Linda Fekisi

[intro]Linda Fekisi reviews Crafted by Colours, a debut production by poet and author, Tessa Muller. It was developed from her sold out memoir, ‘Dedications of Colour’ and recently showed at the Sand Du Plessis Theatre in Bloemfontein. [/intro]

“Alcohol is my worst enemy but the bible says that you must love your enemies.”

These are the opening lines to Crafted by Colours, a production by poet and author, Tessa Muller. In her monologue the protagonist, Michelle, takes the audience through a personal pep talk. It seems like a rant from an inebriated woman until she opens up about her pain.

Shortly afterwards we meet Michelle’s sister, Stephanie, who is the complete opposite of her sibling. Stephanie is the stereotyped ‘high class’ woman who makes up in jewellery what she lacks in compassion. We soon realise that the hostile nature of their relationship dates back to their childhood and the root of their antagonism is a man by the name of Charles.

In a ‘Days of our Lives’ turn of events, the love of Michelle’s life is currently married to her sister. And that’s not the half of the soap opera saga that unfolds on stage. There is an out of wedlock son, an affair with a marriage counsellor, a paternity test and a few skeletons in the family closet.

Crafted by Colours challenges issues which society decides to be in continuous denial about, ones we turn a blind eye to and ones we have just accepted as the norm. This is not merely a soapie story about jealousy, love and betrayal but stands as a metaphor for our greater societal challenges. It is raw, riveting and ends without the satisfaction of a Hollywood ‘happily ever after’.

Like the family in the play, we live in a broken society. There are victims, heroes and villians- characters who have torn up the rainbow nation scipt written by Tutu and Mandela back in 94. In our political soapie there is betrayal and jealousy, anger and violence. There are broken promises, shattered dreams and no happy ending in sight. I get lost in my thoughts.

Before I know it, the lights come up and the show is over. I hold my breath and try not to start a rowdy ‘we want more’. The country has enough protests as it is.