King Arthur's Special Delivery

play by Bill Condon , illustrated by Christopher Nielsen

Identify aspects of the play that link to the myth of King Arthur then write a new play based on Robin Hood using the same linking techniques.

Before reading the play, visit Kiddle’s web page on King Arthur and read through the information. Explain that students will be looking for links between the mythology of King Arthur and what’s happening in the play. Students may take notes on things they think are important on the website before beginning.

In pairs, students read through the play, highlighting or taking note of any links between the myth and the dialogue.


- Lancelot and Gawain are King Arthur’s knights

- Night shift = “Knight” shift

- Mentions Camelot

- The round table

- The sword in the stone (Excalibur)

- The lady in the lake

- Mention of Merlin

- Holey Whale = Holy Grail

Ask students what techniques the author used to link the myth to the play. Answers include using and referring to some of the same characters, using puns and referring to famous elements from the myth.

Ask students what they know about Robin Hood. Students may be aware of characters such as Maid Marian and Little John, or aspects such as Robin Hood using a bow and arrow to steal from the rich and give to the poor.

In the same pairs as before, students visit Kiddle’s page on Robin Hood, Classic Stories’ page on Robin Hood, Kids Britannica’s page on Robin Hood and any other useful websites with information about the story. They should take notes on main elements missed in the class discussion.

Once pairs have gathered enough information, they can work together to write a short play with the same base plotline – two delivery people bring things for Robin Hood, who is unhappy with their mix ups. Encourage students to think of who the delivery people might be. Little John, Will Scarlet and Maid Marian are examples. Ask students what relevant items the characters have delivered to Robin Hood (golden arrow, quarterstaffs, archery target), who they might reference (Sheriff of Nottingham, Prince John, King Richard the Lionheart) and puns they can use for the mix ups (golden sparrow, half staffs, a literal bull’s eye).

Pairs may present their plays to the class when complete.