By Roald Dahl
Adapted for readers theatre from The BFG, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1982 (Puffin, 1984)
CULTURE: Contemporary (Britain)
THEME: Rationalism vs. mysticism
GRADE LEVEL: 4-7
TIME: 10 min.
ROLES: Narrator 1, Narrator 2, BFG, Sophie, (Dream Characters)
NOTE: For best effect, position BFG closest to NARRATOR 1, and SOPHIE closest to NARRATOR 2.
NARRATOR 1: Imagine late one night you couldnt sleep, so you got out of bed and looked out the window, and there you saw a giant!
NARRATOR 2: Thats what happened to a little girl named Sophie. There across the street was a giant, with a long, thin trumpet and a large suitcase.
NARRATOR 1: Then the giant saw Sophie. Sophie jumped back into bed and under the covers. But the giant reached through the window and grabbed her!
NARRATOR 2: Then he ran all night, until they reached his enormous cave in Giant Country.
* * *
BFG: (to himself, speaking of Sophie) Now, what has us got here?
NARRATOR 1: The Giant put the trembling Sophie on the table.
SOPHIE: (to herself) Now he really is going to eat me.
NARRATOR 2: Sophie thought.
NARRATOR 1: The Giant stared hard at Sophie. He had truly enormous ears. Each one was as big as the wheel of a truck.
BFG: (grins widely) I is hungry!
NARRATOR 1: He grinned, showing massive square teeth.
SOPHIE: P-please dont eat me!
BFG: (stares at her in surprise, then bellows with laughter) Just because I is a giant, you think I is a man-gobbling cannybull! Me gobbling up human beans! This I never! All the other giants is gobbling them up every night, but not me! I is the Big Friendly Giant! I is the BFG! What is your name?
SOPHIE: My name is Sophie.
NARRATOR 2: Sophie said, hardly daring to believe the good news she had just heard.
SOPHIE: But if you are so nice and friendly, then why did you snatch me from my bed and run away with me?
BFG: Because you saw me. I cannot possibly allow anyone to be seeing me and staying at home! The first thing you would be doing, you would be scuddling around yodeling the news that you were actually seeing a giant, and then people would be coming rushing and bushing after me and they would be catching me and putting me into the zoo with all those squiggling hippodumplings and crocadowndillies!
NARRATOR 2: Sophie knew that what the Giant said was true. If any person reported actually having seen a giant, there would most certainly be a terrific hullabaloo. For a few moments, the cave was silent.
SOPHIE: May I ask you a question?
BFG: Shoot away.
SOPHIE: Would you please tell me what you were doing in our village last night? Why were you poking that long trumpet thing into those kids bedroom and then blowing through it? And that suitcase you were carrying. What on earth was that all about?
BFG: If you is really wanting to know what I am doing in your village, I is blowing a dream into the bedroom of those children.
SOPHIE: Blowing a dream? What do you mean?
BFG: I is a dream-blowing giant. When all the other giants is galloping off to swollop human beans, I is scuddling away to blow dreams into the bedrooms of sleeping children. Nice dreams. Lovely golden dreams. Dreams that is giving the dreamers a happy time!
SOPHIE: (skeptically) Now, hang on a minute. Where do you get these dreams?
BFG: I collect them.
NARRATOR 1: The BFG waved an arm at all the rows and rows of bottles on the shelves.
BFG: I has billions of them.
SOPHIE: You cant collect a dream. A dream isnt something you can catch hold of.
BFG: (offended) You is never going to understand about it. That is why is not wishing to tell you.
SOPHIE: Oh, please tell me! I will understand! Tell me how you collect dreams!
NARRATOR 1: The BFG settled himself comfortably in his chair.
BFG: Dreams is very mysterious things. They is floating around in the air like little wispy-misty bubbles. And all the time they is searching for sleeping people.
SOPHIE: Can you see them?
BFG: Never to begin with.
SOPHIE: Then how do you catch them?
BFG: A dream, as it goes whiffling through the night air, is making a tiny little buzzing-humming noise. But this little buzzy-hum is so silvery soft, it is impossible for a human bean to be hearing it.
SOPHIE: Can you hear it?
NARRATOR 1: The BFG pointed up at his enormous truck-wheel ears.
BFG: Is you seeing these?
SOPHIE: (giggles) How could I miss them?
BFG: These ears maybe is looking a bit propsposterous to you, but they is very extra-usual ears indeed. They is allowing me to hear absolutely every single twiddly little thing.
SOPHIE: You mean you can hear things I cant hear?
BFG: You is deaf as a dumpling compared with me! I is hearing the footsteps of a ladybug as she goes walking across a leaf.
NARRATOR 2: Sophie was beginning to be impressed.
SOPHIE: What else can you hear?
BFG: I can hear plants and trees.
SOPHIE: Do they talk?
BFG: They is not exactly talking. But they is making noises. For instance, if I come along and I is picking a lovely flower, if I is twisting the stem of the flower till it breaks, then the plant is screaming. I can hear it screaming, very clear.
SOPHIE: How awful!
BFG: It is the same with trees as with flowers. If I is chopping an axe into the trunk of a big tree, I is hearing a terrible sound coming from inside the heart of the tree.
SOPHIE: What sort of sound?
BFG: A soft moaning sound. It is like the sound an old man is making when he is dying slowly.
SOPHIE: (skeptically again) Is that really true?
BFG: (offended again) You think I is swizzfiggling you?
SOPHIE: It is rather hard to believe!
BFG: Then I is stopping right here! I is not wishing to be called a fibster!
SOPHIE: Oh, no! Im not calling you anything! I believe you. I do, really! Please go on!
NARRATOR 1: The BFG regarded her gravely with his huge eyes.
BFG: I hope you will forgive me if I tell you that human beans is thinking they is very clever, but they is not. They is nearly all of them notmuchers and squeakpips!
SOPHIE: (very offended) I beg your pardon.
BFG: The matter with human beans is that they is absolutely refusing to believe in anything unless they is actually seeing it right in front of their own schnozzles.
NARRATOR 2: She had offended him, she could see that.
SOPHIE: Please forgive me and go on. Tell me how you catch the dreams.
NARRATOR 1: The BFG gave her a long hard stare. Then he said,
BFG: The same way you is catching butteryflies. With a net.
NARRATOR 1: He reached out and picked up a pole. It was about thirty feet long, and there was a net on the end.
BFG: Here is the dream-catcher. Every morning, I is going out and snitching new dreams to put in my bottles.
NARRATOR 1: The BFG put down the pole. Then he picked Sophie off the table and stood her on the palm of one of his huge hands. He carried her towards the shelves.
BFG: These are some of the good dreams. The "phizzwizards." Every dream is having its special label on the bottle, so I can find it in a hurry.
SOPHIE: Would you hold me closer so I can read them?
NARRATOR 2: Sophie started to read the labels.
SOPHIE: "I is inventing a car that runs on toothpaste."
"I is able to make the elektrik lites go on and off just by wishing it."
"I is only an eight-year-old little boy but I is growing a splendid bushy beard and all the other boys is jalous."
"I has a pet bee that makes rock & roll musik when it flies.
"I is abel to jump out of any high window and flote down safely." I like that dream.
BFG: Of course you like it. It is a phizzwizard! Its a ringbeller! Its whoppsy! This will be giving some little tottler a very happy night when I is blowing it in. Look in the jar carefully, and I think you will be seeing this dream.
NARRATOR 2: Sophie peered into the jar, and there, sure enough, she saw the faint translucent outline of something about the size of a hens egg. There was just a touch of color in it, a pale sea-green, soft and shimmering and very beautiful. There it lay, quite peaceful, but pulsing gently, as though it were breathing.
SOPHIE: Its moving! Its alive!
BFG: Of course its alive.
SOPHIE: What will you feed it?
BFG: It is not needing any food.
SOPHIE: Everything alive needs food. Even trees and plants!
BFG: (firmly) A dream is not needing anything. If it is a good one, it is waiting peaceably forever, until it is released and allowed to do its job.
NARRATOR 2: Sophie was silent. This extraordinary giant was disturbing her ideas. He seemed to be leading her towards mysteries that were beyond her understanding.
BFG: You is a lovely little girl, but please remember that you is not exactly Miss Knoweverything. Dreams is very mystical things. Human beans is not understanding them. (gazes into a bottle) At all!
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