19 June 2019

Namibia: Hinda and Mwevi Star in 'Anna & Christelle'

Last year's 'Anna & Christelle' has a new star, an updated script and is set to be staged at the National Theatre of Namibia's Backstage this Thursday.

With Mel Mwevi reprising her role as Christelle and Ashwyn Mberi returning as director, the two-hander introduces Hazel Hinda as Anna in a play considering the surprising relationship that forms between a University of Namibia tutor and her student. "The play touches on white privilege, the responsibilities of parenthood, purpose and place in educating a manipulated and stuck society, and loving in full-sight as opposed to being 'colour blind'," says Mwevi, who co-wrote the original play alongside Ndali Mupopiwa.

"The story of 'Anna & Christelle' is a gateway to the many moments of oppression we can't always recognise or explain. It allows us to face the sneaky ills of our society today. Together, after witnessing this story, we can talk about our feelings, roles in this world, and discuss the darkest parts of society and ourselves so we can start to reimagine the world in a more radiant light. "We are painfully held back from loving each other because of the borders greed and fear built. Now's the time to let go of them. They're old and illogical.

Here's a chance to start the process of dismantling the wallsthat separate us, ie homophobia, sexism, classism, racism, tribalism, etc. Unfortunately the list goes on."An NTN Directors' Lab Production set in present-day Windhoek as two women forge some understanding over studies and cigarettes, 'Anna & Christelle,' according to Hinda, is a sobering reflection of our society. "There's a saying that goes is 'art imitating life or is life imitating art?' 'Anna & Christelle' is a story about tolerance or lack thereof, how we are held back by our opinions on a matter without giving ourselves the opportunity to experience the simple beauties of relationships," she says.

"It's about the ongoing misinterpretation of bisexuality, the nature of such relationships and the intolerance of races. There's a lot going on in our society and this story highlights one of the prickly issues. If a society is unable to see themselves for what they are - good or bad - we are doomed by falsehoods that destroy."Though they agree that everyone is welcome and nobody should miss the show, Mwevi hopes church-goers,government members, the conservative, pro-lifers and white people, particularly land-owners, attend as they may have the most to learn.

"Besides it being a great reason to treat yourself to an outing to the theatre, without limitations, I'd love everyone to see it because everyone has a lesson to draw from it," says Hinda."There is no reason to miss an original Namibian story."'Anna & Christelle' will be staged on 20, 21 and 22 June. Tickets are available at Computicket and the show starts at 19h00.

- martha@namibian.com.na; Martha Mukaiwa on Twitter and Instagram; marthamukaiwa.com

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