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Entertainment Thu, 30 Jun 2011

Instant Justice

Instant Justice

(MUSICAL THEATRE)

BY

DANIEL APPIAH-ADJEI

MAY, 2011

PEOPLE IN THE MUSICAL DRAMA

GOD

MIDWIFE

ANGELS

1ST WOMAN

2ND WOMAN

1ST MOTHER

2ND MOTHER

1ST, 2ND, 3RD ELDERS

CROWD

SINGERS AND DANCERS

EXECUTIONER

BARD

SCENE ONE

AT THE FORE-COURT OF THE PALACE. A NEW KING HAS BEEN ENSTOOLED WITH PUMP AND PAGEANTRY. VARIOUS SONGS AND DANCES HERALD THE ATMOSPHERE. THE CHOIR/QUARTET/DUET ETC SING THE METHODIST HYMN NUMBERED, TWO (2) LED BY THE MASTER ACCORDIONIST.

SONG

1. All people that on earth do dwell

Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice

Him serve with mirth, His praise forth tell

Come ye before him and rejoice

2. The Lord ye know is God indeed;

Without our aid, he did us make

We are his folk, he doth us feed

And for his sheep doth us take

3. For why? The Lord our God is good;

His mercy is forever sure;

His truth at all time firmly stood

And shall from age to age endure…

THE SONG THEN MOVES INTO DISTANCE AND TWO WOMEN APPEAR ON STAGE CARRYING POT TO THE STREAM TO FETCH WATER.

1ST WOMAN:

The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice…The Lord has answered our prayer, a new king he has given us…

2ND WOMAN:

My sister, thou sayest, but I have my own reservations, though, you know…

1ST WOMAN

Like I have mine too… anyway, what are your reservations about this our new king?.

2ND WOMAN

He is too young; don’t you think so? So immature, no, undeveloped to rule. Kingship in our society should be for the aged and the wise, not toddlers. (THEY LAUGH)

1ST WOMAN

But…it does not always follow that way. Sometimes young people who become kings and rulers perform creditably well to the astonishment of all and sundry.

2ND WOMAN

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But not this king! From the look of things, he is very naïve. He does not have the quality which will anchor him to stand solidly before an errant group. I wonder how he is going to stand before a large crowd and say…(ANACTS IT) My people…my people…with his feeble voice. (CHUCKLES)

1ST WOMAN

My sister. It is too early to pronounce judgment on the new king. Let us give him some time to prove his worth or otherwise…

2ND WOMAN

When? I ask. You don’t have to forget that we need major developments in this town. We should have well trained and experience leaders. I swear, the new king doesn’t have the capacity to deliver the goods. He is too young. Empty headed…

1ST WOMAN

Hei, my friend be very careful with the way you talk about our king. He is our King whether we like it or not. Let me tell you. God has never committed any error for creating a royal family… Days are gone when one has to grow cemetery flowers on his head, before they get leadership positions in our society. And, the cheek of it. We call them ELDERS. The Modern people, instead of deep thoughts, we have also accepted the slogan; elders of the church, elders of so so and so political party, elders of the school…the M.B.A syndrome…

2ND WOMAN

What is M.B.A?

1ST WOMAN

Me Baaha Akye (THEY LAUGH)

2ND WOMAN

They say brains lie in the elders head and it must stay like that…

1ST WOMAN

You are lost. There are so many brainless elders in our communities and they must be chased out as Bob Marley said “Chase those crazy bald heads out of town” (SINGS AND LEAVES)

2ND WOMAN

(TO THE AUDIENCE) Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, tell me. Is it an abomination to assess and scrutinize a new person who has been asked to lead you? We shall crucible them before we accept them with both hands. Our kingship is not for small…small boys… (LEAVES SHARPLY)

AT THE KING’S CHAMBER, HE IS SLEEPING AND ANGELS SINGING THE METHODIST HYMN NUMBERED 215. AFTER A BRIEF PERIOD, THE KING’S DREAM REVEALS HIS SPIRIT LEAVING HIM SLOWLY. HIS IMAGE STANDS BEFORE THE ALMIGHTY GOD WHO IS SEATED ON HIS THRONE WHILST ANGELS ARE HOVERING ABOUT HIM.

SONG:

The strife is over the battle is done

Now the victor’s triumph won

Now be the song of praise begun

Halleluiah!

GOD

My son, what brings you here at this hour when my command has laid all living souls to rest and awake at my command through the male fowl?

NEW KING

Lord God, thou hast showed unto thy servant, David my father great mercy.

ANGELS

His royal mercies endure forever. Holy is his name…

SONG

Onim nea eye ma me, Onim nea eye ma wo…Domfo Nyame Onim nea eye, Onim nea eye e ma wo.

NEW KING

According, as he walked before you in truth and in righteousness…

ANGELS

He is the great provider, the giver of life…

NEW KING

You have kept for him great kindness and I am his son you have asked to sit on his throne. You have made me King. There are a thousand and one great men in this town. But instead, you have made me the King.

ANGELS

He is the Alpha and Omega. (Ahyease ne awie). None understands His ways.

NEW KING

I am but a little child. I know not how to go out and come in…

ANGELS

He will lead you…

NEW KING

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You have given me a great people that cannot be numbered nor can be counted in multitude. My Lord, please give therefore your servant who is standing before you, an understanding heart to judge your people that, I may discern between good and bad, that, I will be able to judge this so great people.

GOD

(CLEARING HIS THROAT; ANGELS SING METHODIST HYMN NUMBERED 760)

1. Master speak Thy servant heareth

Waiting for Thy gracious word.

Longing for thy voice that cheereth

Master let it now be heard

I am listening, Lord for thee

What hast Thou to say to me?

2. Master speak and make me ready

When Thy voice is truly heard

With obedience glad and steady

Still to follow every word

I am listening, Lord to thee

Master speak! O! speak to me!

GOD

My son. Because you have not asked for yourself long life, riches, life of your enemies but asked for yourself understanding to discern judgment, I have given you a wise and understanding heart so that there wouldn’t be anyone like you.

ANGELS

He is the great Provider.

GOD

I have also given you that which you did not ask for. Both riches and honour and if you walk on my ways as your father did, to keep my statute and my commandments, I will lengthen your days on earth.

ANGELS

He has said it and it shall come to pass

NEW KING

Thank you my Lord and.

GOD

You may go my son.

ETHEREAL SOUND. GOD AND THE ANGELS DISAPPEAR. THE SPIRIT OF THE NEW KING GOES BACK TO THE SLEEPING IMAGE. DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY IS PERFORMED VERY BRIEFLY…

LIGHTS FADE OFF

AT THE MATERNITY WARD. SEVERAL VOICES ARE HEARD. BACKSTAGE

VOICE 1

I shall never allow you to take my child from my hands. You can never have my baby…

VOICE 2

Careless woman…you should hand over my baby to me. Yours is dead…

VOICE 3

Hei! You ladies!. Have I not asked you to keep quiet? You are disturbing other patients in this maternity home. Now, get out! Out with your troubles…I say out!

TWO WOMEN EMERGE FROM THE BLOCK WITH THE INSCRIPTION “EASY LABOUR WARD” EACH HOLDING A WRAPPED BABY FOLLOWED BY THE MIDWIFE. AT THE SAME TIME, THE TWO GOSSIPS HAVE BEEN LURKING ABOUT TRYING TO KNOW WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON.

1ST WOMAN

Madam Midwife, what is happening in your block that people are shouting on top of their voices like that?

MIDWIFE

And you? What are you doing here at this time of the night?

2ND WOMAN

Erm… we are here to find out what has been causing the noise in your block. You see, we are very concerned about this town so we don’t sleep

1ST WOMAN

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Truly. We provide security both physical and spiritual in this township…

MIDWIFE

Thank you security women. But this is not one of your jobs

2ND WOMAN

Don’t say that. It is our job! If it is not our job, then whose job is it? Please, let us know for we deserve to know…

1ST MOTHER

We are going to the New King…Yes he must hear this…

1ST WOMAN

At this time of dawn? It is too early, the New King will not be up by now…

2ND WOMAN

Let them go! After all a king should not be sleeping at this time of the morning.

MIDWIFE

I have told them to exercise some patience but they don’t seem to listen to me.

2ND WOMAN

I say, let them go. We shall follow them. Ei…Ei…Ei what could be the matter? They are very angry. My sister, why don’t you join me to go and call the elders of the land, especially those who protested the kingship of the New king to come and be witnesses? The New King should be able to settle the matter between them. If he cannot do that, we shall all see the mistake we have made.

THEY LEAVE TALKING AND SHOUTING.

LIGHT FADES AND ZOOM ONTO THE NEW KING’S CHAMBER. HE IS PRAYING AND THE METHODIST HYMN NUMBERED 99 IS HEARD.

1. How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

In a believer’s ears

It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds

And drives away his fears

2. Dear Name! the rock on which I build

My shield and hiding place

My never failing treasury filled

With boundless stores of grace

3. Jesus my shepherd, brother friend

My prophet priest and King

My love, my life, my way, my end

Accept the praise I bring

THE WOMEN FOLLOWED BY THREE ELDERS AND THE OTHER WOMEN REACH THE KING’S PALACE. THE ELDERS QUARRELL AMONGST THEMSELVES

2ND WOMAN

Agoo…agoo…is the King not in? Agoo…

THE BARD

Please, enter and sit down, the king will be with you in no time. (THEY SIT)

Here his Majesty comes. Old and young should rise

His Kingship is by divine, and will never end

He steps in the way of the Lord

Please, rise and welcome him.

THEY RISE AND THE NEW KING ENTERS. HE LOOKS AROUND AND SITS.

NEW KING:

My dear elders and my people. What is the matter? I hear you have been fighting one another. Any problem?

1ST ELDER:

King! The issue at stake beats our imagination. As elders of this court, we have treated many difficult cases but this one is really unsolvable. We have tossed the sides of the coin but cannot find the right answer. In fact, I will run out of words when, I personally decide to narrate the story. These are the women. Please, let us allow them to speak for themselves.

NEW KING:

Well women…open your mouths.

1ST MOTHER

OH! King, I shall not be able to say anything. The Midwife can tell the story better…

NEW KING

Well, Midwife. Can you open your mouth and tell this gathering what has been the problem?

MIDWIFE

Oh King! These women came to my maternity home both pregnant. When asked about their husbands they told me they are women about town and that no man was manning their affairs. By God’s guidance and mercy, they both gave birth almost the same time. Both babies were males and look very alike as if from the same father. I kept the children and their mothers in the home at separate rooms. Yesterday, one of these women unconsciously slept on her child, killing him instantly. Oh King! The big question here is “Whose baby is alive and whose baby is dead?”

1ST MOTHER

Oh! My Lord… allow me to say that, this woman has stolen my child to replace her dead child. She is a well known baby thief…

2ND MOTHER

My Lord, she is rather the thief. This live baby is mine.

NEW KING

My wise elders. Any comments? Any suggestions?

2ND ELDER

My Lord, we have deliberated on it for a very long time without any tangible solution. It is really above our intelligence. Indeed, we cannot make head or tail of the case. That is why you are our king. We cannot untie the knot, but you will have to do something about it.

NEW KING

Where are the babies? (THEY BRING THE BABY’S COT THAT CONTAINS THE TWO BABIES) Call me the executioner… (The executioner enters with a dance) Now, get me my sword. (The Executioner gives the sword to the new king). My elders, people and women herein gathered. It is very difficult to decide as to who among these women owns the live baby. We cannot answer, but Almighty God can;

SONG

Obetum aye, Obetum aye, Obetum aye ama meoo Obetum aye…w’aye ama mawie, w’aye ama mawie, W’aye ama mawie Nyame, W’aye ama mawie.

Executioner, take the children away. Struck your sharp sword into their feeble bodies and divide them into two parts. Give each of these women half of both the dead and the living child to settle the matter. That is my judgement.

1ST MOTHER

Oh! Knowledgeable King. King of astuteness. Your mouth is full of wisdom. This decision is the best. You are second to none, King!

3RD ELDER

But King, that is murder…

1ST MOTHER

Old man. Shut up! and let the wise king carry on with his judgement…

2ND MOTHER

(AS THE EXECUTIONER CARRIES THE BABIES AWAY, SHE RUSHES TO THE KING. AS SHE GOES TO THE KING, PEOPLE PREVENT HER BUT SHE PURSUES) Oh1 King, please, do not kill the living baby in addition to the dead one. Please, hand over the baby to the other woman… let her take the baby. At least, that child should live. I cannot look on when an innocent child dies due to our carelessness.

1ST MOTHER

I said it… I said it. I am vindicated…People of our land…did I not tell you. She has always been a baby thief. The living child is mine. Chief executioner. Let me have my baby now…(THE EXECUTIONER HANDS OVER THE LIVE BABY TO THE 1ST WOMAN)

NEW KING

(TO THE FIRST WOMAN) Madam, let me have that living baby.

1ST MOTHER

Oh! Great King, look at the baby and look at my face. He is my blood. My own blood. (GIVES THE BABY TO THE KING)

NEW KING

This child is not the child of this 1stmother. He is rather the son of the other mother. The 1st mother is a great liar. She is a wicked woman. Take her away and punish her. The second mother has a strong feeling for her son a mother’s song.

2ND MOTHER

Thank you great King. May God richly bless you and your judgments. Thank you.

1ST WOMAN

I told you. Try and take time to make judgment. The New King is very wise…

JUBILATION…

END

Dedicated to Kofi Sarfo Kantanka Appiah-Adjei

Source: DANIEL APPIAH-ADJEI