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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Here they come -
my two intrepid explorers.
Charlotte and Lokesh.
I'm their Great Aunt Lizzie, you see,
and I wonder which one is coming to see me today.
Off you go.
Ah, so it's Lokesh.
Hello, Great Aunt Lizzie.
Once upon a time,
I travelled the world discovering treasures from long ago and far away
and no end of stories to remind me.
But my most precious possession of all
is my extraordinary collection of teacups.
Here we are.
No time to count the clouds.
Let's have a nice cup of tea and a story.
But first we need the teacup.
But which one?
Is it funny, then?
Well, it's used for something funny.
A comedy show in the theatre a long, long time ago.
Is it a story about a play, then?
It's about the man who made these masks.
Very much admired, someone who worked in the theatre.
I've got to make a mask.
And I've got some colouring pens.
So, are we ready?
Then let me tell you the story of Lokesh And The Great Comedy Mask.
Our story begins in Ancient Greece,
in the vibrant city of Athens.
With its dry, dusty streets,
tall marble columns
and monumental buildings
all resplendent under an azure blue sky.
It was in one of these narrow streets
that Lokesh found himself one bright sunny morning.
And as he passed a row of little shops,
he saw a man making something in his workshop.
There, Gregorius, your nose is perfect.
But who was he talking to?
Lokesh crept forward to investigate.
You made me jump.
I just wondered who you were talking to.
I was talking to the great actor Gregorius.
Well, his mask, actually.
This is the great Gregorius's comedy mask.
Lokesh looked closely at the terracotta comedy mask.
With its round, surprised eyes, it seemed to be laughing.
It's very lovely, but it must be very heavy.
What's it for?
It's a gift I made to honour my hero.
And you made it?
Yes, I am Alexis, the mask maker.
I usually make masks out of linen, for the actors to use on stage.
But this one is special.
I made it from terracotta to last forever.
A lasting tribute to the great comedy actor.
I've never seen him perform.
He is wonderful.
But I'd better get on.
I've got a million masks to make before Dionysia festival tonight.
To be honest, I should have made them days ago.
I just couldn't resist finishing this special mask first.
I am sure Gregorius will really like it.
I was hoping to deliver it to him myself
before he performs in his new play tonight,
but I have spent so much time making that mask that...
I'd better just finish the linen ones first, before it's too late.
I could take it for you.
Oh, it is not far.
The theatre is very close.
Just central Athens.
But, please, make sure he gets it.
And I want him to know how much I admire him.
"Alexis sends his love
Lokesh went as quickly as he could to the theatre...
..where he found a young woman called Phaedra
noisily sorting out costumes.
I'm looking for the great Gregorius.
Oh, he's not here yet.
But he's coming?
Yes, but, not until later on.
-He's still on tour at a theatre in the hills.
I've got something I need to give him.
Well, you could leave it somewhere around here if you want to.
That way he'll get it when he arrives.
What was Lokesh to do?
Should he risk leaving the mask at the theatre,
or should he head for the hills
and deliver the mask to Gregorius himself?
It was only just after lunch
and already the plot had got so complicated.
Nice colouring, Lokesh.
You're going to use that in the school play?
I hope so.
You know in the story, Great Aunt Lizzie,
do you think Lokesh will just leave the mask
at the theatre for Gregorius?
He might, but Phaedra would pass it on.
Unless she forgot and packed it away with everything else.
She might forget, I suppose.
And Alexis had spent so many hours making it.
It was very special.
Would you like some elastic for that mask, Lokesh?
Let me have a look.
And he did ask Lokesh to make sure
he got the mask to Gregorius himself.
Here we are.
The very best stretchy elastic.
That's got me out of many a scrape, I can tell you.
There wasn't much choice for Lokesh, really, was there?
He couldn't give up without making sure Gregorius got his special mask,
now, could he?
So off went Lokesh in his hat, bag and boots.
Marching through the olive groves.
And up the dusty mountains.
Until when he was almost out of breath...
..the path ran out.
There was only one way to get to the other side.
Lokesh took a deep breath.
Finally, Lokesh came to a ridge.
And there before him was a small theatre nestling in the hills.
But there was no time to look in wonder.
Lokesh had to deliver that mask.
Before long, he stood on the stage
with a huge auditorium stretching up in front of him.
And he imagined what it would be like to be an actor,
performing for the crowds.
Hello, my dear.
Would you like to perform somewhere like this?
It must be amazing.
My husband says it's one of the best.
-Is your husband an actor?
Then he might be able to help me.
He might know the great Gregorius.
I think I can go one better than that, darling.
My husband IS the great Gregorius.
Could you tell him I want to see him, please?
Oh, no, I'm afraid I can't - he's resting.
He needs to save his voice and energy for tonight.
This evening he appears on stage in Athens.
What was Lokesh to do?
Perhaps if she saw the terracotta mask...
But I've come all the way from Athens
with a gift for him from Alexis, the mask maker.
He saw your husband in a comedy play last year
and has admired him ever since.
Oh, I see.
He spent many hours making this special mask
and sends it with love and admiration.
Oh, it's beautiful.
Please could I give it to him?
Alexis was insistent I gave it to the great man himself.
I tell you what, why don't you come with me
and we'll see if we can go in and leave it by his bed?
Lokesh and Oitane crept in as quietly as they could
and put the mask on the pillow beside him.
(I hope he likes it.)
(I'm sure he will. Thank you for bringing it.)
Back came Lokesh,
down the dusty mountains.
And through the olive groves.
I delivered the comedy mask to Gregorius.
You did? Oh, thank you.
Did he like it?
Well, he was asleep, so I left it on his bed.
He'll see it as soon as he wakes up.
I hope he does. Gregorius is my hero.
Did somebody say my name?
I just wanted to thank you myself for this beautiful mask
which I found on my bed when I awoke from my sleep.
It is my pleasure, Gregorius.
By way of thanks,
I should like to escort you both to the theatre
and give you two VIP tickets for the comedy play tonight.
BOTH: Yes, please!
Then let us go. The theatre awaits.
And that was that.
The whole three acts.
The story of Lokesh And The Comedy Mask.
And we still use masks now.
We do - for school plays.
And sometimes at parties.
And carnivals all over the world.
I think Gregorius really liked his mask, didn't he?
He had something to always remind him how admired he was as an actor.
I hope people will admire me as a rabbit.
I'm sure they will, Lokesh.
Oh, my goodness me, is that the time?
We'd better get a move on.
Get you ready for going home.
Now, how did that get there?
Home time now, Lokesh.
Thanks, Great Aunt Lizzie.
Cheery bye, Lokesh.
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.