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Come one come all. The crowd was alive as they poured into the hall (much like milk into a large cake bowl), filling every seat in every aisle. The stage was already preened and pruned for the first act. A yellow hat, a tiny mouse and bunny ears had the early birds of the audience taking their best bets on what awaited them in the minutes to come. Excitement danced on the corners of the eyes of the audience members as the lights were dimmed. The stage light shone on the actors that were born and bred in Bulawayo. From the moment the actors commenced their episode, they had the audience by the neck. Expectations were raised as curious riddles were spoken and further still there was a mounting anticipation as the story was narrated by the mouse. The audience, now on the edge of their seats, backs straight and ears erect (much like the ears of a dog listening for its owner) not wanting to miss a thing. Before the act was over both the youth and those in their golden years were tumbling off their chairs with tears streaming from their eyes from laughter.

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With spirits lifted high the scene changed leaving the audience wondering what could possibly top such a performance. Love, live romance and tragedy all wrapped up in one scene. The audience as silently held hands and fought for the damsel whose relationship was misunderstood by her father. Her love was declared futile by her father. Her fiancé shunned, by her father. The audience clenched their fists. Veins on their foreheads threatened to burst through their skin. His wife; unloved, not cared for, neglected, pleaded – almost on her knees- for things to be as they were. As though he were a close cousin to cold ice, he wouldn’t listen. His heart could not be thawed. The fate of the audience was not a good one; for they were given, as a farewell token : sore hearts and tissues glued to their eyes.

… (to be continued)

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