Archive for Jan, 2021

The Beit Hall plays host to The Plumtree Players production of ‘See How They Run’

Mum, dad (married off and on stage) and Aileen Robinson. Set put together by Bill Baker.

More movement?

After a long period with little change (and no blog posts in Pitch Imperfect) I have become aware that I am having difficulty than before identifying the key that a piece of music I am listening to is in. Am I moving into the second semitone of shift that is described?

Plumtree School’s Beit Hall

Taken in October 2008 when my parents passed through Plumtree for the last time and left Zimbabwe.
Taken in October 2008 when my parents passed through Plumtree for the last time and left Zimbabwe.

Among the many casualties of the covid-19 pandemic has been the Beit Hall at Plumtree School in Zimbabwe. It was set ablaze as a protest by disgruntled returnees from Botswana who were unwillingly quarantined there with minimal amenities.

The Beit Hall is central to activities at the school. In the pre-1980 era, stern pictures of Rhodes and Beit exhorted schoolboys to continue their work in Southern Rhodesia and post-UDI Rhodesia. Headmasters also cast beady eyes on and exhortatory pearls to generations of teenage boys. It was also where we wrote major exams.

For me, the Beit Hall mainly meant musicals and plays, most of which involved my parents. From early childhood to early parenthood I watched them produce and participate in Gilbert and Sullivan, Broadway and West End musicals, Whitehall farces and the staples of amdram drama such as Rope and The Black Sheep of the Family. I joined as a member of the girls chorus and then as second pianist/electric organist from the age of 11, and even after leaving school contributing a song to Salad Days.

To celebrate what the Beit Hall stage rather than the walls and lectern contributed to life in colonial and post-colonial Plumtree, I will post some pictures of high school musicals and productions of The Plumtree Players. Perhaps someone you know and/or love will appear. Celebrate them and the Beit Hall of fame!

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