What?...Pirates of Penzance in the bush...Entertainment galore!...


The play was about to begin with Don on the left and Ken on the right.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
After Josiah cleaned the pond in the yard, removing all the water and replacing it with fresh water, the animals have come regularly to drink, as is the case for this male impala.
What does the play the Pirates of Penzance have to do with Marloth Park?  Last night, quite a bit, when our hosts Kathy and Don put on a taste-tempting spread for 13 of us, while Don and Ken performed their second annual theatrical performance for friends in Marloth Park.
The MP (Marloth Park) players present the Pirates of Penzance.
Their beautiful expansive home in the bush, overlooking the Crocodile River, looked as inviting as we recalled from our many previous visits four years ago.  With a third floor veranda with sprawling views of the river, high enough to deter mozzies, we all settled in at the arranged seating to enjoy the performance by our two brave thespians.  It couldn't have been more fun!
Don's hysterical toilet plunger wooden leg had us roaring with laughter.
Here are a few details on this classic comedy production from this site:
"The Pirates of Penzance; or, The Slave of Duty is a comic opera in two acts, with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. The opera's official premiere was at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York City on 31 December 1879, where the show was well received by both audiences and critics.[1] Its London debut was on 3 April 1880, at the Opera Comique, where it ran for 363 performances, having already been playing successfully for more than three months in New York.
The story concerns Frederic, who, having completed his 21st year, is released from his apprenticeship to a band of tender-hearted pirates. He meets Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley, and the two young people fall instantly in love. Frederic soon learns, however, that he was born on the 29th of February, and so, technically, he has a birthday only once each leap year. His indenture specifies that he remains apprenticed to the pirates until his "twenty-first birthday", meaning that he must serve for another 63 years. Bound by his own sense of duty, Frederic's only solace is that Mabel agrees to wait for him faithfully.
Pirates was the fifth Gilbert and Sullivan collaboration and introduced the much-parodied "Major-General's Song". The opera was performed for over a century by the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in Britain and by many other opera companies and repertory companies worldwide. Modernized productions include Joseph Papp's 1981 Broadway production, which ran for 787 performances, winning the Tony Award for Best Revivaland the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical, and spawning many imitations and a 1983 film adaptation. Pirates remains popular today, taking its place along with The Mikado and H.M.S. Pinafore as one of the most frequently played Gilbert and Sullivan operas."
They'd learned their lines and were ready to begin.
Don and Ken spared nothing in their gallant attempt in mimicking the authenticity of this popular opera.  From their homemade and clever attire to their accents, gestures and acting abilities, without a doubt, these two could easily have been suitable for the "real deal" in major theatre in any big city throughout the world.
They'd even memorized a plethora of lines from the original production leaving us all in awe of the time they must have spent in preparation.  And yet, for such a small group, the never faltered in their enthusiasm and expertise in presenting the results of their hard work and obvious talent.
Don really got the authenticity of the pirate down pat with a few clever handmade modifications.
We laughed, we howled and we cheered, even exacting the oft longed-for standing ovation sought by many live performers.  Tom and I both felt honored to be among these fine friends with whom we find we have so much in common...less the thespian skills, of course.
After the performance ended, the food prep on the braai began and in no time we were all seated at their huge table, drinking wine and beer and continually toasting to the festivities which continued throughout the evening.
Ken was sharp in his performance and also exhibited fine acting skills.
The platters of finely prepared meats, vegetables and sides made it simple for me to dine along with everyone else.  The only items I avoided was the roasted potato dish and dessert. The rest worked out perfectly and I so appreciated our host's thoughtfulness in the preparation of the food, avoiding starch, sugar, and grains. 
On several occasions, they had a hard time keeping a straight face and we laughed along with them.
We all stayed at the big table until finally, we started collecting our chill boxes with our remaining beer and wine.  Linda and Ken are off on Sunday to Australia to visit family and embark on a cruise so we won't see them again for several months when they again return to Marloth Park. 
It was dark and I was so entrenched in the activities I failed to adjust the camera settings for better photos in the dark.  But, you get the drift.  Ken was standing behind Don using his hands as if they were Don's.  This was particularly hysterical!
Kathy and Don are heading to their other home in Pretoria, South Africa to work on some projects, hopefully returning soon.  Lynne and Mick will be around until March 31st so we plan to spend time with them.  Soon, we'll see friends Hettie and Piet when they return to Marloth in the next few weeks.
The performance ended after about 30-minutes and we cheered and clapped, ending in a standing ovation.
And, of course, Louise and Danie, with whom we'll be tonight at yet another unique and exciting event in the bush, which we'll be sharing in tomorrow's post.
After the performance and the meats were being cooked on the braai, we mingled chatting in small groups,  while snacking on appetizers.
Thanks to all of our readers/friends who "stay with us" on this seemingly never-ending journey as we not only thrive in our surroundings but also embrace the friendships we've made with all of our friends in Marloth Park.  Thanks to all of our Marloth Park friends for including us in their social circle.
After the meal, the ritual "drinking from a shoe' commenced but we graciously declined to participate in drinking from Micheal's shoe.  From this site:  "Drinking from a shoe has historically been performed as both a bringer of good fortune and as a hazing punishment. Drinking champagne from a lady's slipper became a symbol of decadence in the early 20th century. Drinking beer out of one's own shoe is a ritual sometimes undertaken at parties and events in Australia, where it is referred to as a "shoey".[Australian MotoGP rider Jack Miller celebrated his first premier class victory by drinking champagne out of his shoe, at the Dutch circuit of Assen, on 26 June 2016. Since then, Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo, another Australian, has also performed shoeys on the podium."
May your day be rich in friendship and love.
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Photo from one year ago today, February 24, 2017:
Wild vegetation growing along the river bank in the Huon Valley, Tasmania.  We were leaving in four days when we posted this photo.  For more details, please click here.

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