The Monster Under the Bed


SKU: 978-1-906582-07-4 Categories: , , , Product ID: 5374


The Monster Under the Bed

by Kevin Dyer

  • Winner of the Writer’s Guild Award for Best Children’s Play.
  • Shortlisted for 2009 John Whiting Award.
  • Shortlisted for the Brian Way Award


Imagine swapping places with a monster for day…

A funny and thrilling play for children (aged 6+) about friendship and facing up to your fears.

Ben has a BIG problemo. His best friend Vince has stolen his precious binoculars, his Dad is far, far away… oh, and there’s a monster under his bed. But when Ben swaps places with the underbed monster, Ben’s life – and his school – is turned inside out, and upside down.

First presented as a staged reading in April 2008, at the John F Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C, USA, as part of New Visions/New Voices. First produced at Polka Theatre, 6 June 2009. North American premiere at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, Toronto, March 2010.

Resources for teachers and parents: Polka Theatre’s free Monster Under the Bed Activity Pack download contains activities for you to do with your children after you have seen and/or read the play. Most of these exercises are drama based and are good for developing speaking and listening skills. All of the exercises are suitable for both KS1 and KS2 pupils.

Watch Allen MacInnis, Artistic Director of Young People’s Theatre (Toronto), talk about the play


“Drawing with delicacy and wit upon the childhood fantasy of the monster under the bed, writer Kevin Dyer proves why that endangered species, the original play for children, is worth saving. This is a terrifically entertaining story about fathers and sons and the monster inside all of us. What’s more, it is positively postmodern in its literary references, with shades of The Borrowers, and a Father Underbed Monster who bears more than a passing resemblance to Roald Dahl’s BFG. There’s plenty of fun as the Little Underbed Monster takes Ben’s place at school for the day, causing havoc in the classroom … the over-sixes will just enjoy the romp. It’s a joyful examination of the benefits and snares of believing the ridiculous.” Lyn Gardner, Guardian

About the author
Kevin Dyer is Artistic Associate at Farnham Maltings, Associate Artist at The Dukes in Lancaster and Associate Writer for Action Transport Theatre, He writes, directs, leads writing courses and works as a dramaturg. He was recently awarded the ‘Inspirational Playwright Award. Presented by ASSITEJ International at their World Congress in Cape Town, and his adaptation of The Hobbit won the UK Theatre awards ‘Best production’.He won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best Play for Children and Young People for his play The Monster Under the Bed. (It was also shortlisted for the Brian Way and John Whiting Awards.) He was also short-listed the same award for his play Angel. His adaptation of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Angel were shortlisted for The Brian Way Award. He was also short-listed for the WG Awards and the Canadian Dora awards and for the West End ‘offies’ with his play Minotaur. Kevin has a particular interest in working with poets in a theatrical context. A published poet himself, he made a piece with Neil Rollinson for Arts Council England’s National Live Literature Showcase at Kendal Brewery; created poetry-theatre with the Cheshire Poet Laureates (twice); Directed and dramaturged Ben Mellor’s Kiss It Better at Contact Theatre, worked with Dominic Berry on both his children’s and adult poetry/theatre; and with Joy Winkler on Town. His plays The Bomb (based on meetings with Jo Berry whose father was killed in the Brighton bombing and Pat Magee who planted the bomb), The Monster Under the Bed and The Iranian Feast are published by Aurora Metro books. The Monster under the Bed is also published by Harper-Collins as a play-script for young readers. He has written over 50 commissioned plays for theatre and radio. His play Baghdad Zoo was commissioned and performed by four major regional theatres as part of the ‘Playground’ project and has since been produced at Birmingham Rep, ATT, Plymouth Theatre Royal and by companies across the USA. He has just written Marion, his first novel for young adults. It is about a cow.


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