David and Goliath - by James Archer

This is a dramatised reading based loosely on 1 Samuel 17.

Cast: Narrator, Jesse, David, Goliath, Eliab, Saul. Either a chorus or all those otherwise involved or the audience with a bit of training speak the Army and do the sound effects. This can be hammed up panto-style and if you have the resources you can add props or costumes.

Narrator     Bethlehem.  While a shepherd watched his flocks by night, (sound of bleating) his brothers were away in the army,                      (sound of marching) trying to pretend they were not afraid (sound of heart beating).  The shepherd’s name was                            David.  So his father came out to him in the field and said:

Jesse           I’ll look after the sheep for you.  Go and see how your brothers are getting on.  Take them some lamb sandwiches,                    and get some cheese and wine as well.  And don’t forget the redcurrant jelly.

Narrator     So David picked up a lamb, (bleating) dropped in at Tesco’s, and headed off to the front line, forgetting the                              redcurrant jelly in his excitement.

David         (Singing as he marches)  Hi ho, hi ho, its off to war I go, just keep on singing all the way, hi ho, hi ho hi ho hi ho.

Narrator      Just as he arrived at the army camp, there was a loud shout from the valley.

Goliath       Fee, fi, fo, fum.  I smell the blood of a Jewish man.  Be he alive or be he dead, I’ll break his bones to bake my                          bread!

Narrator     And the hearts of the soldiers thumped (sound of heart beating more loudly than before, several times)

Eliab         Crying out, unaware that David has arrived)  I want my mummy!

Narrator     David looked round, and there was a huge man, more than nine feet tall (gasps of amazement) .....

David         Honest he was!  He was this big! (demonstrating)

Narrator      ..... dressed in full armour and shaking an enormous spear at the Israelite army.

Goliath       Cowards the lot of you! Come and fight me if you dare, you chickens!  A one-to-one fight to the death, if you can find                  anyone to stand up for you!

Narrator     And the Israelite soldiers were terrified.  Their hearts thumped even louder (sound of thumping), their knees knocked                      together in fear (sound of knocking) and their teeth chattered away (sound of chattering).  But David was not afraid.                    He put down his lamb sandwiches and said to the soldiers:

David         Who does this Goliath think he is, that he can get away with insulting the armies of the living God?  It’s time that                        someone removed this disgrace from Israel.

Narrator     When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard what David said, he was furious. 

Eliab          Little squirt!  Who does he think he is?

Narrator     So he threw his toys out of the pram (sound of toys flying), grabbed David by the collar (acted) and said:

Eliab          Go back and look after the sheep, baby brother - that’s your job, in case you’d forgotten - and leave us to get on with                  the battle.  We don’t need any clever clogs to tell us what to do.

David         Aren’t I even allowed to speak?  You don’t look as if you know what you’re going to do.

Narrator     And he went on talking to the soldiers.  Some of them told the king about him, and the king called for him.

Saul           Da-avid!  Da-avid!

Narrator     So David went to the king, and said:

David         Do not be dismayed by Goliath.  I will go and fight him.

Narrator     And Saul laughed.  He sniggered (sound of sniggering) and he harumphed (sound of harumphing) and he cackled                      (sound of cackling) and he roared with laughter  (sound of repeated roars of laughter as in The Marriage of Figaro)                    until the tears rolled down his cheeks (sound of sobs) and he had a fit of coughing (sound of fit of coughing).

Saul           What!!  You’re only a boy!

David         I am a shepherd.  When a lion attacked the flock (sound of lion attacking) and carried off a sheep, I went after it,                      struck it, and rescued the sheep (bleat) from its mouth.  And when it turned on me (roar), I grabbed it by the mane,                      struck it and killed it.  And when a bear attacked the flock (sound of bear attacking) and carried off a sheep, I went                    after it, struck it, and rescued the sheep (bleat) from its mouth.  And when it turned on me (roar), I grabbed it by the                      ears, struck it and killed it.  I have killed both the lion and the bear.....

Eliab          Little show-off!

David         ..... and this Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.  The Lord who                      delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of Goliath.

Saul           Go, and may the Lord be with you.  Here’s my armour.

Narrator     So Saul dressed David up in his armour.  First there was his mail (David puts on Postman Pat outfit), then his helmet                      (David puts on crash helmet), then his shield (David picks up open umbrella), and finally his spear (David is given a                      feather duster).  And he tried walking around in them.

David         (Walking around like a robot)  Exterminate!  Exterminate!  (Throws them off)  This is silly.  I can’t go in these.

Narrator     So he picked up his walking stick (acted) and his catapult (shouts of Yee-ha), stepped down into the stream to pick up                  some nice round stones, and the water came over his wellies.  So he clambered out of the water, emptied his wellies                  (acted), and went out to meet Goliath.

David         Ner, ner, ner-ner ner!

Narrator     Goliath peered in amazement at David as he approached.  And he laughed.  He sniggered (sound of sniggering)                      and he harumphed (sound of harumphing) and he cackled (sound of cackling) and he roared with laughter  (sound of                  repeated roars of laughter as in The Marriage of Figaro) until the tears rolled down his cheeks (sound of sobs) and he                  had a fit of coughing (sound of fit of coughing).  When he had recovered, he called out:

Goliath       Am I a dog, that you come out against me with sticks and stones?  Come here, you little squirt, and let me feed you                    to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!

David         You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the                  God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  Today, the Lord will hand you over to me, and I will cut off your                  head.  It is the Philistine army who will be fed to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field, and the whole world                    will know that there is a God in Israel.  The battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you all into our hands.

Narrator     As Goliath advanced to attack him, David ran quickly forward to meet him.  Reaching into his bag and taking out a                    stone, he put it in his catapult and fired (Ping). The stone struck Goliath on the forehead, and he fell to the ground                        (sound of crashing thud, then cheers from army).  David stood over him .....

Army          Off with his head!  Off with his head!

Narrator     ..... pulled his sword out of its scabbard, and cut off his head.  So David triumphed over the Philistine.  And when the                  Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and fled.  Then the Israelites surged forward with a shout (shout)                    and pursued them all the way to Gath.  (Sound of Rugby Special theme music)

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