mr. Sowerberry: The Undertaker; Double as Brownlow
Charlotte: Sowerberry’s daughter; double as street person
Noah Claypole: Sowerberry’s apprentice; double as street person
The Artful Dodger: About 13 years old
Charley Bates: Artful’s sidekick
Fagin: The entrepreneur scoundrel
Nancy : About 16 years old
Bet: Nancy’s young friend, about 13 years old
Bill Sikes: Villainous criminal whom Nancy loves
Mr. Brownlow: Elegant gentleman; played by Sowerberry
Mrs. Bedwin: Brownlow’s housekeeper
Street People: One plus doubles
Bow Street Runners: Two
Play Excerpt: Act I Scene 2
(Music in. Curtain opens on the workhouse. There is a long table and bench, placed with wooden bowls. Also a soup table w/pot, etc. Mr. Bumble enters followed by
Mrs. Bumble, the latter dragging Oliver behind her; she’s followed by the workhouse boys who proceed to the table. Bumble takes up his station; Mrs. B. deposits Oliver next to Bumble and takes up her station at soup table)
Bumble: (striking the floor with his mace) Boys – This ‘ere’s Oliver Twist. Like the rest of you , he’s come ‘ere to be educated and taught a useful trade — — (boys laugh sarcastically) (striking floor) Enough! Or yer’ll be whipped! Now – where’s yer manners? Say – Good evening Oliver!!
Boys: Good evening, Oliver –
Bumble: That’s better. There now – you’ve been made truly welcome –
(He shoves Oliver toward the boys; Oliver takes an empty place at table; Bumble strikes floor; Mrs. B. Removes her mop cap and puts on a chef’s hat; Boys line up for food carrying their bowls. Mrs. B. Lifts large ladle – Mr. B. shakes his head and makes clucking sound. Mrs. B. picks up smaller ladle; Mr. B. – exasperated – strikes floor; makes roaring sound. Mrs. B. picks up tiny ladle. Mr. B. Nods approvingly. The Boys are served and file back to table where the food is
consumed instantly. Mrs. B. changes hats again and stands near Mr. B.)
Boy 1: (stage whisper) We got to do something about this yer know –
Boy 2: This ain’t enough to feed a flea –
(Boy 4 begins to eat his bowl)
Boy 3: Blimey! ‘es eating his bowl. Someone’s got to ask for more!
Boy 2: Let the new boy do it –
All: (each in turn) Ay! Ay! Ay! Ay!
(They huddle around Oliver and whisper in his ear. Oliver takes his bowl and approaches the BumbleS; the whispers stop; the Boys hold their breath)
Oliver: Please, Sir, I want some more.
Oliver: Please, Sir, I want some more —
Mrs. Bumble: (shrieks and begins to faint) Moorrrrreeee……
(She falls on Bumble who is trying to get to Oliver who begins to back away )
Bumble: (pushing Mrs. B. to her feet) He asked for more!!
(He stalks Oliver who takes off over/under table, etc.)
Bumble: Stop him!
Mrs. Bumble: Catch him!
(Boys join the chase trying to grab Oliver)
Bumble: Whip him!
Mrs. Bumble: Snatch him!
Bumble: (screeching) He asked for more……! (grabs Oliver) Gotcha!!
Mrs. Bumble: He’s a bad lot! He’s got to be gotten rid of immediately.
Bumble: We’ll hang him!! (The Boys gasp)
Mrs. Bumble: No, no Mr. Bumble – we’ll sell him. Drag him off to the undertakers. He’s been needing a boy — (to the Boys) What are you gaping at? Out of here all of yer – go to bed –
(Boys begin to run dodging Mrs. B. in attempts to exit while…)
Bumble: (shrieking) He asked for more!!!