Rat Race

Book Music and Lyrics by

Your set is a pile of rubbish until the showbiz finale. Your cast are all rats and they are in trouble. Their home’s about to be demolished and there’s a nasty cat on the prowl. Enter Snortle Tozer. Is he or she a politician, evangelist or crook? All three perhaps? The rats discover life can be worthwhile. Or can it?

Enjoyed it immensely Swan Hill HS

RAT RACE voted a smash hit. Moe PS

RAT RACE is a musical which combines comedy, action and suspense along with some very singable numbers. Dramatically, technically and musically, RAT RACE comes very close to the perfect primary and secondary school production.   Middle Park PS


Plot / Synopsis

The play takes place at night. There is only one set. The rats live at the end of an alley near a building. The area is run down. A pile of rubbish, home to the rats, fills most or all of the back part of the stage. Part of a building can be seen. The rubbish must be well built as the rats climb over it at times and this rubbish is later transformed into a staircase for the glittering finale. At first, everything is dirty and drab. The alley is not used, seldom cleaned and the factories nearby are closed.

The pile of rubbish is raised upstage sloping down to floor level. There is a hidden ladder upstage behind the rubbish enabling Snortle to enter and exit. The rubbish can spill offstage both in the wings and downstage. If you have a trapdoor, cover it with a large milk-carton and allow a rat/s to enter and exit from below ground.

Rat Race is about rats (or are they humans?) living in a street in your town. They are poor, suffering creatures who face a sad and lonely existence. Into this tenement of heart-ache steps a politician with promises of recovery and hope. Are these promises genuine? Will the rats find happiness? Read on and all will be revealed.


Note: The rats have no specific gender. "He" and "Him" may become "She" and "Her".


Semolina          self-starter, humble origins, keen to change society

Nigel                  educated, trendy, ambitious, snobbish

Patrick               failed comic, working-class, practical joker, lively

Fellyside*        vague, brilliant academic, away with the birds

Bopalopa          the original doity rat, a cheat, liar and thief

Cagney              heart-of-gold gangster, frustrated song-and-dance rat

Pudding            friendly, quiet, loyal, supports Semolina

Snortle              dynamic, extrovert, evangelist, politician, con-rat

Company         members of the rat community, the locals

* Check your homonyms!

Sample Script

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Sample Music

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Instrumentation / Rentals

CD Backing Track and Keyboard, Guitar, Bass, Drum-kit,Percussion, Trumpets, Trombone, Strings, Flutes, Clarinets and Saxophone.

Production Costs

12.5% of Box Office. $350 for Band parts and licence to photocopy script. $88 for CD Backing Track.