The Umbrella Man

by Roald Dahl

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Student Question

Can you help me prepare a skit on Dahl's "The Umbrella Man"?

Expert Answers

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A skit based on Dahl's short story "The Umbrella Man" should be an easy task to accomplish.  Based on the premise of the work, which is theft, a skit could quickly be constructed using a news broadcast scenario.  The amount of people you need to include can alter the scenario, but at the least you will need two people; a reporter and the mother or daughter.

The reporter can start with a summary of the events leading up to the "breaking news."  The reporter's monologue should quickly detail the events such as the number of missing umbrella's in the area, For example:

  • "This is Investigative Reporter (insert name) on the scene at (pick a location from the book, the pub or coffee shop perhaps).  In the last few nights there has been an epidemic of missing umbrellas.  Where did they go? I expect to find out!...."

Adding some thoughts about why the umbrellas are disappearing might be helpful as well.  Aliens? A government conspiracy?  From there, introduce at least one "witness."  You can use the mother or daughter for the interview.  Ask basic questions about who they saw, what happened and their opinion on the matter. 

Once the interview is complete you can wrap up the skit by signing out as reporters often do on television by include a wrap up on how to approach the situation:

  • "This is (insert name) for (insert company, e.g. "Sky News").  Next time you need an umbrella, perhaps don't trust a stranger."

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