By Andrew Oxspring
End of year/leavers musical for 7-11 years
Running time 60 minutes approx.
(Scroll down for song samples, characters and plot summary)
Try telling a child what school used to be like in Mum and Dad’s (or even their grandparents’) day, and they’d never believe you! Well, here’s an opportunity to let them experience it for themselves, and also provide a nostalgic trip for those who can remember when free school milk came in bottles! When navy-blue knickers were every schoolgirl’s must-have accessory! When a swish of the cane awaited any child who pushed their luck! When school photographs were taken with cameras that contained film, and everyone learned to read with ‘Janet & John’. But although a lot has changed since then, one thing stays the same…the one thing that is celebrated in this fantastic new musical…school can be a lot of fun!
Sample piano score (JPG)
Sample script (PDF)
Mum, Dad, Gran, Grandpa, James and Alice – enjoying a trip down memory lane.
2 fashion presenters – with a keen eye on what’s been ‘cool for school’ over the years.
9 ‘models’ – they might disagree!
Teacher – looking for a photo-opportunity.
8 Children – with faces only their mothers could love.
Photographer – this job isn’t a million miles away from wildlife photography!
2 ‘Super-Heads’ – given the task of training new ‘recruits’ in the art of caning!
6 Novice Heads – a little too keen to learn!
4 Children – let’s hope they’ve ‘padded’ their behinds!
Teacher 1 – free school milk? Whatever will they think of next?
2 Milk Monitors – wearing their badges with pride
6 Children – eagerly awaiting their morning tipple.
Janet and John – wholesome children on a mission to teach us to read.
Mother and Father – very traditional….very nice!
(Ensemble Characters, if numbers allow, for featured songs and scenes)
More fashion-conscious kids
More Novice Heads
More ‘Milky’ Children
Following the opening song (‘A Blast From The Past’) we join two children, Alice and James, at home with their family. They are feeling slightly put-out that a number of their classmates will be missing the final week at school in favour of early holidays to Disney World and Centre Parks, while they still have to face the daily grind! As Mum, Dad, Gran and Grandpa try to console them with the fact that their last week will be more relaxed, with trips, parties, non-uniform days and suchlike, the conversation turns to their own memories of school in the ‘olden’ days! These recollections provide us with some hilarious snapshots of what things used to be like in the dim and distant past!
For example, what did school children used to wear? Well, with the aid of a catwalk, two flamboyant presenters and a few reluctant models, we find out the answer! In a fashion show that demonstrates what every discerning child would have worn to school through the ages, we are re-introduced to some memorable designs, culminating in the celebration of a truly classic item! (song – ‘Navy Blue Knickers’)
Dad digs out an old whole-school photo and we learn how, with skill, timing and nimble feet, he’s managed to appear twice in the same picture! Confused? All is revealed, and we come to appreciate that having your photo taken at school these days can be a slightly more stressful affair for all concerned…especially the photographer! (song – ‘Sit Still And Smile’)
James and Alice then listen in stunned silence as the adults talk about the methods that ‘old-school’ headteachers used to discipline unruly pupils! We witness a training day when enthusiastic heads are put through their paces and instructed in the best techniques for wielding a cane! Painfully funny! (song – ‘Six Of The Best’)
Remember free school milk, in bottles? Mum and Dad certainly do, and also the thrill of being picked to be the ultimate teacher’s helper….milk monitor! However, we soon discover that being given a daily bottle of the ‘white stuff’ didn’t always provide the benefits to a child’s health that it was supposed to! (song – ‘Drink Your Milk’)
And what about learning to read? It used to be a much less-complicated affair, all done with those loveable and memorable characters, Janet and John. Forget phonemes, digraphs and compound-words, and enjoy a tongue-in-cheek reminder of when it was as simple as ABC! (song – ‘Pink For A Girl, Blue For A Boy’)
As the family’s conversation draws to an end, Alice and James are filled with a new- found enthusiasm for going to school, and realise that their last week is one they wouldn’t want to miss for the world! Although a little sad at the prospect of leaving, they want to celebrate all those things that have made their time at school so special, and with the final song (‘The Time I’ve Spent With You’) that’s exactly what they do!
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"We had three generations doubled up with laughter one minute, and in floods of tears the next! The evening was a real success, a combination of energetic children and your brilliant material."
C Doyle, S.Yorks