The Pied Piper

Cover of Book

The Pied Piper of Hamelin is English Serenata’s own special version of the story. A tribute to Roald Dahl, it was originally commisioned by Shrewsbury Girls’ High School Junior School. Since then it has been performed by groups of schools in Wolverhampton, Walsall and rural Warwickshire and by the English Serenata Choir, who took it to Germany in 2009 after a barnstorming performance for Flutewise at the Barbican, London.


The Pied Piper is a versatile performance project based on a contemporary re-write of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, by Gabrielle Leese, with lively songs and incidental music. It includes music, dance and mime, with a series of workshops culminating in a performance of the story, a cool Pied Piper on alto saxophone and scoring for flute, clarinet/sax, keyboard, school instrumentalists and choir.

The text is illustrated with original (and satisfyingly gruesome) drawings by puppeteer and graphic artist Tony Birch,  in an attractive and durable A4 booklet with full-colour laminated cover, suitable for the school library. The characterful and highly professional CD recorded by English Serenata and children from Dunnington and Salford Church of England Primary Schools, narrator Jane Hall accompanies the book.

“The ratty chant made everyone laugh”

The musical content  is designed for Key Stage Two but can include a jazz band/instrumentalists from Secondary School as well as choir and recorders from Primary.

Children may also participate in dance, mime, puppet and drama workshops in preparation for the performance and are divided into three performing groups: rats, children and citizens.


– The opportunity to work with professional musicians and actor

– Encouragement for children and their teachers to develop their creative skills in the areas of music, dance, mime and drama

– A performance with the visiting artists for parents and the local community.

– The opportunity for primary children to work with the secondary school they will be attending.

PERFORMANCE PACK: script, song sheets, music and performance directions as well as follow up ideas for teachers. A recording of the musical accompaniment is available. Permission has been given to print/ photocopy the song sheets for the participants, as required.

Some comments from the children who have taken part:

“It was quite a change of scene and was very different from all the plays we’ve done so far”

“The Pied Piper was fun”

“The best bit was when the rats (little ones) were being chased by the townspeople”

“The best bit was actually being on the stage”