We Choose SOAP

School Activity - Dinner Drama


An introductory piece of theatre dressed up as a cookery lesson for classes of 20-30 students to get them thinking about the importance of washing your hands with soap before preparing food.


  • Soap and water
  • Cold ingredients for a favourite local dish,
  • Bowls and cooking utensils,
  • Working surface for the floor,
  • Disgusting ingredients for non-soap recipe (i.e., jar of ditch water, cup of squirming plastic bugs, bottle of greasy mud).



The Change Agents should arrive at the school and ask permission to set up a food preparation area in a suitably clean area, probably outside (e.g., in playground).


The students should then be invited to attend to watch this slightly slapstick MODERN COOKERY LESSON.


They will learn about an important new ingredient that is making such a difference to cooking around the country – and at the end they will get to try the new dish.


If the Change Agents are male they can add to the entertainment by dressing up as female chefs and creating serious rivalry between their two efforts.


One of the Change Agents comes out from the toilet, and then asks to shake hands with the children in front.


Both set out their utensils and bowls of ingredients. They both have a bowl of water to wash their hands in as well.


The Lesson begins.


They wash their hands. But only one of the Change Agents uses soap.


The other one refuses the offer of soap and just uses water. He boasts about not needing soap. They argue but he won’t listen. The children might even join in the argument.


The Change Agents who has used soap, proceeds to make a fine meal with typical local ingredients.


He holds up each ingredient and asks the children to identify it. He also tells a variety of jokes as he ‘cooks’ and also asks simple hygiene questions, which the children must answer before he adds the next ingredient.


The Agent who didn’t use soap reveals a very different set of ingredients.
Dust, dirt, mud, dead flies, greasy water....contaminated hands have transformed the ingredients into the most impure and disgusting items.



He talks lovingly about the horrible ingredients he is using – even holding them up each in turn and asking the children to identify them.


When the dirty mud balls are finished he sets them out very carefully on a tray.


At the end of the lesson, students are asked to choose which side of the line they want to queue up on to receive the finished food.


When the audience clearly prefers the food prepared by the Change Agents with soap-washed hands, the other Change Agent should try to grab them with his contaminated hands, threatening to spread the infection and disgust even further. His hands are diverted away.


The dirty chef is offered a bowl of water and soap to wash his hands then invited to join the rest of the audience eating the clean rice balls.


Through this action he has been allowed to join the rest of the enlightened ‘Choose Soap’ group.