Malawian playwright and actor Innocent Katsache says this of himself: ‘My main hobby and passion is in the cinema; I read extensively on the subject, as well as owning a vast video collection. I have an interest in all things aesthetic, and love attending arts festivals; listening to jazz and live performances from all art genres.’ His stage play The House In Between is highly reminiscent of Ken Saro Wiwa’s social satires in Nigeria in the 1980s. The House Between is a classic urban comedy that places emphasis on the antics of a couple that devices unique means to get through he economic and political stagnation of the typical African urban metropolis.

Drama as an Agent of Social Consciousness

THE HOUSE IN BETWEEN

STAGE PLAY, an excerpt.

BY INNOCENT KATSACHE

CHARACTERS
Husband
Wife
Stranger
Neighbor
Man

Set in a bed sitter-house. The house can be furnished with nothing but a bed, coffee table, closet and armchair. There is a window up where the bed is set and an exit and entrance door to the right stage. Lights on, husband and wife in bed. Wife sits up, pushing Husband aside and attentively listening; she hears something like footsteps approaching their entrance door. She has her hair messed up. Husband looks impatient, topless and panting like a hungry dog.

Wife: Can you hear that?

Husband: Hear what?

Wife: That! (Referring to unknown noises)

Husband: Which that?

Wife: The footsteps…he, he, is here (lowering her voice) he is back.

Husband: Who is here? And what do you mean he is back? (Raising up his voice)…

Wife: Shhh! No need to waste time just hurry up, if he finds you here, he will squeeze the mucus out of you and you will breed all the saliva you have been seeping all night long.

Husband: Oh no, he can’t be such a beast.

Wife: Trust me (he gets very panic; they both remove bed covers, the husband is searching for his belt before he looks for his trousers, he finds his shoes and puts them on. Wife removes the bed covers looking for her night dress which she is wearing. Husband fails to put on his trousers because of his boots)

Wife: Hurry up…before he knocks on the door.

Husband: How close is he?

Wife: Oh do I look like I have a GPS in my ears… just get dressed and evaporate to condense in your exile.

S t a g e P l a y B y I n n o c e n t K a t s a c h e | 44

Husband: (busy dressing up with his eyes fixed on Wife who is putting on clothes from her expand) Why are you putting on church clothes at this hour?

Wife: Am I?

Husband: Yes.

Wife: No I am not.

Husband: Yes you…

Wife: And why shouldn’t I after all I choose what to wear anytime I want to?

Husband: But why must you bring in God in this?

Wife: Since when did God become clothes or since when did you imprison God in cotton?

Husband: I don’t know you must know, after all those lectures about occult symbols last night (husband paces his eyes around)

Wife: Now what are you looking for?

Husband: Something I cannot find.

Wife: Where is it?

Husband: If I knew…

Wife: (she notices the insulting statement that is to follow) Come, we don’t have the whole night.

Husband: Shut up and just concentrate on fetching for it.

Wife: Hey, mind your language, who are you saying shut up to, me?

Husband: How many people are here?

Wife: You should care for my little feelings, I hate that.

Husband: (sarcastically) Alright sweet-pie, give me your hand.