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Once Upon A Nursery Crime

    by Cheryl Barrett



Once upon a nursery crime, folk lore featured stories about wolves; Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, Peter and the Wolf, Mother Goat and her Kids – invariably a big bad wolf appeared in the story. But who wrote these stories? Was the big bad wolf as bad as he was made out to be or are they all biased against him?

This cautionary rhyming tale of Red Riding-Hoodie and her nemesis, Biggbad Wolf is narrated by a reporter, Sam Scribe. Sam is also a freelance journalist with a fascination about wolves, believing wolves have had a bad press over the years, she is not convinced.

Set in a courtroom, Biggbad has been accused of threatening behaviour towards Red. Top barrister, Miss Muffett, has been hired to defend him.

Claiming that Red Riding-Hoodie’s accusations are defamation of character, Biggbad sets out to convince everyone that he is the innocent victim and uses all his wolfly wiles to charm the jury and clear his name.

Red Riding-Hoodie and her gang give evidence for the prosecution, whilst Grandma Riding-Hoodie gives evidence for the defence. Biggbad determines to prove to Judge and jury that he is of good character. It seems that Biggbad Wolf has friends in high place. Amongst those singing his praises are Lady Hortense Tweedy, Lady of the manor and Edward Woodman, a local forest ranger. Is ‘Wolfie’, as he is known to his dearest friends, really a ‘man’ of principal and courage, inspired by people like Sir David Attenborough and young Greta Thunberg to be an advocate for climate change?

With a twist in the tale, there’s more to this case than at first thought.

Themes include bullying, environmental issues, climate change and moral dilemmas.


35 mins approx


(6m, 8f, 5m/f)

  • Sam Scribe - court reporter/journalist who narrates proceedings (m/f)
  • Biggbad Wolf - a charming well-spoken wolf about town (m)
  • Red Riding-Hoodie - teenage gang leader (f)
  • Miss Muffet - a formidable young barrister (f)
  • Rumple Stiltskin - a grumpy barrister (m)
  • Justice Self - the Judge (m)
  • Clerk - a clerk of the court (m/f)
  • Usher - the court usher (m/f)
  • Zak - Red’s friend (m)
  • Spider - Red’s friend (m)
  • Maddy - Red’s friend (f)
  • Dee - Red’s friend (f)
  • Police Constable Nabbim - the arresting officer (m/f)
  • Grandma Riding-Hoodie - Red’s Grandmother (f)
  • Lady Hortense Tweedy - Lady of the manor (f)
  • Edward Woodman - a forest ranger (m)
  • Jury Member 1 - a juror (f)
  • Jury Member 2 - an enthusiastic juror (f)
  • Jury Member 3 - foreman of the Jury (m/f)
Chorus - jury Members, who can also double as the choir

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