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Celebrating Maas Ran's 100th - LTM Celebrates an Icon

Ranny Williams aka Maas Ran

Jamaican comedy is most likely a bastard child, but should it claim a father, it probably would be laid at the feet of the iconic comic actor Ranny Williams. When one thinks of the masters of Jamaican comedy, two names often come to mind, Louise Bennett (Miss Lou) and the less often celebrated Ranny Williams (Maas Ran).

A smattering of producers, writers and actors gathered at the  Little Theatre to pay homage to Maas Ran and celebrate his centenary, which occurred on October 26, 2012. The celebration, organized by the Little Theatre Movement, came a little late this year, as it was one of the events pushed off course by Hurricane Sandy.

(l-r) Grace McGhie, Volier Johnson, Ed Wallace and Brian HeapAs a part of the proceedings, the small audience heard from Volier Johnson and Grace McGhie members of the cast of Operation P as well as Ed Wallace, the show’s producer. Operation P’s tour of Canada was William’s final production. The three about spoke about Williams’ last time on stage as well as their other memories of Williams, describing him as  a star but without the attitude.

“I think he is one of our treasures and we should never forget him,” McGhie said.

Barbara Gloudon described Williams as a man always willing to share his experience and expertise. “He never stinted from giving you good advice,” she said. “And he wasn’t forcing you to take it.”

Gloudon, head of the LTM noted that the movement felt it was important to keep the birthday salute to ensure that Williams continues to be remembered. “We felt that he has been overlooked,” she said. Gloudon explained that, while not comparing Williams to Miss Lou, he was an important artist in his own right and should be remembered as such. She also indicated that the LTM intended to hand over the research they had uncovered to the National Library of Jamaica, with the hopes that it would become a part of a Ranny Williams collection. The pieces to be handed over to the NLJ, however, did not include a treasured photograph of Bob Marley visiting Williams while the latter was in hospital.

The evening ended with musical performances by the Pantomime Company and the unique vision band inside the Little Little Theatre.