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The Rich Fool

To think about priorities and what is really important in life.

by Jude Scrutton

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To think about priorities and what is really important in life.

Preparation and materials

  • For the play you will need a tennis racket.
  • This script can be adapted to fit in with a current event: for the Commonwealth Games the tennis star could become a track and field athlete, or for the World Cup the star could be a footballer.
  • Cast:
    Narrator (big part, may be taken by the teacher)
    Tennis star (small speaking part with mime)
    Chorus (speaking part, could be taken by several children)
    Brother (small part, could also be a member of the chorus)
  • Run through the play a couple of times beforehand.
  • For notes on drama in assemblies, please refer to our Resources section.


  1. Welcome the children and if necessary explain what a parable is - a story that gives you something to think about.

  2. Read the story of the rich fool from Luke 12.16-21 (use a child-friendly Bible - GNB version below - or retell it in your own words). Ask what the children think is the message Jesus that was trying to portray.

    Then Jesus told them this parable: There was once a rich man who had land which bore good crops. He began to think to himself, 'I haven't anywhere to keep all my crops. What can I do? This is what I will do,' he told himself; 'I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, where I will store my corn and all my other goods. Then I will say to myself, Lucky man! You have all the good things you need for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself!' But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night you will have to give up your life; then who will get all these things you have kept for yourself?'

  3. Ask the children to think about the meaning of the parable while they watch the following play. Ask them to look for similarities. Perform the play.

    The Rich Young Tennis Star
    By Jude Scrutton

    Narrator: A few years ago a young girl was watching Wimbledon on the television. (Tennis star mimes playing)

    She loved tennis, and there and then she decided that one day it would be her on the TV playing and winning the Wimbledon tournament. She practised and practised and she got better and better.

    One day her brother wanted to play.

    Brother: Hi sis, can I play?

    Tennis star: Too busy, sorry.

    Narrator: All that practice started to pay off. At school she won the cup for lawn tennis.

    Chorus: Three cheers for Fiona: hip, hip, hooray! (all clap)

    Narrator: Then it was back to the hard work. (Tennis star mimes serving)

    She rose to the top very quickly, and soon:

    Chorus: Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Local tennis star to play at Wimbledon! (mime as if selling newspapers)

    Narrator: In her first Wimbledon, she got through to the final. (Chorus mimes looking from the side to side as they watch the game)

    She played brilliantly.

    Chorus: Match point!

    Narrator: It was a nerve-racking moment.

    Chorus: Quiet, please.

    Narrator: She served an ace!

    Chorus: Game, set and match!

    Narrator: All the practice had paid off. Soon she had a racket named after her.

    Chorus: Buy my racket, buy my racket!

    Narrator: And her own brand of shoes.

    Chorus: Buy my shoes, buy my shoes!

    Narrator: Soon she was very rich.

    Chorus: Loadsamoney!

    Narrator: She was a megastar. But she was not happy. She didn't really care about others. All she cared about was her tennis and staying at the top.

    Chorus: Autograph, please.

    Tennis star: Too busy, sorry.

    Narrator: The vicar asked her to do some coaching at the local school.

    Tennis star: Too busy, sorry.

    Narrator: She didn't care about other people; she just wanted to practise for the next big tournament. She bought a big house, with its own tennis courts and lots of barbed wire to stop people getting close to her and to keep the fans out. She became the most famous tennis player the world had ever seen.

    Chorus: Read all about it! Top tennis player retires.

    Narrator: Maybe now she would have time for her friends, her family her fans… But no, she only had time to watch endless videos - videos of herself in her glory days.

    Chorus: Ta ra.

    Narrator: Requests came in to work for this charity or that.

    Tennis star: Too busy.

    Narrator: To visit this friend or that.

    Tennis star: Too busy.

    Narrator: Top tennis people asked her to help new, young players.

    Tennis star: Too busy.

    Narrator: Eventually, the videos wore out. There was nothing to watch. The tennis star thought…

    Tennis star: I'll throw a party, and then everyone can talk about my brilliant career.

    Narrator: It was the quietest party ever. No one came. No one at all, I wonder why.

  4. Ask the children why they think no one came. Can they think of any similarities to the parable in the Bible? Explain that it is fine to be good at something and to work really hard to get to the top and to use our talents to the best, but it is important to remember to be kind to others and treat other people well. Point out that many people want to be famous but not everyone enjoys fame when they get it.

Time for reflection

Dear God,
Thank you for the talent you have given us.
Help us to use our talents to the best of our ability
but let us be kind and generous to others
and think about what really matters in life.


'Light up the fire' (Come and Praise, 55)


Scriptures quoted from the Good News Bible published by The Bible Societies/HarperCollins Publishers Ltd UK © American Bible Society, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992.

Publication date: June 2002   (Vol.4 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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