The Greatest Show
by Mike Horth & Jan Porter
Pricing & Order Info.
Why choose this Musical?
Editable Word Doc Script available
30 speaking roles
See "Casting" tab below for full instructions.
Any number of chorus parts
CDs of Backing Tracks plus essential sound effects available
No pianist required! This CD includes ALL the Backing Tracks, Incidental Music and Special Effects in the order you need them enabling production and direction to take place without specialist musical expertise.
CD of Vocal Tracks available for learning the songs
Sing it! "Karaoke-Style" learning! Check out the video below...
TOP TIP: unmute the video to have a listen and a sing along!
*** NEW *** Hear it. Copy it. Learn it!
"Learn it!" is an "Audio Book" style read-through of the entire show performed by professional voice actors. It teaches each child their lines, when to perform them and most importantly, HOW to perform them. The copy and repeat method is simply the best and quickest way to learn. An essential product for SEND cast members. The "Learn it!" product is available as downloadable MP3 files or as a standard Audio CD. Have a listen to a sample of the "Learn it!" product on the "Samples" tab below.
If you'd like a more in depth explaination about "Learn it!", check out this explainer video.
Full Performance Piano/Vocal Score available (Grade 5/6 Standard)
See "Script & Songs" below.
Full Production Notes
Check out the "Production Notes" in the "Script & Songs" tab below.
No problem props
FREE printable resourses
Including 3D printable moustaches! Click "FREE Resources" tab below.
Click "Script & Songs" below then click "Production Notes".
Instant Scenery with our digital backdrops
A different backdrop for EVERY scene change
Supplied in both a PowerPoint presentation and as individual JPG files.
No more Scenery Painting!
Age range: Key Stage 2 Production (7-11 years)
Especially engaging for your Upper Juniors (9-11 years) - a Perfect Year 6 leavers' play.
Duration: 50 - 60 minutes
Pickle's Perambulating Palace of Performers gets their show on the road for the new season, but there is trouble ahead! Several other travelling shows are going out of business under strange circumstances and Herbert the showman is pushing his brother Professor Pickle the scientific inventor, to come up with a new act to keep the audiences happy.
Then disaster strikes: the show is sabotaged! The escapologist is trapped in his costume, the ventriloquist bound and gagged and the performing dogs are let out to chase the musical cats out of the ring. Herbert's reputation is ruined!
Could it all have something to do with Horace Heckle and Tyrus Snide? Two disreputable quack doctors seen selling their remedies in every town? And who is the fanatical Colonel Obadiah Blastpipe, creator and collector of all things mechanical? With a riotous mix of Victorian melodrama, steampunk and circus acts, the Pickle family must bring the saboteurs to justice... oh, and at the same time make sure that the show still goes on!
Pickle's travelling show is ready to go on tour for the new season. Herbert Pickle the showman is keen to get going and gathers everyone together. We meet his family including Professor Pickle the inventor; the performers enter and move through the audience demonstrating their skills. Finally Herbert's melodramatic wife, Petunia Pickle appears after a delay and the cast sing the opening number Get This Show On The Road. The backdrop reveals brightly coloured show trailers and wagons with the new name of the show: "Pickle's Perambulating Palace of Performers".
After the song, the Pickle children, Lily and Branston, discuss the show's new name and how worried Herbert is about the future of his show, as many shows are mysteriously going out of business. Prof enters with Herbert to explain that he has been neglecting their usual scientific exhibitions because he is working on something else that will make their fortune. Unseen by the cast, a sinister figure in a dark cloak sneaks in and listens to the conversation about Prof's secret new invention. A young girl, Flossie enters asking for a job but is kindly rejected by Herbert as they have no work. The family feel sorry for her and Mrs Tickle makes her a cup of tea before she leaves. The scene ends with the sinister figure, Ratfink, very pleased with his discovery of a secret invention which he will tell the "Colonel" about.
Dr Heckle and Mr Snide, quack doctors, take advantage of the show in town, and set up their stall nearby. They sell their dubious medicines to a crowd who gather around them. With their helpers the Ragamuffins, they advertise their products in the song We've Got The Cure.
Ratfink enters and asks them if they would be interested in a money making scheme. Heckle and Snide jump at the chance and are invited to meet Colonel Obadiah Blastpipe at the old engine sheds, the following evening.
The Pickles put on their first performance: singing cats, clowns and a gladiator routine with the strongman and Prof's giant magnet.
Heckle and Snide arrive at the old engine sheds to find a worker struggling with an elephant off stage. Various workers (the cogs) move robotically working with metallic objects. Ratfink greets them and the wacky Colonel Obadiah Blastpipe introduces himself in the song Obadiah.
Blastpipe tells Heckle and Snide of his plan to own the most amazing show on Earth: The Great Steampunk Spectacular! He has already stolen various creatures from other shows and caused the collapse of many different circuses and travelling shows; but science is the way forward for showmen and he is still looking for some amazing inventions. He wants Heckle and Snide to sabotage the Pickle's show and steal Prof's secret invention. Heckle and Snide readily agree.
The Pickles stage another show. Branston begins with his flea circus which goes well, then Harry Houdidit the escapologist comes on to do his routine. However his straitjacket has been tampered with and he has to hop off stage to boos from the audience. Herbert quickly introduces the next act, the Wild West show, to be told that Buffalo Bill has been tied up backstage. Very embarrassed, Herbert introduces the ventriloquist Victor Chatterson to be told that he's been bound and gagged. Finally the dogs are let out, they chase the cats and everything descends into chaos. The show is booed offstage.
Backstage the family examine the damage, and sing The Show Goes On.
Prof enters after the song to announce that the saboteurs couldn't get into his trailer, and all his inventions are safe. To cheer up Herbert, he reveals his secret invention, but won't tell the others.
Lily and Branston find a packet label on the floor that reads "Pimple Poultice". They determine to go shopping the next day.
Heckle and Snide prepare their stall for the day where they are featuring moustache trainers and artificial teeth. They have given Flossie a job because she has beautiful teeth and they will use her to advertise their products.
The "Kaiser" moustache exhibition is performed with the help of the Ragamuffins then Flossie comes on to sing the ballad Artificial Teeth, aided by Heckle and Snide in the chorus. As the public start to purchase the products Flossie meets up with Lily and Branston, who tell her that their show had been sabotaged the night before. Flossie has some notion of what might have happened and says that she will come to Mrs Tickle's trailer that evening.
Obadiah is holding a Dragon's Den scenario to collect more inventions. A group of prospective inventors waiting to see Obadiah, sing What An Invention.
Ratfink and Obadiah become increasingly fed up at the useless inventions on offer, then see Mrs Tickle and her "flying dusters". Mrs Tickle is dismissed angrily when they discover it is a cleaning business not an invention, but she listens to their conversations and gets evidence of their evil deeds.
Lily, Branston and Flossie enter to help Mrs Tickle who tells them that apart from stealing inventions and ruining shows, Obadiah is also capturing animals and encasing them in metal plating and chains to create a mechanical menagerie.
Flossie is particularly horrified and reveals that she is a great animal lover and fell out with her family because she wanted to start a wildlife park.
Heckle and Snide arrive to tell Obadiah that the sabotage failed to get Prof's secret invention. Obadiah is furious and plans to do the job himself.
Lily, Branston, Flossie and Mrs Tickle leave to warn Herbert about Obadiah's impending raid.
The penultimate scene takes the form of a comic silent film, with no dialogue just piano music and subtitle cards.
Heckle, Snide, Ratfink and Obadiah raid Prof's trailer and try to capture him. Petunia reacts in a melodramatic style and Lily and Branston are chased by Heckle and Snide. Flossie saves them using itching powder and Lily manages to grab Obadiah's keys. Obadiah chases after them but Branston enters with Prof's giant magnet which attracts all the metal ornaments on his outfit and captures him. The police enter with Flossie's father Lord D'Enture, and the villains are arrested. Flossie runs to her father and they are reconciled.
The family meet to discuss the capture of Obadiah and his cronies and it is revealed that Prof's secret invention was a bioscope which filmed the whole event. Therefore Obadiah and his gang were caught in the act with film evidence of their wrong doings and also provided the first film for the Pickle exhibition. Thanks to Prof, Pickle's show now has the most amazing scientific curiosity in the country! Their future is secure.
Flossie introduces her father to the Pickle family and tells them that he has agreed to open a wild life park at Denton Abbey (their home), in which the circus animals saved from Obadiah will be housed. The show ends with the family speculating about the wonders of silent film and inventions. The whole cast sing the final song The Greatest Show.
Speaking Roles By Number Of Lines
N.B. In the following list, the number shows how many SPOKEN lines each role has. An asterisk (*) before the characters name indicates that this character ALSO has solo or featured sung lines.
|Character Name||Number of Lines|
|*Herbert Pickle - Showman||75|
|*Obadiah Blastpipe - Steampunk megalomaniac||47|
|Branston Pickle - Son, exhibits performing fleas||46|
|Lily Pickle - Daughter, exhibits singing cats||44|
|*Dr Horace Heckle - Disreputable quack doctor||37|
|*Flossie Dentures - Aristocratic runaway||35|
|*Mrs Tickle - Housekeeper||33|
|*Tyrus Snide - Disreputable quack doctor||32|
|*Ratfink - Obadiah's henchman||29|
|Professor Pickle - Inventor and exhibitor of scientific curiosities||25|
|Petunia Pickle - Wife and melodramatic artist||20|
|Ibis - Audience and member of the public||16|
|Mercure - Audience and member of the public||16|
|Harry Houdidit - Escapologist||13|
|Vagabond Charlie - Ventriloquist's dummy||9|
|Lord D'Enture - Flossie's father||7|
|Victor Chatterson - Ventriloquist||5|
|Maximus Girder - Strongman||5|
|*Donald Dufflecoat - Inventor and member of the public||4|
|*Mrs Longlegs - Inventor and member of the public||3|
|Flea 1 - Member of the Flea Circus||3|
|Flea 2 - As above||3|
|Flea 3 - As above||2|
|Gladiator 1 - Member of the troupe||2|
|Coco - Clown||1|
|Cookie - Clown||1|
|Buffalo Bill - Member of the troupe||1|
|Gladiator 2 - Member of the troupe||1|
|*Ragamuffin 1 - Heckle and Snide's helper||1|
|*Cog 1 - Obadiah's minion||1|
Non-speaking roles: *Cats 1-3 (who also play wild animals 1-3); Dungo (member of flea circus); *Ragamuffins 2-4; Policemen 1-2; *Cogs 2-4; Scamp and Lady (performing dogs).
Suggested Cast List For 33 Actors
N.B. In the following list, the number shows how many spoken lines each role has. An asterisk (*) before the characters name indicates that this character ALSO has solo or featured sung lines.
|Character Name||Number of Lines|
|*Dr Horace Heckle||37|
|Harry Houdidit - Also plays Policeman 1||13|
|Victor - Also plays Lord D'Enture||12|
|Vagabond Charlie - Also plays Policeman 2||9|
|Gladiator 1 - Also plays Flea 1||5|
|Gladiator 2 - Also plays Flea 2||4|
|Flea 2 - Also plays Lady||3|
|*Ragamuffin 1 - Also plays *Cog 1||2|
Non-speaking roles: *Ragamuffins 2-4 (who also play *Cogs 2-3); Scamp (who also plays Dungo); *Cats 1-3 (who also play wild animals).
Potion Box Labels
Good and Bad Smiles
Silent Movie SlidesDownload .zip
High Resolution Cover Artwork
3D Printable Moustaches
The Greatest Show
"Amazing went really well. Yr6 loved it"Mrs Maguire, St. Paul’s Nelson, Nelson
The Greatest Show
"Colouful, energetic and packed full of show stopping songs that your pupils will be singing in the playground!"Denise White, Retired Head Teacher