How do you make people more aware of situations that need a change? A theatre play, a comedy, can be a tool. With the comedy “Crazy” the Mirbat Group, a new theatre group in Dhofar established in 2012, put the consequences of marriage between cousins on the stage. The play fits in the six days theatre contest held in Salalah in the Ministry of Heritage and Culture because of the 10th Dhofar Cultural Forum.
“Crazy,” written by Naim Fateh and directed by Mohd. Suhail Al Amri, tells the story of a father, who instead of sending his crazy daughter to a medical check-up, believe the medicine man who tells him that a marriage with her cousin can solve her problem. The father is crazy enough to pay a lot of money for the medicine man and the marriage. When three sons are born and all of them have problems, the father of the new born children becomes crazy himself.
In a comedy of this kind, the message is more important. The scenography, a maghelas, a sitting room, makes the play suitable for a small theatre, or for performances in schools for example. Still marriages between cousins are common in Oman. In the article ‘Arranged marriage no more the mantra for the young‘ in Times of Oman one can read: “Marriages between cousins or families of the same tribe are common in Oman, and tribal elders say more than half of all weddings in the Sultanate are arranged in this manner.” In Oman Daily Observer in the article ‘New Genetic Center opens in Muscat today,’ one can read: Genetics is an important issue for the healthcare community in Oman with consanguineous unions commonplace amongst some communities in the Sultanate. According to The Centre for Community Genomic Studies, 24.1 per cent of marriages in the country are between first cousins and 11.8 per cent of marriages between second cousins. This has led to some couples having a predisposition to certain genetic disorders, including sickle cell diseases and thalassaemia that is passed on to their children.” The play was followed by a lecture.
Today the Oman Child Theatre Group take part at the contest with drama.