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Florence Nightingale
By Kim Williamson

"The life of the Lady of the Lamp".

 

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Price: $35 Add to Cart View Cart


Length: 100 Minutes
Cast: Minimum cast size is 4 male, 10 Female with doubling of roles. A full cast with minimum doubling of roles is 24 - 30.
Genre: Drama
Audience: Teen and Adult


About the Play: Florence Nightingale is a name familiar to most people. It inspires images of a gentle young woman with a lamp, tending to the battle weary of the Crimea. But this was only two years of a very long and fulfilling life. Florence Nightingale was a remarkably passionate and motivated Christian woman who powerfully affected her world... and ours.
This play is a Christian perspective on her life with careful attention to historical accuracy.


This is an ideal play for a Christian High School, Christian theatre groups or Church theatre group to produce.

About the Playwright: Kim Williamson is an experienced actor, director and writer. She is Director of Detour Community Theatre and has had a number of her original works produced including a number that are available here at Christian Plays.

 

About Royalties: The price of the script includes a performance licence to a non paying audience and the right to make copies of the play for your cast. This represents great value for money!
If an audience is charged admission to the performance then a further royalty calculated at 10% of the gross box office sales is required to be paid. See our "Royalties" page for details on this..

Read the entire script on-line: Click Here.

Following are sample scenes from the play...

(c) 2006 By Kim Williamson

Do not perform, copy or distribute without prior permission

SCENE 3                                                                                            

Old Florence                                                                                                                 
That was when I committed myself heart and soul to God. In the garden with the birds. I'd just finished reading The Cornerstone - a very good book. It made me see things quite differently. The Lord has been good.

Mr Jowett                                                                                                                        
Are you ready to take the Holy Sacraments? I shall go and prepare them. (exits)

Old Florence
Yes. Thank you Mr Jowett. (reading from bible/praying) Bless the Lord, O my soul and all that is within me, all: repentance, remorse, anxiety, disappointment, all bless His holy name. Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits: Crimea, India, nurse training, all all. Who forgiveth all thy iniquities, Who healeth all thy diseases, Who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who redeemeth thy life from destruction, Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle's.(Mr Jowett enters with sacraments)

Mr Jowett
Here we go. Shall I do the reading? (OF nods. Reading) And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. (he gives bread to OF) And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Does so with the cup. Prays) Father we thank thee for all thou hast done for us. For thy Son on the cross. For His victory over death. And for forgiveness of sin. We thank thee O Lord. Amen.

Old Florence
Amen. (pause) 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do'. What an immense statement, don't you think Mr Jowett? I'm glad Jesus prayed for me on the cross. It gives me the courage to pray "Father, forgive me, for I knew not what I did."

Mr Jowett
Miss Nightingale, what could you possibly have to ask forgiveness for? Why, the things you have achieved.

Old Florence
Only by the grace of God, Mr Jowett. Every morning I pray for God to give me His Holy Spirit twenty times a day! And that this Spirit would convince me of sin, of righteousness, above all to give me love, a real, individual love for everyone. This alone will make us happy. This and the counsel of the Most High.

Mr Jowett
Indeed. How true for all of us. Well, my dear Miss Nightingale, I shall take my leave of you. Same time next week?

Old Florence
Of course, Mr Jowett, you know I look forward to it. Goodbye, and thank you.(he exits. OF takes up her writing equipment) Now, where was I?(Mr Jowett exits passed Dr Sutherland . Amy Hughes arrives)


SCENE 9
(Beggars, drunks and children are around. YF enters with basket. Talks to child)

Young Florence
Excuse me, can you tell me where I can find Doris...er (looks at piece of paper) Doris Smith

Urchin
The Smiffs? They live over there.

Young Florence
Thank you

Urchin
Who are you?

Young Florence
My name is Florence Nightingale

Urchin
What?

Young Florence
Nightingale, as in the bird.

Urchin
What bird?

Young Florence
The nightingale.

Urchin
Never 'eard of it. What ya doin' 'ere?

Young Florence
Visiting Mrs Smith. I hear she's unwell

Urchin
Nah, she's sick

Young Florence
Yes, that's right. What's your name?

Urchin
Kate. Kate Smiff

Young Florence
Is Doris your Mother then?

Urchin
Yeah. What're ya gonna do to er. Ya not gonna take 'er to the work'ouse are ya?

Young Florence
No. I have some things that might help her to feel better. Is your Father here?

Urchin
Nah. He'll be at the rub-a-dub now (blank look) Y'know, the pub

Young Florence
Right, well let's go and see how your Mother's doing, shall we?(they go into the house, Mrs Smith is lying on an old cot)

Urchin
Ma there's some lady wiv a birds name 'ere to see ya

Mrs Smith
Oh! (trying to get out of bed) Oh M'am, please excuse....

Young Florence
Now, now Mrs Smith. My name is Florence Nightingale, and I'm here to help you. Claire told me about you. (Mrs Smith is overcome with a coughing fit) Please, stay in bed. Now tell me what's wrong.

Mrs Smith
Oh M'am, you shoul'nt be 'ere. It ain't proper.

Young Florence
Please, Mrs Smith, tell me your symptoms. I really want to help.

Urchin
C'mon Ma, she seems alright.(to YF) She coughs and can't stop. Sometimes, if she's coughed too much, she gets tom an' dick - ya know, sick.

Mrs Smith
Kate, that's enough! Go out and look after Billy.

Urchin
I was just saying, is all.(goes outside and yells) Billy!(she exits)

Mrs Smith
I'm very sorry M'am, she don't know when to keep 'er mouth shut, that one.

Young Florence
It's fine, Mrs Smith. But I need to know, does anything in particular bring on the coughing?

Mrs Smith
Not really, no. If I've been lying quietly for a while it stops, but when I 'ave to get up it starts up again. Old Mrs Jones down the road, she died a while back of the same thing.

Young Florence
Do you cough up any blood?

Mrs Smith
No. But Mrs Jones did. 'Orrible it was.

Young Florence
I don't think you have the same thing. I'm going to try giving you some of these herbs, mixed into a paste. It doesn't taste too good, but I want you to take it three times a day. Can you do that?

Mrs Smith
Am I gonna die, M'am? I got ten kids to look after. I can't die

Young Florence
I hope not, Mrs Smith. Take the medicine. I'll come back next week, alright?(lights down, one week later. YF enters. Same scene)

Urchin
'Allo. Alright? Wocha doin' 'ere again?

Young Florence
Hello Kate. I've come to see your Mother. Is she doing alright?

Urchin
(sadly) She 'aint 'ere. She's gone

Young Florence
(worried) What do you mean? She's alright, isn't she?

Urchin
Yeah. Right as rain. She 'aint 'ere 'cos she's back at work. But she said to say fanks a lot.

Young Florence
Is she really well?

Urchin
On my 'onour. About free days after she took that muck you gave 'er.

Young Florence
Well, that's marvellous. I suppose I'd better be off, then.

Urchin
'Ang about. Do you know Mrs Po'er's sick? She just 'ad a 'nuvver dus'bin. 'Aint been the same since.

Young Florence
Pardon? Who's sick?

Urchin
Mrs Po'er

Young Florence
Oh, Potter. Did you say she had a dustbin?

Urchin
Yeah. Y'know, dus'bin lid - kid! You don't understand much, do ya? Shall I take you to see 'er?

Young Florence
That would be good, thank you.

Urchin
They just live down the frog a bit. I told 'em all about ya ...(they exit with Kate talking. Crossfade to OF writing)

ACT 2 SCENE 8
(YF is writing)

Dr Menzies
(entering) Miss Nightingale. We have just received word that the wounded from Inkerman are on their way. Would you and your nurses be so good as to come down and help process them?

Young Florence

Certainly, Dr Menzies, we will come right away.(he exits) Jane.(she enters) We have been summoned!(the nurses go to where the wounded are starting to enter. Wounded are helping wounded. There are some terrible injuries. The men are half clothed, weak from sickness and wounds. YF takes charge) Right, Molly, grab all the mattresses we have and start laying them out. Jane, get the bandages. Look for the worst cases and get them to the doctors. Clean and bandage whatever you are able (they set to work) Dr Menzies, where shall we put the patients who need limbs amputated?

Dr Menzies
Just leave them where they are and call me.(she looks at him) We don't have any tables.

Young Florence
Do you not at least have any screens you can use?

Dr Menzies
Miss Nightingale, I am trying to save peoples lives, not pamper them with privacy.

Young Florence
With all due respect, Dr Menzies, it isn't a question of privacy but rather one of compassion. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to be in line for an amputation whilst having to watch how it's done to the fellow before you.

Dr Menzies
You do your job, Miss Nightingale, and I will do mine.(they glare at each other)

Jane
Madam, can you have a look here.

Young Florence
What is it Jane?

Jane
Cholera, Madam. And lice

Young Florence
Right. Let's get these men washed and bedded down. We need to get rid of their clothing - burn it! Dr Menzies, where are the nightgowns kept?

Dr Menzies
We don't have nightgowns. These are soldiers, Miss Nightingale.

Young Florence
Alright, where can I find some clothes for them? Most of them don't even have coats, and the clothes they are wearing are only fit for the fire.

Dr Menzies
I told you, Miss Nightingale, supplies are not my department. You will need to see the Purveyor for things like that.

Young Florence
But surely there are stocks of shirts and coats for the men.

Dr Menzies
They were issued with shirts and coats when they came to the Crimea! Why should they need more now?

Young Florence
(quietly)Because as you can see, Dr Menzies, the clothes they are wearing are not only lice ridden, but have bullet holes in them, and are caked with blood and mud.(she walks away from him) Leave it to me, Jane I will see what I can find for them. In the mean time, make do with what you can, and wash whatever is salvageable.(they start to move the men into beds. YF goes to her room and starts writing, we hear the voice over)

'My Dear Sidney. Today we had 510 wounded arrive from the battle of Inkerman. We are unable to feed and clothe the wounded that are already here. Nevertheless, we are making the men as comfortable as is possible with the provisions available to us. I need you to send warm clothing and bedding as soon as is possible. The men are arriving here in terrible condition, and we cannot even offer them clean, fresh clothing or blankets. They are dying and being sewn up in the rotten blankets they were issued with when they first came out here. Winter is upon us, and I fear our nursing efforts will be wasted because the wounded are freezing to death.

Yours faithfully

Florence.'

(Jane and nurses arrive)

Jane
We have done what we can, Madam.

Young Florence
Right. I shall do the rounds and make sure all is well. Thank you ladies. Get some rest. We have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow. We can now add nursing to our list of duties.(the nurses exit and YF gets her lamp. She walks around the wards checking on the men, stopping to check the occasional one etc - 'the lady of the lamp'. Lights up on OF. During this next scene, we see how the hospital is transformed, from a dirty room with no bedpans and amputations happening in the open to a clean place. The nurses start cleaning up the ward, bringing in clothing, beds, blankets etc, even a screen to do amputations behind. It represents several days, so every so often YF wanders the ward with her lamp)

A complete script of this and other Christian Plays can be purchased from www.christianplays.net

Sample Script - Florence Nightingale

(c) 2006 By Kim Williamson
Do not perform, copy or distribute without prior permission