The Shoemaker & the Elves

Posted by in Blog, Plays on Feb 18, 2012

This is a play for four or six players. The parts of the Elves can be doubled with the parts of the Customers.

It is, of course, the well-known tale of the elves who help a poor shoemaker by making the most excellent shoes. The shoemaker and his wife reward the elves by making them a suit of clothes each.

The play contains a great deal of verse, which can be set to music if wanted. The players should be willing to use improv skills and interact with the audience for best results.

I am happy to make this play available at no cost. Below is the first scene.

Click the link to download the full play.

The Shoemaker and the Elves by PLSnow

 

Characters:-

Rags the Elf

Tatters the Elf

Shoemaker

Shoemaker’s wife

1st Posh Customer

2nd Posh Customer

 

(NB – The parts of the posh customers can be played by the same actors who play RAGS and TATTERS)

 

Scene 1:            The Shoemaker’s workshop. Workbench, tools etc. RAGS lies onstage in a bundle. The audience should not see that he is an elf. They should just see a bundle of rags.

 

Enter SHOEMAKER& WIFE

 

SHOEMAKER

 

Oh dear! What it is to be a poor shoemaker!

 

WIFE

 

We are very poor, but at least we’ve got each other.

 

SHOEMAKER

 

Of course we do, but the times are very hard. Very hard indeed! Here I am, a shoemaker, and a very good shoemaker too! Just ask anybody! They’ll tell you. I’m a very good shoemaker indeed, but nobody’s coming to buy my shoes! The rent is due at the end of the week; there’s no food in the house. And I’ve only got leather enough to make one more pair of shoes. But I’ll make the finest pair of shoes ever seen with these last pieces of leather! The very finest!

 

 

WIFE

 

Never mind, Cobblino! Your dinner’s on the table dear.

 

SHOEMAKER

 

Dinner! Have we got dinner? You are a clever little wifie, Cobblina! I didn’t know there was any food in the house! What have we got?

 

WIFE

 

Well, not very much, I’m afraid. It’s macaroni cheese. I had to use the aglets from the shoelaces for macaroni.

 

 

SHOEMAKER & WIFE

 

(Direct to audience with visual aid if appropriate) You know the little bits at the ends of shoelaces? They’re called aglets!

 

SHOEMAKER

 

We’ll be asking questions later. So you had to use aglets for the macaroni? What about the cheese?

WIFE

 

I had to get it out of the mousetrap.

 

SHOEMAKER & WIFE

 

You know what a mousetrap is? It’s a –

 

WIFE

 

Oh, they know what a mousetrap is!

 

SHOEMAKER

 

Yes, of course they do. But at least we’ve got some dinner. The mouse’ll just have to go hungry. Here, I’ll just lay out the pieces of leather to make a fine pair of shoes tomorrow, and then, well. We’ll see.

 

WIFE

 

No customers again today, then? And I work so hard to make sure the shop is neat and tidy!

 

SHOEMAKER

 

No. Nobody came today. Nobody came yesterday. Nobody came the day before that. And the weather’s so cold and wet!

 

WIFE

 

Perhaps that’s why they aren’t coming out to buy shoes!

 

SHOEMAKER

 

How do you work that out?

 

WIFE

 

Well, if you haven’t got any shoes, you don’t want to go out on cold, wet days to get some, do you? Your feet’ll get cold. You wait till it’s warmer and dryer.

 

SHOEMAKER

 

Oh, I see. But we can’t wait until the weather gets better to sell shoes! There’s the rent to pay! And we’ve got to eat!

 

WIFE

That’s true. Those aglets won’t last for ever. (To audience) Remember: aglets!

 

 

SHOEMAKER

 

Aglets! Well, anyway, the shoes that I’ll make tomorrow will be smart and proper shoes to wear on special days! Shoes that would make you proud to be seen in!

 

WIFE

 

Ooh! Will you really?

 

SHOEMAKER

 

Yes, I’ve got the leather all laid out ready. First thing tomorrow I’ll get to work and put them in pride of place in the window… Next to the tin of polish and the last pair of shoelaces –

 

SHOEMAKER & WIFE

 

With the aglets at each end.

 

SHOEMAKER

 

Whatever would you do

If you didn’t have a shoe?

No matter where you trod

Each step’s a painful plod

If you didn’t have a decent shoe.

 

WIFE

 

It wouldn’t suit

If you didn’t have a boot.

Each step you take

Would be a pain and ache

If you didn’t have a sturdy boot.

 

SHOEMAKER & WIFE

 

To make a shoe

Is a wonderful thing to do.

To stitch a boot

And make it look real cute

Is a thing to make you

Hop and skip

Run and jump

But mind you don’t trip!

You can walk for miles

If you’re soled and heeled

Over gates and stiles

Through wood and field,

With shoes so neat

Every road and street

Is like a velvet carpet

Under your feet –

Yes, whatever would you do

If you didn’t have a shoe?

WIFE

 

That’s right, dear. You make a smashing pair of shoes. They’ll look lovely. Well, come on, before the dinner gets cold.

 

SHOEMAKER

 

It’s a good word, aglets. Very good for crossword puzzles.

 

 

SHOEMAKER

 

Ooh, it’s a cold and damp winter’s day, I’ll carefully put away my tools, as usual –

 

WIFE

 

Dust down the workbench, as usual, and sweep the floor –

 

SHOEMAKER

 

But I’m down to the very last pieces of leather. There’s no more leather in the shop, and no money to buy any more –

 

WIFE

 

And no money to buy any food, or pay the rent, or buy coal for the fire.

 

SHOEMAKER

 

But still, I put out the last pieces of leather that I had, ready to make a pair of shoes in the morning. Cobblina! Don’t forget to put out a little jug of milk and a little bowl of porridge for the Good Folk –

 

WIFE

 

Now we mustn’t forget our prayers.

 

SHOEMAKER & WIFE

 

Bzzzbzzzbzzzbzzzmumble mumblebzzzbzzz…AMEN

 

SHOEMAKER

 

And off we go to bed, as usual.

 

Exit SHOEMAKER & WIFE