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Curtains Rise on Jamaican 2014 Theatre Season
Drugs in sports, a battle for inheritance between siblings, devious women scheming to get their hands on a bumpkin’s new found riches and a search for ... hmmm ... maccafat. These are just a few of the issues explored in the slate of plays that opened on the Jamaican stage in Boxing Day, which by now should be dubbed the official start of island’s theatre season.
Eight productions opened this year, keeping the numbers steady with the number of productions that took to the stage at the same time in 2012, leading to over 30 plays opening in 2013.
Jambiz International retains Glen Campbell at the helm of their actors with this year’s If There's A Will There's a Wife, which plays at Centre Stage Theatre. The play is scripted by the prolific Patrick Brown and features the three of the women who helped make Ladies of the Night one of the company’s best productions to date: Sharee McDonald Russell, Camille Davis and Sakina Deer. If There's A Will There’s A Wife is the story of country bumpkin who is beseiged by devious women when he comes into an inheritance.
Basil Dawkins rolls out his award winning script My God Don’t Wear Pajamas the story of a battle for inheritance between two siblings, at the Little Little Theatre. The cast is powered by Donald Anderson (whose last forays to the stage in 2012 earned him a Best Actor Award and two nominations in the category) and Jean Paul Menou who had a fantastic 2013 as well as Zandiranne Maye and Ruth Ho-Shing who alternates with Hilary Nicholson.
Dahlia Harris plunges into the world of sports and drugs with To the Finish featuring Julene Robinson who is providing to be quite the actress to watch. Indeed, To the Finish, playing at the Pantry Playhouse, has a strong stable of actors bolstered by Nadan Rawlins, Carl Samuels and Christopher McFarlane.
David Tulloch seems to be going for the prolific writer of the year award, with two plays being produced by RBT Productions and Films opening at simultaneously at the Green Gables Playhouse. Jamaica Sweet is a musical review featuring Michael ‘Stringbeans’ Nicholson, Rosie Murray and Deon Silvera. The second production Clash brings together the comedic talents of Volier Johnson and Keith ‘Shebada’ Ramsey.
The 73rd Pantomime will also trod the boards with The Golden Maccafat, penned by Barbara Gloudon and directed by Pierre Lemaire in their regular home at the Little Theatre.
Oliver Samuels’ Embassy Saga, which had opened briefly earlier in the year makes a return. The play stars Samuels, Audrey Reid and Dennis Titus. University of Delcita, written by Paul Beale and Andrea Wright rounds out the eight productions, although the latter is coming to a close having opened earlier. University of Delcita plays at the recently opened Pantry Tree House (same complex as The Pantry Playhouse).
Note: Edited on January 6, 2014 to include minor corrections