Running time approximately 30 minutes.
Mr Fitz is an unusual Science Teacher in that he has a time-machine! With this machine, he is able to take his pupils back to interact with the key individuals involved in creating the world’s first antibiotic. The class discover that it took almost 100 years and an international effort to create and synthesise the first wonder drug that could cure fatal infections. This presentation can be used over and over again by schools as we do not charge royalty fees. Once you buy the play, it is yours to save for future year groups.
27 SPEAKING PARTS.
The presentation makes use of 12 visuals (downloadable – we give sources).
As with all our plays, there are full production notes that give advice on scenery, costumes and props.
NO ROYALTIES, PHOTOCOPYING LICENCE INCLUDED.
Click here to show/hide sample
(A classroom. Standard tables/desks and chairs. There is an interactive whiteboard upstage centre (or a flip chart) SEE PRODUCTION NOTES. Two special tables required. One which has a ‘control box’, with a large red button and the other has and old-style telephone on it. SEE PRODUCTION NOTES. The pupils enter, clutching bags and books.)
Have you seen Fizzy today?
Didn’t he say he was going to the doctors?
What’s the matter with him?
Some bug or other, he said. Made him feel queasy.
Well, I hope he’s not going to have a bout of queasiness here.
Don’t be such a wimp Jane, we all get it once in a while. And when we do we go to the doctor and get some penicillin or something. Problem solved.
(MISS SMITH and FIZZY enter.)
Did I just hear you say get some penicillin, problem solved, Mary?
Yes, Mr Fitz.
I hope you’re right because I’ve just been prescribed penicillin, got a bit of a chest infection. Nothing too serious.
Would you like me to take over today? I think you said we’d study chemical formulae.
Thanks for the offer, Miss Smith, but I have an idea. Who can tell me anything about the discovery of penicillin?
(There is total silence.)
Right. I think we’ll make that the topic for the day. (He reveals IMAGE NO.1. Mouldy bread. SEE PRODUCTION NOTES.)
Yep. Mouldy bread. Covered in penicillin mould, which grows naturally on quite a lot of things.
My Mum found a cup in my room the other day which had grown mould in the bottom.
In medieval times, they would have put that mould on a piece of cloth and strapped it to a wound. Some fungi were known way back in time as a cure for certain skin complaints or to treat open wounds but it wasn’t until the 1870’s before any serious medical study was begun.
The first serious research in an attempt to isolate and prove the properties of a penicillium mould were …..
Stop there Miss Smith. We must explain this properly. We must go back in time and meet the man who began the modern story of research into the properties of penicillin.
(FIZZY presses the large button on a control box on his desk, there is a whooshing sound and everyone grabs hold of their desks as though moving at high speed. IMAGE 2. The French flag. The French National Anthem plays briefly. SEE PRODUCTION NOTES.)
Well, here we are, in Lyons in France. To be more precise, we are in the Military Heath Service School of Lyons. We are here to meet a man called Ernest Duchesne. The year is 1897.
DUCHESNE (French accent)
Bienvenue à vous tous. Please, allow for my poor English. My name is Ernest Duchesne, I am a doctor and have been testing a mould – um – called penicillium glaucum, which I fond cured typhoid in guinea pigs. I did many tests and my thesis for my doctorate was based on zat research. As you see it was good enough to make me a doctor. I passed my research to the Institute Pasteur but zey ignore it. It went no further. Maybe because I am only twenty three years old and zey zink they know much better. Zat is a joke like ze English make, no?
(Laughing to be polite.) Very good. What made you research the penicillium?
Zat was – ah – ‘ow you say – interesting. Arab stable boys stored saddles in dark damp areas so that mould would grow on it. They noticed zat zee mould cured sore on the horses’ backs caused by zee saddles. Zee mould was a penicillium.
Was there no more research done following your own?
No. I would have done it myself but I have been given an internship at Val-de-Grâce for one year and then I will be a second class Major of Medicine. My career is now in zee army.