Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach JR.
A delightfully offbeat adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl adventure, a boy and his insect friends take an amazing journey across the ocean.
Available in U.S. and Canada Only
Show Essentials
+ Ensemble

Full Synopsis

As the overture ends, Ladahlord, our mysterious narrator, makes his entrance on the empty stage, quickly joined
 by the rest of the Company 
("Right Before Your Eyes"). The scene transitions into Painswick Orphanage, where the Matron Nurse calls for lights out. James talks in his sleep; he is having a nightmare about his mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Trotter, who were tragically killed when a Rhino escaped from the London Zoo. As Karl Kreatour warns the crowd about the rhino, James wakes up from the nightmare
 and frantically searches for his father's glasses and his mother's scarf, his only mementos of his parents. He spots a Ladybug and a Grasshopper and sends them on their way ("On Your Way Home"). Suddenly, the Matron Nurse announces that James has two aunts in Dover who have agreed to take him in. They rush to catch the train to Dover as Ladahlord follows along ("Right Before Your Eyes – Reprise #1").

In Dover, Vagrants crisscross the stage and introduce Spiker and Sponge, who survive 
by stealing, lying and bribing Billy and Bobby Bobby-Cop. They learn that they have been named the guardians of James and quickly plan to use him as their own personal servant. Violet Funkschmeller, Ridgley Rapscallion, Chris Cryermouth and Doreen Driggles commiserate with Spiker and Sponge over their forced motherhood. They pick 
him up from the train station and whisk him back to their cottage 
in Dover, where they inform him
 he will live in the basement with the rest of the creepy-crawlies. Spiker and Sponge decide on a day at the seashore, sending James inside to get the picnic basket. Meanwhile, Sponge walks directly into a spider web and catches the Male Spider between two giant pieces of bread, taking a large bite out of the horrible sandwich. James returns with the picnic basket, excited to play with his friends at the beach, but Spiker and Sponge command him to chop down the peach tree instead. Ladahlord keeps watch as James picks up the axe to chop down the tree ("Right Before Your Eyes – Reprise #2"). Before beginning on the tree, James rescues a poor Earthworm who is running for his life from an aggressive Centipede.

Suddenly, Ladahlord appears and offers James the chance to change his life by choosing a spell from his book ("Shake it Up"). The Garden Chorus and Insects help James assemble the potion for Crocodile Tongues. Ladahlord explains that James must add seven drops of well water and drink it all in one gulp ("Shake it
 Up – Reprise"), but James trips 
and spills the entire contents of the bag. Earthworm, Grasshopper, Centipede, Ladybug and a Spider each chase a crocodile tongue offstage.

The next morning, Spiker and Sponge are nursing their sunburns when they notice there is a peach
 in the peach tree... a giant peach! Sponge wants to eat it, but Spiker sees some potential in the peach, inviting Reporters, the Ladies Garden Guild, Bitsy Botana, Hollywood Agents and Buzz ("There's Money on That Tree") to 
view it. James wants to move to the seashore with all the money they've made, but Spiker and Sponge don't believe him when he claims to have made the peach grow. They break his father's glasses and rip his mother's scarf, declaring that liars must 
sleep outside ("On Your Way Home – Reprise").

James notices something
 strange: there is a doorknob in the peach. Upon further investigating, his arms get stuck on the peach 
and, suddenly, he is sucked into it, coming face-to-face with human-sized insects! Introductions are made with Grasshopper, Ladybug, Spider, Earthworm and Centipede. Suddenly, the peach's stem snaps and it goes rolling away 
from the cottage ("Our Adventure Begins!") Ladahlord narrates as the peach rolls past Spiker and Sponge, Farm Animals, Willy Wonka and Oompa-Loompas, finally splashing into the sea. They determine they are drifting across the English Channel to France ("Floatin' Along"). Though they are all hungry, the problem is quickly solved by James: he suggests 
they eat the peach ("Floatin' Along – Reprise").

Back at the cottage, Spiker
 and Sponge realize they are in big trouble without the giant peach. They take their money and run, narrowly avoiding an Angry Crowd and Billy and Bobby Bobby-Cop ("A Getaway for Spiker and Sponge"). Back on the peach, the Insects revive James from a nightmare. The Insects share their horrible past experiences with Spiker and Sponge, and James reveals to them that his parents are gone. The Insects explain that his parents are always with him ("Everywhere That You Are").

Days later, on the deck of the Jewel of the Sea, Ladahlord is in disguise as a ship's porter ("Right Before Your Eyes – Reprise #3"). Spiker and Sponge are onboard and en route to New York City, where 
they plan to set up their old routine 
("I Got You"). They notice the peach floating in the distance and set out after it. On the peach, Centipede is seasick and attracts the attention
 of some Seagulls, but the peach has attracted the attention of some Sharks, too! James and the Insects form a plan to capture the seagulls with Spider's web and fly away from danger, but they need Earthworm to act as bait ("Plump and Juicy").

Ladahlord, dressed as a seagull, reveals that the plan works ("Right Before Your Eyes – Reprise #4"), and they quickly arrive in New York City, where Spiker and Sponge are waiting for them. The seagull web snaps, sending the Screaming Women, Lucille Van Kooglestein and Bunny Mackenzie the Third, 
into a panic as the peach lands on the Empire State Building ("Empire State/The Attack"). Spiker and Sponge threaten the Insects with fumigators, claiming they are taking James and the peach home, but before they can make a move, the peach slips free and lands on them. James is relieved that they will never hurt anyone ever again ("Welcome Home") and celebrates his remarkable new family. 

← Back to Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach JR.
Cast Size: Large (21 or more performers)
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown


James is the hero of our story, on an epic quest to find a family of his own and gain confidence in himself. Cast a young boy with an unchanged voice and someone who has great acting instincts. Make sure he can win over an audience and is comfortable being onstage.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: G#3

Ladahlord is a mysterious character who seems to have a hand in the magical things that are happening. Though he may seem a bit off, he carefully watches over James, making sure James moves towards to a better life. Ladahlord also serves as a guiding narrator throughout the story. This is a perfect role for a charismatic young actor who can sing and dance well.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: Gb5
Vocal range bottom: G3

Centipede may be a bit of grouch, but he is ever-loyal to the pack, and by the end of the story, he s won over by James. James sees Centipede as that cranky uncle with a heart of gold. Centipede should have a good singing voice, and be able to make strong, specific acting choices.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: F#5
Vocal range bottom: G3

Grasshopper, the leader of the Insects, is ever the optimist and assumes a paternal role in James life. Cast a performer who can sing and act well, but foremost has a warm, inviting presence.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: F#5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Angry Crowd

The Angry Crowd is in search of the amazing giant peach, but they quickly turn into an angry mob when the peach is nowhere to be found. These ensemble parts are easy to cast from any of your company.

Gender: any

Earthworm is a gentle spirit, although he can be a bit of a coward. Luckily, he gains enough courage to save the day by baiting some gullible seagulls. Earthworm looks at James as a brother figure. Cast a performer who can sing well, and more importantly, someone who isn t afraid of being a little outlandish.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Spiker and Sponge

Spiker and Sponge are the sort of aunts (or monsters) that you fear ever being stuck with. They take James into their home but
only so that he can be their own personal servant. Spiker is the brains of the operation, and Sponge is more concerned with finding something to eat. These are great character roles for two young performers who are fantastic singers and actors. To play into the humor, cast a duo that contrasts completely in physical appearance.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: F3

Ladybug immediately takes on a doting, maternal role in James life. This is a fantastic role for a performer with a great singing voice and a regal demeanor.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: A3

The Vagrants, including Doreen Driggles, Ridgley Rapscallion, Violet Funkschmeller, and Chris Cryermouth are an ensemble of have-nots to support Spiker and Sponge s treacherous plans. These ensemble roles are important for making up the world of the musical. The Passing Man, Man (with wallet) and Passing Woman all have featured moments where they fall victim to Spiker and Sponge.

Gender: any

Spider is a clever creature who becomes 
a fun-loving older sister to James. A young woman with a spunky personality and a great voice is a perfect choice for the role.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Matron Nurse

The Matron Nurse runs the Painswick Orphanage, and you definitely get a sense she hasn t had a vacation in years. This is a great acting role for a young woman who can command a room.

Gender: female
Sharks And Seagulls

The Sharks and Seagulls are featured in  Plump and Juicy. Cast strong movers and dancers in these roles.

Gender: any

The Reporters, including Ida Walters, are on the scene just as the peach is becoming larger than life. Cast a group of energetic performers.

Gender: any
New Yorkers

New Yorkers, including the Screaming Women, Lucille Van Kooglestein, Bunny Mackenzie The Third, Jake and Joe all witness the peach land directly on the Empire State Building and are sent into a panic! Cast a handful of characters for these cameo roles.

Gender: any
Zoo Crowd

Mr. Trotter, Mrs. Trotter, Karl Kreatour and the Zoo Crowd are all part of James nightmare. These are small, featured roles, so feel free to cast from your ensemble.

Gender: any
Farm Animals, Willy Wonka And Oompa-Loompas

Farm Animals, Willy Wonka and Oompa-Loompas are all in harm s way as the peach outgrows its stem and rolls towards the ocean. These are very fun cameo roles for performers with personality.

Gender: any
Hollywood Agents

The Hollywood Agents, led by Buzz, 
jump in on the success of the growing peach with movie and Broadway deals for Spiker and Sponge. Like the Reporters, this is a fun group to cast with some lively performers.

Gender: any
Billy and Bobby Bobby-Cop

Billy and Bobby Bobby-Cop are a perfectly unified pair of cops working for Scotland Yard. This is fun cameo role for two performers who work well together.

Gender: male

Bitsy Botana and the rest of the Ladies Garden Guild are in flowery frocks and hats, intent on having Spiker and Sponge give the keynote speech at their conference. A few young performers with good voices will do the trick.

Gender: female
Cruise Ensemble

The Cruise Ensemble are various vacationers en route to New York with Spiker and Sponge. Use anyone from your ensemble to fill out the scene!

Gender: any
Garden Chorus

The Garden Chorus comes to life in  Shake It Up as Ladahlord mixes a magical potion. This is a great place to cast kids of various skill level and get them excited about musical theater.

Gender: any
Full Song List
James And The Giant Peach Jr. Binder: Overture
James And The Giant Peach Jr. Binder: Right Before Your Eyes
James And The Giant Peach Jr. Binder: On Your Way Home
James And The Giant Peach Jr. Binder: Shake It Up
James And The Giant Peach Jr. Binder: There's Money On That Tree
James And The Giant Peach Jr. Binder: Our Adventure Begins
James And The Giant Peach Jr. Binder: Floatin' Along
James And The Giant Peach Jr. Binder: A Getaway for Spiker and Sponge
James And The Giant Peach Jr. Binder: Everywhere That You Are
James And The Giant Peach Jr. Binder: I Got You
James And The Giant Peach Jr. Binder: Plump and Juicy
James And The Giant Peach Jr. Binder: Empire State/The Attack
James And The Giant Peach Jr. Binder: Welcome Home
James And The Giant Peach Jr. Binder: Curtain Call


Curriculum Connection

  • Creative Writing
  • Math
  • Entomology
  • Bullying
  • Building
  • History
  • Visual Arts


Based on the book, "James and the Giant Peach" by Roald Dahl.


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"James and the Giant Peach" by Roald Dahl

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