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ESL Playhouse: Food for Thought by Juliet Charles

English Level: Advanced - English idioms.

Study English idioms. One day David's mother invites herself to dinner. Big problem, David can't cook! Maybe his friend Sam can help - then again maybe not! This hilarious one act play is acted by English teacher, John Bright and two of his students.


A radio play by Juliet Charles

Heni and Norito are flatmates. Sam is a native speaker friend who visits occasionally.
There is a radio blaring away in the background.

Heni:  How were your English studies today, Norito? 

Norito:  Ok Heni. I’m trying hard to practise my pronunciation. But it’s difficult as I have to work too. So I am very busy.

Heni:  Yes, it’s lucky that Sam found you that job at the Pizza parlour where he works. 

Norito:  It is a very good place for me to practise my English.  And Sam tells me when I make a mistake. Oh, Heni, I think I am in love with Sally the waitress. 

The phone rings: 

Heni:  Norito, the radio, turn it down. 

Heni answers phone. 

Heni:  Hello, hello? Yes, I will get him.Your mother is on the phone from Japan.

The following conversation is spoken by Norito in his native language, but the gist of it is:

Norito:  Hello. Yes, I am well. Pardon? You are coming to Melbourne?  How long will you stay?  Oh, you have a hotel. But you want to come to dinner with us on Saturday night? Yes, of course we will cook you a meal.  What time? We will see you at 7.00 pm. Goodbye.
(Back to English): Heni, my mother is coming here on Saturday night for dinner. Look at this flat. It is dirty and messy. 

Doorbell rings.  Door opens and Sam enters.

Sam:  Hi guys. How’s it going?

Norito:  Sam. I am so worried. My mother is coming for dinner on Saturday night. She thinks I can cook but I cannot. What will I do?

Sam:  Don’t worry. “It’s a piece of cake!” Just do something easy and “she’ll be apples”. 

Norito:  Pardon? I said I did not know how to cook.

Sam“Oh, you’re just chicken!” You can do it!

Norito: So I cook chicken, apples and a cake?

Sam:  What? Listen, I’ve got to hurry. I’m going out.

Norito: Would you like to come to dinner on Saturday Sam?

Sam: I don’t know, I’ll try.   – I may have to work. “I’ve got to earn my bread”

Norito:  Bread….?  (Shyly) Sam, I like Sally at work. Should I ask her out?

Sam:  Norito, a word of advice, “Don’t mix your jam with your bread and butter”. Be careful – don’t forget, “it’s a plum job”.

Norito:  I don’t understand. But I think Sally likes me. She said I had nice eyes. 

Sam“Are you fishing for compliments”?  Mate, take it slowly. But I agree. “She’s a real honey”. “I’ll try to butter her up” for you. But I won’t be “too sugary”.

Norito:  Maybe Sally likes Jason

Sam:  Maybe.  “He looks really beefy”, but I think she likes slim guys.

Heni:  I’m worried that the flat is too cold.  Should we get the heater fixed?

Sam:  Nah, it’s working fine.  “I’m as warm as toast”.  By the way, Norito, what’s your mum like?

Norito:  She is very shy.  She doesn’t talk much

Sam:  Oh, “as quiet as a lamb” is she?   “well that’s just ducky”.  We’ll have to provide some entertainment. 

Heni:  What will we do when Norito’s mother is here?

Sam:  Well, after dinner you could have a “jam session”.  Norito, you have your guitar and Heni, you can play drums.  If I can come over, I’ll sing. 

Norito:  I think this will all be very hard.

Sam: Listen Man, you worry too much. By the way, don’t go to see “Hannibal”. “It’s a real turkey”. Well, I’ve got to go. I’m going out tonight.  See you later; Norito - “come on old bean”, it’ll be fine!  Bye Heni

Sam goes out. Sound of door opening and closing.


Heni:  Norito, I am very confused. What did Sam say? We should have cake, apples, chicken, bread and jam for dinner on Saturday - what else? Oh yes,  and plumsfish, honey, and sugar.

Norito: And Beef, toast, lamb and duck – oh, and turkey and beans..  Heni. I can’t cook AT ALL! And I have not got enough money for all this food. Help, what will I do?


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