Omaheke play captures audience

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK The usually quiet Boiler Theatre at the Katutura Community Arts Centre (KCAC) was on Saturday afternoon abuzz and alive with dancing, playacting and singing by a Gobabis-based youth theatre group. Well-known Namibian theatre director, actor and playwright, HeInrich Hambira, joined creative forces with Mariekie de Lange, a Dutch youth theatre director from Amsterdam. “Me and Heinrich have been working collectively on the play with a combined group of young actors from Gobabis schools, Wennie du Plessis and Epaku secondary schools for three months. We thought it wise to stage the play, Unfemished Road, after performing it successfully in the eastern town,” said Mariekie de Lange, who came to Namibia to work with the young actors at the recommendation of a friend. The self-conceived play exhibited a number of endemic social issues experienced by the community at large. These excerpts were put together to form a 60-minute play, thoroughly enjoyed by the rather small audience, which consisted of a number of Dutch expatriates residing in Namibia, including the ambassador of the Royal Dutch Embassy and his wife. The highlight of the play was undoubtedly the opening dancing scenes with vibrant actions and rhythms filling the air with excitement by the cast of 45 actors, dancers and musicians. The play dealt with death, witchcraft, alcoholism and the gay world, depicting stereotyped characters from those milieus. I for the life of me didn’t know what the purpose of two puppets was in the show because they were actually never used functionally – probably just meant for decoration? Anyway, it was an enjoyable youth production, an indication that youth theatre is gaining momentum in the Omaheke Region. A similar combined theatre troupe from the town is scheduled to take part in the annual Youth Theatre Festival in the capital on Thursday June 22 under the auspices of Assitej-Namibia.