Play In a Day

Written by Rhiannon Tise, Judith Johnson, Eleanor Cook, Jonathan Hall, Adam Hughes / Produced by Theatre of Debate


5 Free play in a day scripts for Primary schools age 7-11

Read the following short briefs and choose a play that best suits what you want your pupils to learn, or a specific topic you want to explore.

Theatre of Debate was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust Crunch project to create five play in day scripts and resources for primary schools. The future of food is one of the biggest challenges on our plate. Food and drink are fundamental to our lives, connecting everything from our health to the world around us. It’s time for us to take a fresh look at our relationship with food and be inspired to create the recipe for a happier, healthier future.

Drama is an effective and fun way of engaging pupils in exploring and learning about big questions. The five specially commissioned Play in a Day free scripts (average length 15 minutes) have been written by five playwrights in collaboration with five leading scientists who are carrying out research relating to ‘our food, our health and our planet. Each play has clear learning outcomes and links to the curriculum. The scripts have roles for everyone in the class and not only explore topics but will develop transferrable skills such as teamwork, creativity and leadership. These plays can be performed to the whole school community and can also be used for assemblies, harvest festivals and special food related events like World No Meat Day.


Each script comes with:

  • Two short films (of no more than 5 minutes), produced by professional Movement Consultant Robin Guiver, illustrating how to use movement in your production.
  • Specially composed free music and sound effects created by Composer Alex Parsons to download and use in your production.
  • Director’s Notes which include learning outcomes, links to the curriculum, more in-depth information about the theme of your chosen play, along with hints and tips on how stage the play for a workshop performance.

The movement elements in our plays in a day can seem intimidating, on the page, but professional Movement Consultant Robin Guiver is there to reassure you that they couldn’t be simpler.

These sections are about telling the story with the pictures we make on stage, rather than the words we say, and for both primary and secondary age groups it’s an ideal way to get ideas across, whilst keeping the audience’s attention.

Of course, these are only guidelines, and you should feel free to use your own experience and ideas as well.

Basmati, Basmati

By Jonathan Hall

Choose this script and resources to explore biodiversity in a simple way through exciting movement and music.

Focus: Biodiversity – why it’s important to grow a variety of crops to avoid crop failure.

Learning outcomes:

  • I know what biodiversity is.
  • I understand how supply and demand works.
  • I understand the effects climate change and population can have on the food I eat.

Beloved Burger

By Rhiannon Tase

Choose this script and resources for a class that like to do a lot of movement and will enjoy creating a dream-like state for performance. It explores the impact of eating so much meat and will help pupils understand the effect this has on their planet.

Focus: Sustainable Diets – The impact food consumption has on the planet’s resources.

Learning outcomes:

  • I know what a sustainable diet is.
  • I understand the impact the food we eat has on the rest of the world, including its role in climate change.
  • I recognise the impact of diet and exercise on my body

The Lament of The Green Bean

By Elinor Cook

Choose this script and resources to explore how other countries provide food for us in the UK and the impact this has on the environment.

Focus: Food Security – the impact of where our food is from on other places and the environment as a whole.

Learning outcomes:

  • I understand what food security means and why it’s important.
  • I understand some problems with wasting food
  • I know where my food comes from and what goes into it.

Day of Temptation

By Judith Johnson

Choose this script and resources for a focus on how to be healthy one day at time through a fun exploration of what pupils face every day through the temptations of the unhealthy food around them.

Focus: Obesogenic Environment – Environments that encourage people to eat unhealthily and not do enough exercise.

Learning outcomes:

  • I know what a healthy meal looks like.
  • I can identify an obesogenic environment and understand what makes it one.
  • I understand the importance of diet and exercise.

For Richer, For Poorer

By Adam Hughes

Choose this script and resources to explore how we can both under- and over-eat and what this does for our health. This play looks at food in India but resonates with other countries across the world.

Focus: Undernutrition/overnutrition – The environmental causes of under/overnutrition and how the food we eat can affect our health.

Learning outcomes:

  • I know what undernutrition and overnutrition are.
  • I understand what nutrients are and the impact they have on my health.
  • I recognise the impact of diet and exercise on my body.