New storybook illustration:The Grim Rapper is tapping at your door…

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
”Tis some visitor,” I muttered, ”tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Edgar Allan Poe

The Grim Rapper is one of the villains in a Rap musical play I wrote for children during After-School Drama and Filmmaking workshops that I ran at several inner city schools in London. The play was titled Rapscallion (word meaning: rascal).
I am now illustrating the adapted storybook of this children’s horror fantasy tale. This character wears a gold medallion inscribed with the word ‘Death’ around his neck. It somehow seems appropriate to introduce a painting of The Grim Rapper in the week of Halloween.

The Grim Rapper ©️Lesley Scoble

The Grim Rapper’s Song

I’m the grim rapper and I beat my drum
I’m the grim rapper and I’m the one
The one you see when your time is come
                                                            When your time is come
I’m the Grim Rapper and I have a big scythe
                                                        He’s got a big scythe
You don’t wanna see me if you wanna stay alive
                                                          If you wanna stay alive
I wait in secret and I lurk in the dark
                                                       Lurk in the dark
I stand on street corners or hang out in the park.
                                                        Hang out in the park
Nobody wants me; I’m a lonely sort of guy.
                                                     Lonely sort of guy
Better keep away if you don’t wanna cry
                                                    Don’t wanna cry
Better keep away if you don’t wanna die
                                                     Don’t wanna die
Tum de dum de dum, when your time is come
                 	                             Tum te dum de dum, when your time is nigh
Tum de dum de dum, Why, why why?
Rapscallion & Grim Rapper Skull | Artwork: Lesley Scoble

History of the play

RAPSCALLION the rap musical, was born in the City of London, in After-school drama theatre workshops at COLCEC (City of London community education centre). Each week I wrote a new scene for the students to interpret the characters and learn their roles.

The drama and dance workshops were primarily held at COLCEC (City of London Education Centre) and later extended to other schools — Prior Weston Primary, William Tyndale, Sir John Cass (now renamed Aldgate School) and the Central Foundation Secondary School for Boys (where it had its first complete production as a play). The Drama workshops expanded to include additional Filmmaking and Scenery painting workshops.

In performance

The debut live performance was at COLCEC in the presence of the Lord Mayor. Rapscallion was performed as a play at The Central Foundation Schools for Boys in 2007. The Go For It theatre school in Teddington, Middx performed it on stage in the RACC Richmond Adult Community College Theatre  in 2008.

“I’m the Grim Rapper,
And I’m really rather dapper,”

Animated GIF ©️Lesley Scoble

Keep safe and don’t go out alone at night 👻

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