A well-maintained but dull and lifeless park is spoiled by litter. Three teenagers help the park keeper to restore and improve it along the way by transforming the rubbish into useful things.
(Although the scripts refer to a park, the three items created – a pond, a bench and a trellis – are quite generic,so could fit into whatever you decide to transform the rubbish tip into, whether that is a nature reserve, a playground, a garden or something else.)
Harriet, Laurence and Barrington (Harry, Larry and Barry) are young people, and are best played by people in their teens. If no young people are available, adults could play these characters, but this needs to be done carefully to avoid being patronising or condescending. If in doubt, play them as adults and adapt the script accordingly. Barry is quite nasty and generally destructive, but he comes good in the end. The park keeper is an adult. At first he goes from being proud and fastidious, to angry, to depressed. But from episode 2, he starts to learn some new attitudes to life. Confident actors, who have the time to put in the necessary rehearsals, should play these parts. The dialogue isn’t complex, but the dramas involve some slapstick routines which need practice. Actors of either sex can play the characters, if you adjust names.
Props: Football, feather duster, nail scissors, magnifying glass, small tin of green paint, small paintbrush, litter (including some really big stuff, even paint to create graffiti).
Sound effects: Some ‘silent comedy’ type chase music would be good for the chase scenes in this episode.
Scenery: A sign like this:
NO Ball Games
KEEP OFF THE GRASS
You will need extras to come onto the stage to drop their litter.
Summary: A perfect lawn – the park keeper’s pride and joy – is spoiled by litter.
Harry, Larry and Barry enter. Larry is bouncing a football.
Larry: I bet I’ll score more goals than you.
Barry: Oh no you won’t.
Larry: Oh yes I will.
Barry: I’m the best footballer in the country!
Larry: Well I’m the best footballer in the world!
Barry: I’m the best footballer in the galaxy!
Larry: I’m the best footballer in the whole universe!
Harry: Well I bet neither of you scores any goals. Look.
(They look at the sign.)
Larry: No ball games?
Barry: What sort of a park is that?
Harry: A rubbish park! Come on, let’s go and do something else.
(All three leave.)
(The park keeper enters, tuts, and then uses a feather duster to remove a speck of dust from the lawn. Only then does he notice the children.)
Park keeper: Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there. I expect you were admiring my magnificent lawn. I hope none of you trod on it! It takes me hours to get it looking this good. Oh. Hold on a minute. There’s a bit sticking up there. (He takes out a pair of nail scissors and a magnifying glass, and moves as if to step on the grass.) Oops! Nearly forgot! (He takes off his shoes and socks, then steps very carefully onto the grass, before trimming an imaginary blade with the nail scissors.) That’s better! Oh no, hang on a minute. (He takes out a tin of green paint, and a very fine paintbrush, which he uses to touch up another blade of grass.) That one was going a little bit brown! (He holds up his fingers, which have paint on them.) I don’t like to boast, but I’m a pretty good park keeper. Everyone says I’ve got green fingers! In fact, I’ve invented my very own special lawn food. I’ve been making it in the shed. In fact, it should be ready by now. Would you do me a favour while I go and fetch it? I’m worried that while I’m away, someone might walk on my lawn. So if you see anyone step on my grass, could you shout, ’Parky, there’s malarkey!’ as loud as you can? Great. Let’s have a practice. Ready? (He lifts up his foot as if to step on the lawn. Other leaders should lead the children in shouting, ’Parky, there’s malarkey!’) That’s brilliant. I know the park will be in safe hands with you guarding it. Back in a minute. (He exits.)
(A couple of the extras walk onto the stage, eating crisps and carrying newspapers etc. Prompted by the other leaders if necessary, the children shout, ‘Parky, there’s malarkey!’ The park keeper returns, and walks to the front of the stage, facing the children.)
Park keeper : Malarkey? Where?
Children and leaders: Behind you!
(The park keeper turns around, but the others move so that they are still behind him. The park keeper asks the children again and again. Eventually, the park keeper spots the others and chases them, which causes them to drop their packets, papers etc before they run away.)
Park keeper: Thanks for guarding the park. Let me know if anyone else comes, won’t you? Thanks. (He exits in pursuit of the others.)
(Two more extras enter with more rubbish. The children should shout but the park keeper doesn’t appear. ‘Extra 1’ drops litter.)
Extra 2: Hey! You shouldn’t drop litter!
Extra 1: It doesn’t matter. Look, there’s already rubbish on the ground.
Extra 2: So what?
Extra 1: So, someone’s going to have to clear up anyway. If there’s already litter, it doesn’t matter if we drop some.
Extra 2: (To the children.) Do you think that’s right? Do you think we should pick it up? (The children should respond by shouting, ‘Yes’)
Extra 1: You see? They’re shouting, ‘Yes’. They think what I said was right!
Extra 2: (To the children.) Really? Oh well, if you’re sure…
(They both empty all the rubbish from their pockets and bags.)
(They exit and the park keeper returns.)
Park keeper: What a mess! Why didn’t you tell me that someone was here? (The children should protest that they did.)
Park keeper: Oh no you didn’t!
Children and leaders: Oh yes we did!
(This is repeated a few times.)
Park keeper: Well, I’m going to go and get a rubbish bag. Don’t bother to shout. I won’t be able to hear you anyway.
(The park keeper exits. While he is absent, various extras enter with big rubbish (old bike, box of tin cans etc). They look around furtively, then dump it and exit. If possible add some graffiti to the background.) (Harry, Barry and Larry return.)
Harry: Gosh! What a mess!
Barry: How did that happen so quickly?
(The park keeper returns.)
Park keeper: Oi! You three! What have you done to my park?
Larry: It wasn’t us!
Park keeper: Don’t lie. I know what you kids are like! Come here! (He chases them off the stage. All the time they are protesting their innocence.)
Props: Football, feather duster, something to be the pond – preferably a bath, but could be a basin or a bowl inside a tyre if space or resources are limited.
Scenery: Much more rubbish has arrived since yesterday.
Summary: Harry, Larry and Barry return. The park keeper is depressed. They explain that they didn’t make the mess and try to cheer him up. Then they offer to help him Wastewatchers to clear up the mess, but they realise that they can’t possibly shift all the rubbish. So they decide to use it instead to create something constructive. They decide to create a pond from an old bath, and go to get some spades.
Much more rubbish has arrived since yesterday. The park keeper is sitting despondently in the middle of it all. Harry, Larry and Barry enter from the back, and walk through the children to the stage area. They don’t notice the state of the park until the appropriate moment. Barry is carrying a football.
Larry: I hope the park’s all right now. We’ll never be able to play football if it’s still full of rubbish.
Barry: Oh, I don’t know Larry – you support [insert name of local team], so you should be used to rubbish football!
Harry: Don’t worry. You saw that park keeper. He’s bound to have tidied it all up by now.
Larry: Yes, but if he has, he won’t let us play football on it anyway. You know what he’s like.
Harry: I’ve thought of that! We’ll be okay, because he’ll be too busy chasing the people who made the mess to worry about us.
Barry: (Sincerely.) Oh yeah! Brilliant! You’re a genius you are Harry!
Harry: Thanks, Barry. What do you think, Larry?
Larry: I think your plan is just like the park keeper’s park.
Harry: (Smugly.) You mean it’s really neat and perfect?
Larry: No. I mean it’s a load of rubbish! Look. (They look, and see that the park is now worse than ever.)
Barry: Hey – there’s the park keeper. (He starts chanting loudly.) What a load of rubbish! What a load of rubbish!
Park keeper: Oh. It’s you lot. Hooligans!
Harry: What do you mean?
Larry: (To Harry.) That’s what I was trying to tell you. The park keeper thinks it was us that ruined his park. That’s why your plan was rubbish!
Park keeper: (Sadly.) Why are you picking on me? Isn’t it enough that you’ve ruined my park?
Barry: (Ignoring him and chanting.) What a load of OUCH!
(Harry has kicked him. He starts to hop about, holding his shin.)
Larry: ‘Barrington’?! I often wondered what Barry was
short for… (He collapses, laughing.)
Harry: (To park keeper.) It wasn’t us! In fact, we’ve come to cheer you up!
Park keeper: Really?
Harry: Yes. Barry’s going to tell you a joke.
Barry: I am?
Harry: Yes, you are.
Barry: OK, er… Knock, knock!
Park keeper: Who’s there?
Park keeper: Lydia who?
Barry: Lydia dustbin has just fallen off!
Park keeper: Dustbin? Boo-hoo-hoo! (He bursts into
Harry: (Annoyed, to Barry.) That was a rubbish joke.
Park keeper: Rubbish? Boo-hoo-hoo!
Harry: OK. Try to think of something nice.
Barry: Yes, that’s a good tip.
Park keeper: Tip? Boo-hoo-hoo!
Larry: There must be something that would cheer you up.
Park keeper: Well, sometimes it cheers me up when I think about my dog, Trudy.
Larry: Great. Think about Trudy, then. Better still; imagine lots of dogs just like Trudy. Imagine Trudy with a whole litter of puppies!
Park keeper: Litter? Boo-hoo-hoo!
Larry: (To Harry.) It’s not working!
Harry: There must be something that will cheer him up. I refuse to give up!
Park keeper: Refuse? Boo-hoo-hoo!
Larry: Please don’t cry. Look, we’ll help you to clear it all up!
Barry: Oh no we won’t!
Larry and Harry: (Encouraging the children to join in.) Oh yes we will!
Barry: Oh no we won’t!
Larry and Harry and children: Oh yes we will!
(Repeat a few times.)
Harry: (Picking up some rubbish.) Barry, you tidy up a bit.
Larry, hold this.
Barry: (Picking up the park keeper’s feather duster.) This should come in useful.
(Harry and the park keeper pick up various things and place them in Larry’s arms, until Larry is overburdened and struggles to hold everything. Meanwhile, Barry is dusting various things. The actors should ad lib during this part.)
Barry: (Looking at Larry.) Gosh, look at the dust on this!
(He starts to dust Larry with the feather duster.)
Larry: Hey! Get off! That tickles! (Larry starts to squirm and giggle, but Barry carries on, until Larry eventually drops everything he’s holding.)
Park keeper: It’s no use. We’ll never be able to clear all this stuff.
Larry: (Has a flash of inspiration.) Maybe we don’t have to.
Barry: Oh good! Let’s go home then. Bye! (He starts to walk off.)
Larry: No wait! Bring me that bath [or basin, bowl, or whatever you’re using].
Barry: I’ve already dusted you. Surely you don’t need a bath as well?
Larry: No. Look. We can put it into the ground, and then it’ll be a —
Barry: Mud bath!
Larry: Pond. We can turn this old bath into a beautiful pond.
Barry: (Sarcastically.) Oh yeah, great idea! Who’s going to want to come and see a pond in the middle of a rubbish tip?
Larry: It won’t be a rubbish tip, because we’re going to do the same thing with all the other rubbish.
Park keeper: What – bury it?
Larry: No, turn it into something useful. If we can’t transport it to somewhere else, we can transform it into something else.
Harry: Like what?
Larry: Oh, I don’t know. There must be loads of exciting things we can do with all this stuff.
Barry: I know! We could make a pond from this old bath.
Larry: (Sarcastically.) Brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that?
Harry: (To park keeper.) Do you have any shovels we could use?
Park keeper: Yes. They’re in the shed.
Larry: Come on then, let’s go and fetch them. (They start to exit.)
Barry: Hey – what do you call a man with a spade on his head?
Harry: I don’t know, what do you call a man with a spade on his head?
Barry: Doug! (The others groan.) And what do you call a man without a spade on his head?
Larry: I don’t know, what do you call a man without a spade on his head?
Barry: Douglas! (The others groan even more. They all exit.)
Harry: (Off stage.) Barrington!
Props: Three blindfolds, a large box, at least one chair, some (water-based) white paint and a brush. Barry should wear old clothes.
Sound effects: Slapstick noises, a heavy object falling.
Scenery: The pond and the area around it has been tidied up since Episode 2, and some of the other rubbish has been cleared.
Summary: The park keeper leads in the other three, who are all blindfolded because he wants to surprise them with the finished pond. Barry decides to keep his blindfold on so that he can’t do any work. Because he is blindfolded, Barry gets in the way and is almost squashed by a big box. Harry paints an old chair to make a bench, and Barry, who is still blindfolded, sits in the wet paint.
The park keeper leads in the other three, who are all blindfolded.
Barry: Are we nearly there yet?
Park keeper: Not far now.
Harry: Why do we have to be blindfolded?
Park keeper: I want it to be a surprise.
Park keeper: If I tell you, it won’t be a surprise, will it?
Larry: Oh yeah! I see.
Barry: I don’t. I can’t see a thing.
(They walk on. Suddenly, Larry stops, and all the others collide with him.)
Harry: What did you stop for?
Larry: I think I’ve just trodden in something. Eugh!
Park keeper: Here we are. You can look now.
(They remove their blindfolds.)
Harry: Wow! You’ve totally transformed that pond!
Barry: Bath, you mean.
Larry: It was a bath, but now it’s a pond. It’s fantastic!
Harry: You must have worked all night.
Park keeper: Well, I was up quite late. But I had to stop when it got dark. You can’t really work when you can’t see what you’re doing.
Barry: (Putting on his blindfold.) Oh dear – I can’t see now.
That means I can’t do any work. What a shame!
Larry: Just ignore him. What do we need to do today?
Park keeper: Well, it’s still a bit dark and gloomy. I think we need to make it lighter.
Harry: How can we do that?
Barry: Set fire to it! That ’ll make lots of light!
Larry: Barrington! (To park keeper.) Just ignore him. We could start by clearing some of this rubbish to let more light in.
Harry: And there are some old paint tins over there.
Maybe we can paint some old chairs white, to make a nice bright park bench.
Park keeper: Good idea! Harry, you paint the chairs.
Larry, come and help me with this box.
(Harry displays a ’wet paint’ sign, and begins to paint an old chair.)
Larry: OK. (They hold each end of a box that is situated behind Barry.)
Barry: I’ll just sit here, then, until you’ve finished.
Park keeper: Ready… Lift! (They lift the box up and backwards. At the same time, Barry sits down where he expects the box to be and falls on the floor. A ‘clown’ sound effect is heard.)
Barry: Ouch! (Barry is now lying on the floor, directly underneath the large box the other two are holding.)
Larry: This is really heavy. I can’t hold it much longer!
Harry: Barry! Get up!
Barry: Sorry, I can’t do any work today. I think I’ll just lie here and have a sleep.
Larry: I think I’m going to drop it!
Harry: Barry! You’re in danger! (Harry tries to pull him out of the way by his legs.)
Barry: I don’t believe you. You’re just pulling my leg.
Larry: I can’t… hold it… any… more! (On the word, ‘more’, the park keeper and Larry drop the box – use a suitable sound effect to give the impression that it is very heavy. At the same instant, Harry pulls Barry out of the way by pulling his legs.)
Barry: Hey! Now you’re really pulling my leg. Get off!
Park keeper: Barry, It’s about time you started pulling your weight around here!
Barry: I don’t need to – Harry’s pulling my weight at the moment!
Harry: (Finally letting go of his leg.) Barrington, I’m getting cross with you now. Take that blindfold off and help!
(Barry, still blindfolded, walks towards the painted chair.)
Barry: I’d love to help, but my leg hurts, thanks to you! I just need to sit down.
Park keeper: I don’t think you should sit down there, Barry.
Barry: Just stop being so bossy and let me sit down for a moment.
Park keeper: (To the children.) Do you think we should let him sit down?
Barry: (Encouraging the children to join in.) Yes!
Park keeper: Are you sure?
Barry and children: Yes!
Park keeper: (To Barry.) Do you think I should let you?
Park keeper: OK then. You asked for it. Sit! (Barry sits.)
Barry: Ah! That’s better.
Harry: Yes, you’ll be all white now! (Said as if saying ‘all right now’.)
Larry: Now, do you think you could help us?
Barry: OK. (He tries to get up, but is stuck to the chair. He makes a big effort and manages to get to his feet, but is still stuck to the chair. He walks around for a bit like this. Then he manages to free himself from the chair, and turns his back to the children to reveal the white paint all over his back and bottom. The others laugh.) What are you laughing at?
Larry: If you take your blindfold off, you’ll see.
Barry: (He removes his blindfold.) Where’s the joke then?
All: It’s behind you!
Barry: (Turning around to look behind.) There’s nothing there! Where is it?
All: It’s behind you!
Barry: (Turning around to face the front again.) Oh no it isn’t!
All: (Encouraging the children to join in.) Oh yes it is!
Barry: Oh no it isn’t!
All: Oh yes it is!
(Repeat a few times, until Barry looks at his back.)
Barry: Oh no! My mum’ll kill me!
Park keeper: Don’t worry Barry, I’ve got something that’ll clean it off. Come on Harry; we’d better wash the paint off your hands, too.
(The park keeper and Barry exit, Larry goes with them.)
Harry: Well, that was a busy day. I think I need a sit down after all that excitement. (She goes as if to sit down on the painted chair, but just before her bottom touches it she stops and stands up again.) Had you going there, didn’t I?
See you all tomorrow. Bye!
Props: Picnic basket or coolbox. The sign from Episode 1.
Scenery: There is now a white bench, which incorporates
the chair from Episode 3 (eg two chairs with a plank laid across the seats). The area around the bench should also be tidy. There is a pile of branches on one side of the stage. In the pile should be at least two long branches or planks.
Summary: They decide to build a trellis from some long branches, but Barry keeps narrowly missing* Larry’s head with a branch. When Larry bumps his head he becomes cross with Barry and walks off, followed by Harry. Barry and the park keeper then have a heart to heart, and they both realise that they need to change.
*The script says that Larry should duck so that the branch misses his head. But for better comic effect, the branch should appear to hit him each time. This requires that the branch being swung round is stopped a fraction before it hits him. However, this variation should not be attempted unless it is very carefully rehearsed and choreographed!
The park keeper leads in the other three. He is carrying a basket. They enter from the back and walk through the group of children.
Larry: Oh no! What’s happened to the grass? It looks dead!
Barry: (Looking at the children.) And it’s full of worms, and slugs. Urgh!
Harry: (Also looking at the children.) And there are loads of weeds too! Looks like your special lawn food recipe was a bit of a dead loss!
Park keeper: Don’t worry. That’s the way the lawn food works. It kills off the lawn to make it grow stronger.
Tomorrow, it will be more full of life than ever before – you’ll see.
Larry: What have you got in the basket?
Park keeper: Well, I thought we might have a little snack before we start.
Harry: Great! We can sit on the new bench.
Barry: No way! I’m not falling for that again!
Larry: It’s OK, Barry. The paint’s dry now.
Barry: (Cynically.) Yeah, right. You sit on the bench if you like. I’m going to sit over there.
Park keeper: OK. Suit yourself. (He sits on the bench with Harry and Larry.)
Larry: You’ve done a good job on this bench, Harry.
Barry: Huh! This pile of old branches looks much more comfortable. (He sits down, but leaps up again immediately, clutching his bottom.) Ouch!
Harry: What’s the matter?
Barry: This pile of branches is full of thorns!
Larry: (Going over to have a look.) Oh yeah! There are some stinging nettles too.
Larry: (Poking his finger into the pile.) Just there. Ouch! (He sucks his finger.)
Park keeper: I think that stuff’s a bit dangerous. Perhaps we’d better clear all the dead wood and leaves before we have a snack.
Barry: Hey, what do you call a man with a pile of leaves on his head?
Harry: I don’t know, what do you call a man with a pile of leaves on his head?
Larry: That’s terrible!
Barry: You don’t think I should branch out into comedy then?
Harry: No, leave the jokes to the experts.
Park keeper: You’re hardly a budding comedian!
Larry: Yes, I think you should stick to helping us.
Harry: You can start by helping with these branches.
Barry: Are we going to burn them? Great!
Park keeper: No, we’re not going to burn them. We’re going to make a trellis.
Barry: A what?
Harry: A trellis. It’s a kind of archway for plants to grow up.
Barry: How can we make a trellis from this old junk?
Park keeper: Find me some nice long bits of wood and
I’ll show you.
Larry: OK. Come on Barry.
(They go over to the pile of branches. Larry needs to be further from the other characters than Barry.)
Barry: Here’s a good one. (He picks it up and puts it on his shoulder.) What d’you think Larry? (He turns around, so that the branch narrowly misses Larry’s head, causing him
Harry: Careful, Barry!
Barry: Why? (As he says this, he turns the other way, thus narrowly missing Larry with the other end of the branch.)
Larry: You nearly hit me! (Barry turns towards Larry. Larry has to duck again.)
Park keeper: Stop doing that.
Barry: What? (Barry turns, Larry ducks again. Larry sits down.)
Harry: Just stand still. Don’t move a muscle.
Park keeper: Are you OK, Larry?
Larry: Yes, I think so. (He stands up, and bangs his head on the branch that Barry is still holding.) Ouch!
Barry: Yes, be careful – you might have broken my branch!
Larry: (Crossly.) That’s it! I’ve had enough! You’re always causing trouble Barry. I’m not working with you any more. Goodbye! (He exits.)
Barry: What’s the matter with him? He’s like a bear with a sore head!
Harry: That’s typical of your attitude, Barry. You don’t care about anything or anyone apart from yourself! I’m going to go and see if Larry’s okay. (She exits in the same direction as Larry.)
Barry: What’s her problem? She’s talking nonsense!
Park keeper: Oh no she isn’t
Barry: Oh yes she is.
Park keeper: (Encouraging the children to join in.) Oh no she isn’t.
Barry: Oh yes she is.
Park keeper and children: Oh no she isn’t!
(This carries on for a while.)
Barry: But I was only trying to help! It wasn’t my fault that Larry banged his head! (He throws the branch down in disgust.)
Park keeper: Maybe not, but you can see their point, can’t you?
Barry: What do you mean?
Park keeper: Well, you haven’t been all that helpful these past few days. You’ve just wanted to mess around, or do nothing and watch everybody else work. Don’t you care about the park, Barry?
Barry: Yes I do! But what’s the point of making the park nice again if nobody is allowed to enjoy it?
Park keeper: What do you mean?
Barry: (Picking up the sign from Episode 1.) You seem to care more about the park than about people. How can anybody enjoy the park with all these rules? At least if it’s a rubbish tip we’ll be able to play in it!
Park keeper: (Slowly, as if realising it for the first time.) You know – I never realised that people felt like that! I thought my park was perfect, but actually it was rubbish, because nobody could enjoy it. I guess I’ve been a bit selfish.
Barry: I think we both have.
Park keeper: I’ll tell you what; if I promise not to put these rules back up, will you help me to make the park beautiful again so that everyone can enjoy it?
Barry: That’s a deal!
Park keeper: Great! (He picks up two long branches, and holds them upright, one in each hand, with their ends resting on the floor.) Now, if I hold these steady, can you tie a piece across the top?
Barry: Sorry, I can’t help right this minute.
Park keeper: But you promised!
Barry: I know, but there’s something I’ve got to do first. I need to go and make up with Harry and Larry. I’ll be back soon! (He exits.)
Park keeper: OK. I’d better get the top piece myself then.
(He lets go of the upright branches in order to go and fetch the top piece. But as he does so, they begin to fall over, so he dashes back to catch them. Repeat this a few times.) Oh dear, I think I’m going to need some help! He lays the branches on the floor. Barry! Wait for me! (He exits in the same direction as Barry.)
Props: Signs saying ‘Litter’, ‘Brown’, ‘Green’ and ‘Clear’; the ‘Wet Paint’ sign from Episode 3; the large sign from Episode 1; a barrel (or something else to use for a litter bin); three large boxes – the boxes will become the bottle bank, so should ideally be fairly plain (perhaps painted green, brown and white). It would be a good idea to precut the holes in them, leaving only the corners attached, so that the holes can be made quickly at the appropriate point in the script. Initially, these boxes are filled with junk that can be used for musical instruments. For example:
For the cast: glass bottles filled with water to different levels, and something to hit them with; hose pipe/watering can etc that can be blown like a trumpet (insert a proper trumpet mouthpiece to make this easier).
For the children: tin can/saucepan/plastic container drums; saucepan lid cymbals; shakers made from plastic bottles filled with gravel; cellophane to make a scrunching noise; claves made from old bits of wood; a ‘bumpy’ squash bottle to rub a stick against; bits of sandpaper to rub together (all these items must be safe and free of sharp edges and splinters). The children may have made instruments as a craft activity.
Sound effects: If possible, play some birdsong throughout this episode, to reinforce the idea of the park being full of life. Suitable music for the celebration.
Scenery: The trellis is now finished. There is more life inevidence in the park – colourful flowers, plants on the trellis, ducks in the pond etc. There is a barrel and three boxes of ‘junk’as described above.
Summary: The park is now finished. It is full of life and much more attractive, apart from the items listed in ‘scenery’above. The characters create a litter bin and a bottle bank, to make sure that the park will stay tidy.
They change the sign from Episode 1, by deleting all the ‘NO’s and writing ‘All welcome’ in place of ‘Keep off the grass’. Then they celebrate by making music from rubbish!
The characters enter together from the back and walk through the group of children.
Larry:Wow! (Looking at the children.) Your special lawn food really does work! This grassy area looks great!
Barry: And look at the trellis! We only finished it last night, but it’s covered in plants already!
Park keeper: Well, I put a bit of lawn food on that, too.
Larry: There are even ducks in the pond! Don’t tell me your lawn food made the ducks grow too!
Park keeper: Of course not. That would be quackers!
Barry: I didn’t know ducks liked crackers.
Larry: I don’t know about crackers, but they certainly like bread.
Barry: What’s bread got to do with it?
Harry: Oh use your loaf, Barry. We left our picnic here yesterday, and the ducks must have been attracted by the bread!
Harry: Ooh, look at those beautiful flowers! Are you going to pick some for me Larry?
Larry: (Emphatically.) No I’m not!
Harry: Oh. Don’t you love me Larry? Go on, give us a kiss!
(She chases Larry.)
Larry: All right, all right! I’ll pick you some flowers if you promise to stop trying to kiss me!
Park keeper: No, Larry. You mustn’t pick the flowers. We have to leave them there for everyone else to enjoy.
Barry: But what about what you said yesterday? You promised that you’d let people enjoy the park and not have lots of silly rules.
Park keeper: Yes I did, but that doesn’t mean that people can do what they like.
Harry: He’s right. We can enjoy the park, but we have to look after it so that everyone else can enjoy it too. I’m sorry I asked you to pick the flowers, Larry.
Larry: That’s OK.
Harry: Do you forgive me?
Larry: Of course.
Harry: Give us a kiss, then! (She moves towards Larry, who backs away.)
Park keeper: There’s no time for that, I need you to help me put these signs up!
Barry: Signs? But you promised that you wouldn’t put the rules back up.
Park keeper: These are different signs. Look, this one says, ‘Litter’.
Larry: I don’t understand. You’re not going to put up a sign telling people to drop litter?
Park keeper: Oh yes I am!
Harry: But that’s silly!
Park keeper: That depends where you put it. Barry, go and fetch that barrel [or box etc] over there. (Barry fetches it and the park keeper attaches the sign to it.) There. That should help to keep the park tidy.
Larry: Oh, I see! What other signs have you got?
Park keeper: (Giving each of them a sign.) Here you are. There’s one each.
Harry: (Holding up her sign.) This says, ‘Green’. That plant is green, so I suppose I should stick it on that. What a brilliant idea, to help colour blind people enjoy the park too.
Larry: And this one says, ‘Brown’, so I’ll stick it onto this brown tree trunk.
Harry: What does yours say Barry? Blue? Yellow?
Barry: No. Mine says, ‘Clear’. But the only clear thing here is the water in the pond, and I can’t stick it onto that!
Park keeper: Go and fetch those three boxes for me, please. (They each collect one box. They tip out the contents and bring the empty boxes to the park keeper.) Now, I need to make a hole in each one, while you go and fetch your signs, please… And we’ll stick your signs above each of the holes.
Larry: Oh, I see! It’s a bottle bank!
Harry: Brilliant! People can recycle their bottles instead of just throwing them away!
Park keeper: Now, there’s just one more sign to put up.
(He holds up the sign from Episode 1.)
Barry: But you promised!
Park keeper: Trust me, Barry. (He puts the sign up.) Now, Harry, have you still got some paint left from that bench?
Harry: Yes. Here it is.
Park keeper: Thanks. (He paints over all the ‘NO’s and ‘Keep off the grass’. Then writes ‘All welcome’ at the bottom, so that the sign now reads, ‘Ball games, Dogs, Cycling, Skateboards, Picnics, Walking – All welcome’.) That’s better!
Barry: Actually, I think there’s one more sign needed.
Larry: What’s that?
Barry: This one! (He produces the ‘Wet Paint’ sign.)
Park keeper: Good thinking, Barry. I now declare this park officially open!
Harry: Hold on a minute, what about all that junk over there?
Park keeper: That’s not junk. That’s musical instruments for the opening celebration. Perhaps you could help me give them out. (They all give out the ‘instruments’ to the children.) Ready? Let’s celebrate!
(Play some suitable music, and involve the children in singing and dancing. The idea is that the drama today doesn’t have a definite ending; instead, the celebratory atmosphere flows seamlessly into some singing at the end of the session.)