The following speeches are suggestions for applicants applying for the a 13+ Drama Scholarship. You may also select a speech of your own choice.
‘Kes’ tells the story of BILLY CASPER and his attempts to train a hawk. BILLY is an awkward boy, unhappy with his school and his peers. In training Kes, BILLY experiences something valuable that neither school nor his family can offer him. At last he has something to admire and respect. Here, BILLY tries to explain to his class and teacher some of his achievements.
BILLY:… the MOST exciting thing was when I flew him free for the first time. You ought to have been there then. I was frightened to death.
[(MR FARTHING: (Turning to the class.)
Do you want to hear about it?
CLASS: Yes Sir.
MR FARTHING: Carry on Casper.)]
Well, I’d been flying him on the creance for about a week and he was coming to me anything up to thirty, forty yards. It says in the book that when it’s coming this far, straight away, it’s ready to fly loose. I daren’t though. I kept saying to myself, I’ll just use the creance today to make sure, then I’ll fly it free tomorrow. I did this for about four days and I got right mad with myself. So on the last day I didn’t feed him up, just to make sure that he’d be sharp set the next morning. I hardly went to sleep that night, I was thinking about it that much. When I got up next morning – it was Saturday – I thought right, if he flies off, he flies off and it can’t be helped. So I went down to the shed. He was dead keen as well, walking about on his shelf behind the bars and screaming out when he saw me coming. So I took him out on the field and tried him on the creance first time and he came like a rocket. So I thought right, this time. I unclipped the creance and let him hop onto the fence post. There was nothing stopping him now. He could have flown off and there was nothing I could have done about it. I was terrified, I thought, he’s forced to go, he’s forced to go. He’ll just fly off and that will be it. But he didn’t. He just sat there looking round while I backed off into the field. I went right into the middle. Then I held my glove up and shouted him. (he is miming the action.) Come on Kes, come on then. Nothing happened at first. Then just as I was going to walk back to him, he came. Straight as a die, about a yard off the floor. He came twice as fast as when he had the creance on. He came like lightning, head dead still and his wings never made a sound. Then wham! Straight onto the glove, claws out grabbing for the meat. I was that pleased I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I thought, just to prove it, I’ll try him again, and he came the second time just as good. Well that was it, I’d trained him. I’d done it.
This play follows the adventures of the amazing Faz, an inventor-cum-magician and his feeble-minded assistant Twoo. Here, we find Baron Wadd and Cyril the Fiddler fighting over Princess Daphne’s hand in marriage. The event is reported to the crowd by the MASTER OF CEREMONIES or sports commentator.
MC: My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Wembley Sports Stadium for another afternoon of assorted sport. We have an especially exciting Contest here for you today. A Special Nine Round Royal Challenge Match between Baron Wadd and Cyril the Fiddler. In the snazzy, bri-nylon track suit – Cyril the Fiddler! And in the brown, egg stained dressing-gown – Baron Wadd!...
A one round contest. One Knockout of a count of ten to decide the winner. Seconds out.
(Commenting.) … And the Baron is on the floor right away… He’s trying to heave himself up… but some unseen, invisible force seems to be holding his glove to the floor… Meanwhile Cyril satisfies himself with a left then a right, then a beautiful left hook there to the Baron’s hindquarters…the Baron now straining to get up…he makes an almighty effort…and yes, he’s now on his feet… but he’s staggering about, his muscles, which have been described as being like baby sparrow’s knee-caps, seemingly quite out of control…he’s fallen now into the arms of the Track Officials…the Track Officials swing him back into the fray…one of the Baron’s swinging gloves strikes Cyril a blow!...Cyril falls!!! What an extraordinary turn of events. (He leaps into ring to count CYRIL out.) One, Two, Three, (CYRIL gets up.) But Cyril is on his feet again after a count of three. The crowd here at Wembley going mad with excitement… Cyril, all time Olympic Champion, knocked down for a count of three, by Baron Wadd, who experts claim is in fact the weediest man in the entire world…but the efforts of the blow seems to have sapped the remainder of the Baron’s almost non-existent strength…the Baron looking very groggy as Cyril moves in…a vicious left, by Cyril…a right to the body…a left to the jaw…the Baron falls again Cyril…Cyril appearing to hold the Baron up in a clinch… the Baron coming in for an immense amount of punishment from this great figure of the fighting world, Cyril the Fiddler…
The play looks at the world of an oak tree, the See-Saw Tree and the animals dwelling in and around it. Their lives are shattered by the news that the tree is about to be felled. In this scene the Mistle Thrush is singing loudly and out of tune a dreadful noise – when suddenly JAY arrives, full of brash confidence.
JAY: What music fills my ears?... Such tone. Such pitch. Such artistry… Jay’s the name, madam. Travelling salesbird supreme… I have been on a flight of exploration, madam, spreading my wings far and wide in search of martketable merchandise. Scouring the countryside for new and exciting lines to offer my lucky customers at bargain prices. What do you fancy?... Aha! See my selection, perfect for the use of.
(He opens his coat, Inside his wares are neatly displayed.)
Dried grasses, bracken, quality mosses, badger hair, sheep’s wool for extra warmth, polythene and paper. Pick your own, mix ‘n’ match, yours for the modest sum of two acorns. Can’t say fairer than that… Do me a favour… Aha! Think ahead, madam. Think of when your eggs hatch. Think of all those hungry little beaks to feed. No problem. (He opens the other side of his coat, revealing more merchandise.) I’ve got crab apples, juicy slugs, calorie-stuffed caterpillars, mouthwatering worms, specially selected spiders, meaty maggots and crunchy moths. Take your pick… Your loss, dear lady, not mine. Happy laying…
(He approaches Squirrel’s drey.) Give a bird a chance, Dunnock! Where’s Squirrel?... Cleaning? Aha! Glad you said that. Ideal for the use of. (He opens his ‘suitcase’, displaying more wares.) Look at this little lot. Bark scourer, lichen loosener, fungus flusher, mildew stripper, leaf mould remover. Tried and tested. Satisfaction guaranteed… I’m only asking one acorn per item.
CHARLIE BOY/GIRL LOVES TO RECEIVE BUT IF ANY GIFT SHOULD FAIL TO LIVE UP TO EXPECTATION IS UNGRACIOUS IN THE EXTREME – REGARDING AN OBLIGATORY ‘THANK-YOU’ PHONE CALL AS A FINAL INSULT.
A TELEPHONE SITS IN PROMINENT POSITION ON SMALL TABLETOP WITH CRUMPLED GIFT WRAP AND RIBBON LYING NEARBY ON THE FLOOR. CHARLIE BOY/GIRL LIES SPRAWLED ACROSS AN ADJACENT EASY CHAIR EXAMINING A LEATHER WALLET WITHOUT ENTHUSIASM.
CHARLIE BOY or GIRL:
(Eyeing wallet disparagingly)
Didn’t want a leather wallet.
Didn’t ask for one.
It should’ve been blatantly obvious that it’s not much’ve a present to receive.
Why didn’t anyone think to ask me in the first place ?
…IF I’dve had a say in the matter I could’ve said,
Please, please may I have MONEY …
A cheque would-do-nicely thank you
So I might choose for myself, you understand.
(Smelling the leather)
Honestly, I’d rather’ve had thank-you notelets and that’s saying something!
At least notelets would’ve smelled sweeter.
(smelling the leather) POOF!
That’s the worst’ve it!
It smells FOUL!
CHARLIE BOY/GIRL PULLS A FACE ON GINGERLY OPENING UP THE WALLET
Says here ….
(Reading with exaggeration)
CHARLIE BOY/GIRL PUZZLES OVER THE OFFENDING WORDING
So, what’s a Levant goat when it’s at home?
(Gasping with horror)
(Shrugging and grimacing)
… Wild mountain variety?
(Pause for thought)
Smelliest cud-chewer in the entire galaxy.
MMM, that’s a pretty fair description of a Levant! I’d say.
CHARLIE BOY/GIRL SCOWLS AT THE TELEPHONE
I ought to phone to say ‘Thank-you-very-much’ but I don’t want to!
Why should I?
It’s not fair
No one else’s relatives give horrible smelly pressies.
CHARLIE BOY/GIRL MOVES FROM THE CHAIR AND LIFTS THE TELEPHONE RECEIVED RELUCTANTLY
(Sighing loudly while dialling)
Time to lie through my teeth.
It’s me! Charlie Boy/Girl,
(Pulling a face)
Oh! A wallet’s always useful.
Very smart and grown up …..
(Pulling a face)
…… Thank you SO much
(Flipping open the wallet)
For the wonderful Levant goat wallet.
Actually, what is a Levant goat?
Mmmm, Well I never!
Hadn’t a clue;
Thought it might’ve referred to size or something,
Why not simply say ‘Moroccan goat’?
The wallet wasn’t made in Morocco!
…Irregular creases. Yes!
… Style of leather, Moroccan style.
NOW I understand.
No! I haven’t
CHARLIE BOY/GIRL RESTS THE RECEIVER ON THE TABLE OPENS UP THE WALLET COMPLETELY AND DRAWS OUT A CHEQUE. CHARLIE BOY/GIRL THROWS DOWN THE WALLET AND GAZES AT THE CHEQUE
CHARLIE BOY/GIRL BEAMS WITH DELIGHT BEFORE SNATCHING UP THE RECEIVER
Thank you for the cheque…
And for the beautiful Moroccan style leather wallet, of course.
CHARLIE BOY/GIRL SLAPS DOWN THE TELEPHONE RECEIVER, KISSES THE CHEQUE, SNATCHES UP THE WALLET AND SKIPS OFF WAVING THE CHEQUE HIGH IN THE AIR.
In the fable of Goldilocks a family of three bears live in a house in the woods, which they leave unlocked when they go out for a walk. Goldilocks enters the house and meddles with the bears’ belongings, sampling their porridge (eating all of the baby’s), sitting on their chairs (breaking the baby’s), and then trying out their beds (falling asleep in the baby’s). Goldilocks is still asleep in in the baby’s bed when the bears return home. They wake her up and scare her away.
The fable might have ended differently these days. Mother or Father BEAR is sitting on a deckchair on the upper deck of a cruise liner, talking to another passenger.
BEAR: So I said to her: “Listen, you can’t come breaking into someone’s house, eating their porridge, smashing up their furniture and squatting in their beds and expect to get away with it”.
She didn’t have much colour before, but she went very pale at that.
“Please don’t call the police,” she begged. Yes, she was begging. “Please just let me go home. I won’t do anything like this again. Mummy and Daddy would be ever so cross if it got into the papers. They wouldn’t be able to go to the golf club until it had all blown over and Mummy would have to put her bridge parties on hold. They wouldn’t give me a police record would they?” She was really quaking now.
“They might, if we pressed charges,” I said, as she began to understand.
“So, Daddy plays golf and Mummy plays bridge.”
“Yes, And Mummy and I go riding and Daddy plays polo.”
“And I expect you’ve got a big house and several four wheel drives”
“And a convertible!”
“And a convertible and a gardener and nanny.”
“So what’s a wealthy young lady like you doing stealing other people’s porridge?” I asked her. “Doesn’t your mother make you any?”
“No, she can’t cook. I’m sorry, I was just hungry and it smelt so good.”
She was beginning to cry now and to tell you the truth I was feeling a bit sorry for her, but I stuck to my guns. “Do you realise what this has done to my son, how traumatised Baby Bear is?” I said. “I’m thinking of calling my solicitor and getting him to sue for compensation for mental anguish to a small bear. It could take him years to recover. That was his favourite chair and he’s scared to go upstairs now. How would you feel if you found someone sleeping in your bed? And he can’t bring himself to eat porridge any more. Too many memories. The claim could run into millions. Your Dad would soon be selling his golf clubs and convertible.”
Well, to cut a long story short, we didn’t have to get a solicitor. And we’re really enjoying this cruise. All round the Greek islands we’ve been. I could get used to a life of luxury.
You may rrree-moof your vigs, and get some fresh air into your spotty scalps. (The Witches reveal their bald heads) Vitches of Inkland. Miserrrable vitches. Useless lazy vitches. You are a heap of idle good-for-nothing vurms!... As I am eating my lunch, I am looking out of the vindow at the beach. And vot am I seeing? I am seeing a rrrevolting sight, which is putting me off my food. Hundreds of rrrotten rrrepulsive children. Playing on the sand. Vye have you not got rrrid of them? Vye?... You vill do better… My orders are that every single child in Inkland shall be rrrubbed out, sqvashed, sqvirted, sqvittered and frittered before I come here again in vun year’s time… Who said that? Who dares to argue with me? (She points dramatically at Witch Two) It vos you, vos it not?...Come here. (She beckons. Witch Two, mesmerised, ascends the platform)
A vitch who dares to say I’m wrrrong
Vill not be vith us very long!
A stupid vitch who answers back
Must burn until her bones are black!
(Staring at Witch Two, the Grand High Witch gestures. Sparks fly. Smoke rises – Witch Two disappears) I hope nobody else is going to make me cross today. (She finds the smouldering remains of Witch Two’s clothes and holds them up) Frrrrizzled like a frrritter. Cooked like a carrot. You vill never see her again. Now vee can get down to business… I am having a plan. A giganticus plan! … You vill buy sveetshops….You vill fill them high vith luscious sveets and tasty chocs!... You vill have a Great Gala Opening vith free sveets and chocs for every child!...You vill be filling every choc and every sveet vith my latest and grrreatest magic formula. (She produces a potion bottle) Formula Eighty-Six Delayed Action Mouse-Maker!...To cause delayed action, rrroast in the oven vun alarm-clock set to go off at nine o’clock in the morning…Inject vun droplet of the formula in each sveet or choc, open your shop, and as the children pour in on their vay home from school…
Crrram them full of sticky eats,
Send them home still guzzling sveets,
And in the morning little fools
Go marching off to separate schools
In this scene a teenage girl reflects on her life. The stage represents two time zones – this year (stage left) and last year (stage right).
(Standing in the middle of the stage.)
Here I bridge the gap – span two time zones. Life was so different then. How could I possibly know? How?
(Mimes watching the television.)
Mum! Mum! Bring my cup of tea up wil you. Oh go on – please!! No I can’t be bothered to come downstairs. (Taking the tea.) Thanks. Oh and by the way, I’m not going to the disco, they apparently make a fuss if you don’t dance and I’m too tired to dance so I shan’t bother. Maybe I’ll go to the one next month – Yes – next month.
(Freeze) – moves to a towel.)
What a hot day. I’ll just sunbathe for a few hours. Paddle! Why on earth would I want to paddle. No thanks I’m staying on my towel – safe – no salty water or sand between my toes.
(Freeze – moves to a flower.)
He loves me – he loves me not – he loves me – he loves me not. What a bore. Why do we have to come on these family picnics I’ll never know. And walking – who wants to walk up and down hills. All that grass gives me hay fever.
(Freeze – moves to centre stage.)
Hay fever. I worried about hay fever. That was the last day of normal life. We left the park and went home. Mum cooked the dinner but had forgotten the peas. I popped down the shops. Day dreaming – I was day dreaming about Vanessa’s party and what I was going to wear – stepped out – didn’t see the car coming – just stepped out – right in its path – head on!
CRASH! BASH! SMASH!
(Freeze – moves to SL and is very still.)
This room is my life now, Mum brings be my cup of tea – I can’t go downstairs – can’t walk. Can’t run in the fields or feel the grass under my feet. I won’t be able to paddle or get sand in between my toes. Not now! Not ever!...and the disco – I never did make the disco – never did dance. Now I won’t get the chance. Will I? TOO LATE!