This Play has 14 speaking parts. Some are gender-specific but several characters can be played by either sex. Other non-speaking parts can be added for extra school pupils to form a larger class.
(At the front of the stage is a sort of ‘hide’ for Adam to watch birds from. As the audience enters, Adam is busy in his ‘hide’ watching birds through his binoculars, making notes and reading things up in an encyclopaedia. If the audience ask him what he’s doing, Adam should talk to them in character, showing them pages with pictures of birds and boasting a bit about the interesting birds he’s seen. Dad is ironing.
With Adam still busy at the front of the stage, Katie, Daniel and pupil 1 knock at the door at the other side of the stage. Dad comes to the door.
KATIE: Is Adam coming out?
DAD: Dunno. I’m not sure where he is. His sister might know. Lauren!
(Lauren comes to the door, she is chewing and has her headphones on)
DAD: Where’s Adam?
DAD: Turn that thing off. Thank you. Where’s Adam?
LAUREN: Probably over the fields again. As usual.
DAD: Where exactly?
LAUREN: Oh come on Dad. (To the others) Go across the big field and you’ll see an iron gate in the corner. Go through the gate to the trees. Shout for him though – he might be hiding.
KATIE: Hiding? What from?
LAUREN: The birds.
DANIEL: The birds!?
DAD: Yeah. He talks to them! I hope you can get him to talk to you. He doesn’t talk to us much these days.
DANIEL: He doesn’t talk to us much either. He hardly ever comes out now.
DAD: Tell him his tea’s ready at 6 o’clock.
(The group get about half way down the stage when they stop)
PUPIL 1: He’s not there. I can’t see him anyway.
(There is no reply – Adam takes no notice)
PUPIL 1: No, look, there he is. Shhh. Looks like he’s hiding or something
KATIE: Yeah, he’s just lying down in the grass. What is he doing?
PUPIL 1 : He’s got some thingies – you know, for looking at stuff.
PUPIL 1: Yeah them.
DANIEL: What’s he looking at?
PUPIL: It’s just trees and fields round here.
KATIE: No idea.
(There is a short silence and they watch as Adam sweeps the sky with his binoculars.)
KATIE: Oh my god!
PUPIL 1: What?
KATIE: He’s bird-watching!
DANIEL: He’s what?
KATIE: He’s looking at the birds.
PUPIL 1: How do you know?
DANIEL: Well, he’s not studying the clouds is he?
PUPIL 1: Might be.
KATIE: He really is bird-watching.
DANIEL: That is so gay.
PUPIL 1: Seriously sad. Are we going up to him or what?
DANIEL: Nah. Let’s leave him. Wait until I tell everybody at school tomorrow.
PUPIL 1: Yeah. We’ll all have a real laugh.
SFX: (The school bell goes and the pupils – the 5 of them with speaking parts, plus a few others, sit cross-legged on the floor and create a classroom in front of a desk)
TEACHER: Now get on with your work.
(At this point Adam leaves his hide, pulls on his school sweat shirt and runs to the class room. He stands there)
TEACHER: Adam, you’re late.
ADAM: I know Miss/Sir.
TEACHER: Why? That’s the third time this week.
ADAM: Sorry, Miss.
TEACHER: Well, would you ask you mother and father to come up to school and discuss it?
ADAM: You ask him.
TEACHER: Adam Fry, don’t you dare be so rude.
ADAM: I’m not being rude Miss.
TEACHER: No-one else is always late. You owe the whole class an explanation. If I let one person get away with it, the whole class suffers.
TEACHER: Well, are you going to ask them? Or do you want a Concern Slip?
ADAM: No Sir/Miss. I’ll ask my Dad.
TEACHER: I’d like them both to come, if possible.
ADAM: (shouts) Well it isn’t possible, right, my mum can’t come.
TEACHER: OK Adam. Ask your Dad then.
(Daniel puts his hand up)
DANIEL: Please Sir, I know why Adam’s late.
TEACHER: Well keep it to yourself Daniel. That’s really Adam’s business and not
DANIEL: Tweet Tweet Adam. (He flaps his arms like a bird flying. The class laugh)
SFX: The bell goes.
(The pupils plus Adam, Katie and Daniel all position themselves at various points around the stage. Daniel ‘flies’ up to one of the pupils and whispers in his/her ear)
PUPIL 2: What? I don’t believe that.
DANIEL: Don’t tell anybody though. (He calls out) Tweet tweet Adam.
PUPIL 2: No, I won’t tell anybody.
PUPIL 2: Promise.
(Pupil 2 immediately crosses the stage to number 3 and whispers in his/her ear)
PUPIL 3: What?! Adam Fry watches birds. Wow! No of course I won’t tell anybody.
PUPIL 2: Promise?
PUPIL 3: Promise.
(So Pupil 3 breaks his/her promise and goes over to Pupil 4 and whispers)
PUPIL 4: That is so sad. You wait till I tell everyone else.
PUPIL 3: Hey, it’s a secret.
PUPIL 4: You can’t keep anything like that a secret.
(He/she immediately calls over all the other pupils)
PUPIL 4: Hey everybody, have you heard?
PUPIL 5: Heard what?
PUPIL 4: About Adam Fry.
PUPIL 5: What about him?
PUPIL 4: He goes bird watching.
PUPIL 5: Tweet tweet Adam.
DANIEL: Wait everybody (He goes up to Adam and chants)
Adam, Adam, Adam Fry
Watches the birds and makes them cry
There’s a splat on his head that looks all white
Oh my God, it’s birdy –
ALL: (Everybody now surrounds Adam and chants this, whilst Adam stands in the middle of the stage. At the end of the chant Daniel goes up to him)
DANIEL: Do you want to fight?
ADAM: What for?
DANIEL: ‘Cause I’m harder than you.
ADAM: (Pretends to be hit and falls on the floor) So you are.
(The scene switches to home)
DAD: What’s this then? (He waves a letter)
DAD: You know fine well what it is. It’s from school. You’ve been late three times this week aleady.
LAUREN: When I was late Dad, I never got done for it.
DAD: It’s different now. With your Mum away, it’s important I prove I can cope. No-one believes a Dad on his own can manage. This doesn’t help.
LAUREN: Is that what you’re telling everybody? That Mum’s gone away.
DAD: I say Mum’s working down south. What else can I tell them?
LAUREN: The truth.
DAD: You don’t really mean that do you? You are joking?
(Lauren just looks sheepish)
ADAM: Yeah, all right Dad. Can I go to the hide now?
DAD: Have you got any homework?
ADAM: No. (pause) Honest.
DAD: OK. But tea’s at six o’clock.
ADAM: OK. Bye.