By John Owoo – In Accra – Ghana “BE-LONGING” – a duet piece by Cactus Junges Theatre that created an entire world on stage by invoking diverse contemporary issues – recently delighted a capacity audience at the Goethe-Institut in Accra. A dynamic play in its action and smooth in its tone, “BE-LONGING” reveled in its theatricality, thereby revealing the effects of this courageous production. Indeed, it was slow, intense and electric at the same time while moving the audience to cheer and applaud intermittently.
As diverse themes including slavery, colonialism, racism, culture, perilous journeys across the Sahara, poverty in Africa and Europe among others unfolded during the performance, the crowd appeared to sit on the edge of their seats as they await a surprise from the next scene.
The hour-long piece equally touched on subjects relating to romance, flexibility and new paradigms of mutual respect and equality between men and women, idealistic African entrepreneurship and the awareness of the fact that there is power in partnership within the continent of Africa and beyond.
With Emmanuel Edoror and Gifty Wiafe on stage, the dialogues were nuanced and thoughtful thereby resulting in a combative intellectual complexity alongside sheer bare-toothed drama, which took the audience by storm.
Drawing equally on dance, music, comedy and spoken word, the production is accessible in many senses – through its incorporated subtitles alongside a simple, easy-to-understand approach. Indeed, it told neatly rounded stories, some of which are unpalatable and unpleasant.
Directed by Barbara Kemmler with texts from Petra Kindler and Chief Moomen, the drama is replete with elemental power while possessing a great deal of thematic potential, which were by and large explored by the two writers.
With choreography by Frank Sam and scenography by Henry Nyadiah, the play is a carefully crafted metaphor and a delightful narrative despite the fact that it is equally representing real issues that is plaguing and continues to harass many parts of the world.
Cactus Junges Theatre, which is based in the German city of Münster collaborated with Accra based Tete Adehyemma Theatre. The State of North Rhine-Westphalia within the Ghana Partnership, Fachstelle Weltkirche Katholische Bistum Münster, Engagement Global and Goethe-Institut Ghana supported the performance.