You’re seated on red cushioned chair in the auditorium surrounded by hundreds of others, eagerly waiting the performance that’s due to start any minute.
At three o’clock precisely, the chartreuse coloured velvet curtains draw back and the stage is revealed.
A spotlight shines down on a man with slick dark hair. He’s sat on an old wooden chair with his back to the audience and in front of him there’s a typewriter.
He begins to type and the letters start to appear on the screen above his head.
No sooner do those letters form a phrase on screen, they disappear and the lights go out.
You’re left in total darkness for a moment until a spotlight shines down on a lady who is entering the stage. The man and his typewriter have vanished.
She walks to the centre and without looking up at the audience, not even once, she bends down to pick up an enormous reel of purple wool. She unravels the thread a little and ties a loop around her waist.
Another lady appears left of stage, takes the wool from the first lady and does the same. She hands it back. The first lady wraps it around herself one more time.
Then a man appears. He does the same. He takes the wool and winds it around his waist before handing it back.
Another person appears, then another and another and another, until there are almost one hundred people on stage, all caught up in this twisted purple web.
The lights have been out for a good few minutes but you hadn’t even noticed – you were lost in a bright and dazzling world of wonderment.
You’re brought back to reality by a bright glowing hologram, that’s hovering above the stage. It’s the artist, aged seven.
Shes wearing her favourite fairy tutu, the one her Grandma made for her, and a homemade silver wand from her Mother. There’s a tinsel crown placed on her white blond locks that reach down to the floor and she’s fluttering angelically.
“There are no strangers here” she says softly, “only friends you haven’t yet met.”
She smiles at you mischievously, taps her wand in your direction and disappears amongst the storm of silver glitter that’s falling down from the ceiling.
An orchestra begins to play and the lights turn slowly on.
You sit there for a few minutes, enjoying the music and looking up at the sparkling wizardry falling down on you. And you think about how magic those words really are.
The performance is over and the audience is politely herded out of the auditorium into an empty white walled room. On your way in through the door you’re handed an envelope.
As everyone gathers into the room, all you can hear is footsteps and the ripping open of envelopes as people excitedly open their unexpected paper prize.
Written in childlike writing in a thick silver pen, it says “Find somebody whose name begins with N, who’s reading a book beginning with P and lives in street that begins with L”.
“An impossible task!” you say to yourself, chuckling on the inside and reading it again to make sure you’ve understood correctly.
You look up and everybody else seems to be as equally bewildered as you are. Some are giggling, some are smiling excitedly and others look a little bit scared.
It’s awkwardly silent.
Then one lady strides up to another lady and stretches out her arm. She introduces herself enthusiastically. They start to natter and everybody follows suit.
Before long the whole room is alive with conversation and laughter and you soon forget you’re looking for N who’s reading a book beginning with P and lives in a street that begins with L.
You’re just you and you’re just there, covered in strands of silver magic, turning strangers into friends.