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An Adaptation of the Boy In The Striped Pyjamas

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Old 06-02-2011, 03:56 AM
ThatPoshOne (Offline)
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Default An Adaptation of the Boy In The Striped Pyjamas


Hiya! Um, I am currently taking part in my Arts Award Silver, and part of the qualification is to take on a challenge - mine being to adapt the novel 'The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas' for the stage. I have personally found it very challenging, and would love any advice I could be offered. Below are the first few scenes - if there's anything I'm doing wrong/right, I would really love the advice, and constructive criticism wold be great. Thank you! x




The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas


Scene One:

A street in Berlin. Lighting is green and white to reflect scene, and gentle noises of crowd can be heard.

BRUNO, KARL and MARTIN enter, playing Aeroplanes. They proceed to 'shoot' each other down, making various sound effects and giggling the whole time.

BRUNO
(Having just 'shot' KARL down)
Yes! That means I win!

KARL
(Scrambles to feet)
No it doesn't!
('Fires' at BRUNO, who laughs, and runs away)
See!

Game continues. MARIA enters SR, but the boys do not initially notice. KARL is the first to realise, and stop playing, but BRUNO continues, and accidentally runs backward into her.

BRUNO
Maria! What are you doing here?

MARIA
Master Bruno, I've been looking all over for you. You need to come home with me.

BRUNO
But I said I would play with Karl and Martin today! I told Mother last week.

MARIA
I-I think your mother may have changed her mind. She wants you to come home immediately. I think it would probably be best, Master Bruno, if you did what she said. You can always play with Karl and Martini another d- I mean, another time…

BRUNO
But we're playing something else tomorrow - we have plans, see, plans for the summer. Martin's even going to-

MARTIN
Bruno! Shhh!

MARIA
Your mother wants to see you, Master Bruno...

BRUNO
But you're the maid. You can't tell me what to do!

MARIA
No, but I come with a message from your mother, and I think it would be best if you come with me now. And.. Make sure you say goodbye. To Karl and Martin, I mean. Make sure you … say goodbye.

BRUNO
Fine. But it's not fair!

KARL
I guess we'll see you tomorrow, Bruno.

MARTIN
Karl, my mother said she'd bake a cake today. I'm sure she'd let you have some. Shall we go to my house?

KARL
Alright. Goodbye, Bruno!

MARTIN
Bye!

KARL and MARTIN exit, running off, possibly playing Aeroplanes as they leave. BRUNO is left standing in the middle of the stage, watching them go.

BRUNO
Goodbye…
(Turns to MARIA.)
Do you see what you did?

MARIA
(Gently.)
Come on Bruno. Let’s get you home.










Scene Two:

Bruno's house. Lighting is bright for a house, giving the setting an 'airy' feel. Light streaming through windows hits the ground at various intervals. There is an elaborate set of stairs upstage, and various crates and boxes scattered around the place, as one or two servants pack up the family's belongings.

ELSA enters, slowly making her way down the stairs. She silently watches the servants pack, and there is an air of desolation about her. When she is halfway down the stairs, BRUNO and MARIA enter stage right. She immediately composes herself, and continues more briskly down the staircase.

BRUNO enters quickly, but immediately stopping in shock when he sees the various crates and boxes. He walks over to a servant, LARS, who appears to be packing his belongings.

BRUNO
What are you doing? Take your hands off my things.
(He turns to ELSA, who is wringing her hands.)
Mother, what’s going on? Why is Lars going through my things?

ELSA
He's packing them, Bruno

BRUNO
Packing them? Why? What have I done?
(He appears to think, then arrive at a horrified conclusion.)
If it's because I broke that picture frame, then I'm really sorry, but that was all Gretel's fault really, because she was the one who-

ELSA
No, Bruno, it's not about the picture frame. It's not about anything you've done, I promise…

ELSA moves distractedly through the boxes, followed by a clearly impatient BRUNO.

BRUNO
Mother. What's going on? Are we moving?

ELSA
Bruno, why don't we sit down properly, and then we can have a proper, grown up talk. Is that okay?

ELSA catches the eye of LARS, who nods, and leaves stage left, closely followed by the other servant. BRUNO looks around, before choosing the nearest box, and sitting down. ELSA carefully picks up a chair from the other side of the room, and brings it downstage, where BRUNO is sitting.


ELSA
Now, Bruno, you don't have to worry. In fact, if anything, this is going to be a great adventure.

BRUNO
What is? Am I being sent away?

ELSA
No, no, of course not. It's not just you, Bruno, it's all of us. Your father and I, Gretel and you. All four of us. The whole family.

BRUNO
But where? Where are we going exactly? Why can't we stay here?

ELSA
Your father's job. You know how important it is, don't you?

BRUNO
Yes, of course.

ELSA
Well, sometimes, when someone is very important, the man who employs him asks him to go somewhere else because there's a very special job that needs doing there.

BRUNO
What kind of job?

ELSA
It's… a very important job. A job that needs a very special man to do it. You can understand that, can't you?

BRUNO
And we all have to go too?

ELSA
Of course we do. You wouldn't want Father to go to his new job on his own and be lonely there, would you?

BRUNO
I suppose not.

ELSA
Father would miss us all terribly if we weren't with him

BRUNO
Who would he miss the most? Me or Gretel, I mean?

ELSA
He would miss you both equally.

BRUNO
But what about our house? Who's going to take care of it while we're gone?

ELSA
We'll have to close up the house for now. But we'll come back to it someday. And Maria, and Lars, and Cook are all coming with us, so you don't need to worry. But I think that's enough questions for today. Maybe you should go and help Lars with your packing.

BRUNO stands, and begins to leave, only to turn back around swiftly.

BRUNO
But how far away is it? The new house? Is it more than a mile away?

ELSA
(Laughing in a strained way.)
Oh my. Yes, Bruno, it is more than a mile away. A lot more than that, in fact.

BRUNO
(Horrified.)
B-but you don't mean we're leaving Berlin?

ELSA
(Standing up, to comfort BRUNO.)
I'm afraid so. Your father's job is -

BRUNO
But what about school? And what about Karl and Martin? How will they know where I am when we want to do things together?

ELSA
You'll have to say goodbye to your friends for the time being. Although I'm sure you'll see them again in time. And don't interrupt your mother when she's talking, please.

BRUNO
Say goodbye? Say goodbye to Karl and Martin? But they're my two best friends for life! I can't just say goodbye to them!

ELSA
Oh, you'll make new friends. It's easy at your age.

BRUNO
But we had plans!

ELSA
Plans? What sort of plans?

BRUNO
(Realising he's said too much.)
Well, that would be telling.

ELSA
I'm sorry, Bruno, but I think your plans are going to have to wait. We don't have a choice in this.

BRUNO
But Mother!

ELSA
Bruno, that's enough! Honestly, only last week you were complaining about how much things have changed here recently.

BRUNO
Well, I don't like the way we have to turn all the lights off at night now.

ELSA
Everyone has to do that, Bruno. It keeps us and everyone around us safe. And who knows, maybe we'll be in less danger at the new house. Now go on, and help Lars pack your things. I'm afraid to say we don't have nearly as much time as I would have hoped for, thanks to some people, so I'm going to need your help, Bruno.

ELSA ruffles BRUNO's hair, before leaving stage left. BRUNO dejectedly begins to sort through the objects in his boxes. The light in the room begins to change, from light to dark repeatedly to show the passing of time. The background could also change, possibly with a setting and rising sun. There is no sound from the stage, and a subtle piece of slow music plays over the action. MARIA, LARS, and any other servants are seen bringing boxes and suitcases on and off, as they pack up the belongings of the house. BRUNO continues to sort through the boxes, before the last one is taken off by MARIA. BRUNO is left alone, centre stage, facing the audience, with a small suitcase. The music and changing lights stop, with the lights left on as before.

GRETEL and ELSA enter from stage left. They are both wearing heavy coats, and ELSA is carrying one.

ELSA
Ah, there you are Bruno. Here, put your coat on.
(She hands BRUNO the spare coat. BRUNO pulls it on.)
Are you ready to go?

BRUNO
No. I'm not going.

GRETEL
Oh, not again. Bruno, for heaven’s sake. Stop being such a baby.

BRUNO
I'm not a baby! Stop acting like you're a grown up. You're only twelve!


GRETEL
And you're only nine!

ELSA
(Interrupting BRUNO's retort.)
Children, please! Stop squabbling! Gretel, go and wait with your father outside.

GRETEL leaves stage right.

ELSA
Now, Bruno, are you ready?

BRUNO
No, I said I'm not going.

ELSA
(Exasperated)
Of course you are, Bruno. We are a family, and families stay together. You wouldn't want to be left here all alone, would you?

BRUNO
But this is our house! I like our house! We've always lived here. And I like Berlin! In Berlin, we can see Grandmother and Grandfather all the time, and I can play with Karl and Martin after school, and we can -

ELSA
Bruno, look. I know you're finding this hard, but I'm sure you'll love the new house, and I promise you, you'll make new friends. None of us want to move, Bruno, but sometimes we all have to do things we don't want to do. Your father's new job is very, very important - and I'm sure Grandmother and Grandfather will visit us. And we both know you would hate it if we actually left you here all alone. Now come on. Let's stop being so silly. Your father is waiting with the car.

BRUNO
Alright.

ELSA
Good boy.

ELSA straightens up, and looks around the hall. She doesn't notice MARIA quietly enter stage left.

ELSA
We should never have let the Fuhrer come to dinner. Some people and their determination to get ahead.

ELSA turns to look at BRUNO, and sees MARIA standing behind him.

ELSA
Maria! I thought you were in the car.

MARIA
I was just leaving, ma'am. I came back for Bruno's last suitcase.

MARIA picks up suitcase.

ELSA
I didn't mean... I wasn't trying to suggest --

MARIA
I was just leaving, ma'am.

MARIA exits stage right. ELSA watches her go.

ELSA
Come on then, Bruno. Let's just hope we come back here someday when all this is over.

ELSA exits stage right. Bruno looks around, then exits after her.

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Old 06-05-2011, 03:53 AM
genius007 (Offline)
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Well to start i really like your layout and form etc because it seems really professional. i have quite a lot of experience acting in plays and stuff and this does definitely look like a script (i can confirm!).Also I am a big fan of the boy in the striped pyjamas, and this is quite different from the books/film, which i didn't like at first because, well, its different! But to be fair it is an adaptation, so i suppose there have to be differences and i do see why you made them. i also think you have some really nice monologues in there. However as a quick point I would say that some of the scenes might need a bit of very light tweaking to make them a bit plausible (for want of a better word) because they seem that little bit unnatural. However, with a bit of editing, I think this could be a very nice script.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:39 AM
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I think this is very good. I agree with what has been said above, and confirm that the layout worked well. I think it's an excellent adaptation. I, however, think it's fine the way it is. I'm looking forward to seeing some more.
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:44 AM
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Default The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas - Film Script

Hello you all,

I'm working on this film as part of my doctoral dissertation and I'd like to know if any of you have the original film script.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:05 PM
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Default Play Script for Boy With the Striped Pyjamas

Hi - I came across your message when searching on Google for any stage scripts for The Boy with the Striped Pyjamas. I am a producer director with a non-professional theatre group in the north east of England and have been wanting to stage The Boy with the Striped Pyjamas for a while now ever since I read it and saw the film - even thinking about writing a script myself if I had the time. So when I saw your post I was really interested. Have you completed it or abandoned it. If you have finished it I'd really be interested in having a look at the full script.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:40 AM
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I think the script you have written is great! I read the book so I think you did a good job capturing Bruno's innocence and confusion in this scene. Personally, I find this script to be an improvement of the book. One of the things I didn't like about the book was that it took so long to get the story moving forward. Thus, I am glad this script is moving the story forward by getting straight to Bruno being upset about moving after the audience meets him.
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:28 AM
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what is the estimated running time of your whole script?
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