Comedy Mask Teacup Travels


Comedy Mask

Great Aunt Lizzie tells the story of Lokesh and the Adventure of the Greek Comedy Mask. Lokesh meets Alexis, a mask maker who has made a special gift for his hero.


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Transcript


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Here they come -

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my two intrepid explorers.

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Charlotte and Lokesh.

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I'm their Great Aunt Lizzie, you see,

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and I wonder which one is coming to see me today.

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Off you go.

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Ah, so it's Lokesh.

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Hello, Great Aunt Lizzie.

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Hello, Lokesh.

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Once upon a time,

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I travelled the world discovering treasures from long ago and far away

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and no end of stories to remind me.

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But my most precious possession of all

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is my extraordinary collection of teacups.

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Here we are.

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No time to count the clouds.

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Let's have a nice cup of tea and a story.

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But first we need the teacup.

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But which one?

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-That one.

-Ah!

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Comedy Mask.

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Is it funny, then?

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Well, it's used for something funny.

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A comedy show in the theatre a long, long time ago.

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Is it a story about a play, then?

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Not really.

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It's about the man who made these masks.

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Very much admired, someone who worked in the theatre.

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I've got to make a mask.

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And I've got some colouring pens.

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So, are we ready?

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Ready.

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Then let me tell you the story of Lokesh And The Great Comedy Mask.

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Our story begins in Ancient Greece,

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in the vibrant city of Athens.

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With its dry, dusty streets,

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tall marble columns

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and monumental buildings

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all resplendent under an azure blue sky.

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It was in one of these narrow streets

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that Lokesh found himself one bright sunny morning.

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And as he passed a row of little shops,

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he saw a man making something in his workshop.

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There, Gregorius, your nose is perfect.

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But who was he talking to?

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Just perfect.

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Lokesh crept forward to investigate.

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-LOKESH GASPS

-Oh!

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Sorry.

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You made me jump.

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I just wondered who you were talking to.

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I was talking to the great actor Gregorius.

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Well, his mask, actually.

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This is the great Gregorius's comedy mask.

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Lokesh looked closely at the terracotta comedy mask.

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With its round, surprised eyes, it seemed to be laughing.

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It's very lovely, but it must be very heavy.

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What's it for?

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It's a gift I made to honour my hero.

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And you made it?

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Yes, I am Alexis, the mask maker.

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I usually make masks out of linen, for the actors to use on stage.

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But this one is special.

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I made it from terracotta to last forever.

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A lasting tribute to the great comedy actor.

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Gregorius?

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I've never seen him perform.

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Oh!

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He is wonderful.

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But I'd better get on.

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I've got a million masks to make before Dionysia festival tonight.

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To be honest, I should have made them days ago.

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I just couldn't resist finishing this special mask first.

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I am sure Gregorius will really like it.

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I was hoping to deliver it to him myself

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before he performs in his new play tonight,

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but I have spent so much time making that mask that...

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I'd better just finish the linen ones first, before it's too late.

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I could take it for you.

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Would you?

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Oh, it is not far.

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The theatre is very close.

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Just central Athens.

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Oh!

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But, please, make sure he gets it.

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And I want him to know how much I admire him.

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Tell him,

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"Alexis sends his love

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"and, er,

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"greatest admiration."

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I will.

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Bye.

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Lokesh went as quickly as he could to the theatre...

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..where he found a young woman called Phaedra

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noisily sorting out costumes.

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-Excuse me?

-Yes?

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I'm looking for the great Gregorius.

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Oh, he's not here yet.

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But he's coming?

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Yes, but, not until later on.

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-He's still on tour at a theatre in the hills.

-Oh.

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I've got something I need to give him.

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Well, you could leave it somewhere around here if you want to.

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That way he'll get it when he arrives.

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What was Lokesh to do?

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Should he risk leaving the mask at the theatre,

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or should he head for the hills

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and deliver the mask to Gregorius himself?

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It was only just after lunch

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and already the plot had got so complicated.

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Nice colouring, Lokesh.

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You're going to use that in the school play?

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I hope so.

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You know in the story, Great Aunt Lizzie,

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do you think Lokesh will just leave the mask

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at the theatre for Gregorius?

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He might, but Phaedra would pass it on.

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Unless she forgot and packed it away with everything else.

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She might forget, I suppose.

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And Alexis had spent so many hours making it.

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It was very special.

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Would you like some elastic for that mask, Lokesh?

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Let me have a look.

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And he did ask Lokesh to make sure

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he got the mask to Gregorius himself.

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He did.

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Here we are.

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The very best stretchy elastic.

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That's got me out of many a scrape, I can tell you.

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Thank you.

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There wasn't much choice for Lokesh, really, was there?

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He couldn't give up without making sure Gregorius got his special mask,

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now, could he?

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So off went Lokesh in his hat, bag and boots.

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Marching through the olive groves.

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And up the dusty mountains.

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Until when he was almost out of breath...

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..the path ran out.

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There was only one way to get to the other side.

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Lokesh took a deep breath.

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Finally, Lokesh came to a ridge.

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And there before him was a small theatre nestling in the hills.

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But there was no time to look in wonder.

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Lokesh had to deliver that mask.

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Before long, he stood on the stage

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with a huge auditorium stretching up in front of him.

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And he imagined what it would be like to be an actor,

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performing for the crowds.

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Until...

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Hello, my dear.

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Hello.

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Would you like to perform somewhere like this?

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It must be amazing.

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My husband says it's one of the best.

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-Is your husband an actor?

-Yes.

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Then he might be able to help me.

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He might know the great Gregorius.

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I think I can go one better than that, darling.

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My husband IS the great Gregorius.

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That's fantastic!

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Could you tell him I want to see him, please?

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Oh, no, I'm afraid I can't - he's resting.

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He needs to save his voice and energy for tonight.

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This evening he appears on stage in Athens.

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What was Lokesh to do?

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Perhaps if she saw the terracotta mask...

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But I've come all the way from Athens

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with a gift for him from Alexis, the mask maker.

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He saw your husband in a comedy play last year

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and has admired him ever since.

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Oh, I see.

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He spent many hours making this special mask

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and sends it with love and admiration.

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Oh, it's beautiful.

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Please could I give it to him?

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Alexis was insistent I gave it to the great man himself.

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I tell you what, why don't you come with me

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and we'll see if we can go in and leave it by his bed?

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Lokesh and Oitane crept in as quietly as they could

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and put the mask on the pillow beside him.

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GREGORIUS SNORES

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(I hope he likes it.)

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(I'm sure he will. Thank you for bringing it.)

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That's OK.

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-Bye.

-Bye!

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GREGORIUS SNORES

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Back came Lokesh,

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down the dusty mountains.

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And through the olive groves.

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I delivered the comedy mask to Gregorius.

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You did? Oh, thank you.

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Did he like it?

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Well, he was asleep, so I left it on his bed.

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He'll see it as soon as he wakes up.

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I hope he does. Gregorius is my hero.

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You called?

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HE LAUGHS

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Did somebody say my name?

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Gregorius!

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I just wanted to thank you myself for this beautiful mask

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which I found on my bed when I awoke from my sleep.

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It is my pleasure, Gregorius.

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By way of thanks,

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I should like to escort you both to the theatre

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and give you two VIP tickets for the comedy play tonight.

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BOTH: Yes, please!

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Then let us go. The theatre awaits.

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May I?

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And that was that.

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The whole three acts.

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The story of Lokesh And The Comedy Mask.

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And we still use masks now.

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We do - for school plays.

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And sometimes at parties.

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And carnivals all over the world.

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I think Gregorius really liked his mask, didn't he?

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He did.

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He had something to always remind him how admired he was as an actor.

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I hope people will admire me as a rabbit.

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I'm sure they will, Lokesh.

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Oh, my goodness me, is that the time?

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We'd better get a move on.

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Get you ready for going home.

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Now, how did that get there?

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Home time now, Lokesh.

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Thanks, Great Aunt Lizzie.

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Cheery bye, Lokesh.

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Great Aunt Lizzie tells the story of Lokesh and the Adventure of the Greek Comedy Mask. In ancient Greece, Lokesh meets Alexis, a mask maker who has made a special gift for his hero, the great comedy actor Gregorious. But Alexis is far too busy to deliver it before tonight's performance, so Lokesh sets off to a magnificent theatre in the hills to find Gregorius, and present the gift on behalf of the mask maker.


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