Spider the Drummer

A musical play, based on a West Indian folktale

music and lyrics by Julie Argyle-Cross

SD_Image Synopsis

Characters

Setting

Sample Teaching Tracks

Sample Backing Tracks

Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
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SYNOPSIS

A long time ago, when spiders and animals could talk, they used to all live together and communicate with people. The story begins with a married couple in the village inviting all their friends, people and animals, to a big party celebration. Spider the Drummer is the best musician in the village, but they have decided not to invite him or his family to the party, because they are very greedy and always eat all the food.

Everyone in the village is sworn to secrecy, but unfortunately two of Spider’s friends let the cat out of the bag! Spider is furious that he has not been invited – after all, he is the best musician. He hatches a plan to spoil the party and shares his idea with his family.

The next day all the villagers creep past spider’s house on their way to the party. They are carrying food and gifts. Spider and his family, however, are not at home. They are lying in wait, down by the stream. While the guests are at the party the hostess is in need of some water, so she sends the youngest girl to fetch some from the stream. As soon as the girl dips the pail in the water some strange, hypnotic music begins. It forces her to dance. She dances and dances until she falls to the ground, exhausted.

Each guest at the party comes down to the stream in turn, to try and get some water, but, of course, the same music plays, and exhausts each of them as they dance until they drop! They finally realise that Spider and his family have played a trick on them. They are forced to invite him to the party, otherwise they will be made to dance for ever! The celebration follows, with Spider and his family playing their best music for all the people and animals in the village.

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
ALL AVAILABLE NOW – SHOP HERE

CHARACTERS

Narrator
Anansi the spider
Party Hostess
Party Host
Brother Bear
Brother Dog
Mrs Spider
Spider’s children

CHORUS

Large chorus (possibly all classes in the Junior Primary area)

The chorus represents the animals, children and adults (this can also include all soloists)

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
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SETTING

A West Indian village – but a seaside setting would suffice.

DURATION

Approx. 20 minutes

SET

As simple or as elaborate as you choose. A suggestion:

  • one side of stage, on a diagonal, some trees and plants for the stream area
  • centre stage a minimal representation of Spider’s house, with a low fence
  • other side of stage a series of stage blocks to represent the house where the party is held.

COSTUMES

These can be elaborate or very simple for the humans, e.g.

  • children and adults – summer clothes, with thongs, sandals or bare feet.

Animals can be elaborate or simple, e.g.

  • tights, plain T-shirt (of a colour to suit the animal)
  • a head-dress or mask.

USE OF TEACHING AND BACKING TRACKS

We recommend that during the rehearsal period the performers become less and less dependent on the teaching tracks, so that they are ready to perform the show with the backing tracks only.

The teaching tracks have all the individual vocal musical numbers provided, but do not include incidental music or reprises. As such, the teaching tracks cannot be used for a performance.

The backing tracks have all the musical numbers, plus incidental music, separately provided in order, allowing the tracks to be run through sequentially, with appropriate pauses for dialogue.

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
ALL AVAILABLE NOW – SHOP HERE

SAMPLE TEACHING TRACKS

1. “Anansi”

2. “There’s going to be a party”

3. “Stop, look, listen!”

4. “Mambo a-go-go”

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
ALL AVAILABLE NOW – SHOP HERE

SAMPLE BACKING TRACKS

1. “Anansi”

2. “There’s going to be a party”

3. “Stop, look, listen!”

4. “Mambo a-go-go”

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
ALL AVAILABLE NOW – SHOP HERE