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Colour Me: Vibrant and Inventive!

Quilt - Colour Me

If you haven't yet donated to Go Fund Me campaign to get The Quilt performing arts company to the 2014 Contacting the World Festival, it's about time you did! Last Thursday night (June 26, 2014) The Quilt delivered a thrilling performance of Colour Me the production they will take to Manchester. It is a vibrant, imaginative, entertaining piece of conceptual theatre produced by a talented group of thespians.

Written and directed by Rayon McClean (with contributions from Odain Murray and Maya Wilkinson who is also the troupe’s multimedia director) Colour Me explores the multiplicity of meanings that colours have in our lives. A cyclical tale that moves from the supposed colourlessness of the womb through to finding the kaleidoscope possibilities in life. Wilkinson’s ‘Colour Me’, sublimely voiced by Leonie Forbes makes a great chorus around which the production progresses.

The Colourless state in the womb - Colour MeThe ideas explored in Colour Me aren’t new. But the ways that it has expressed them are inventive and vibrant. Colour Me is at times hilarious, at others poignant and sometimes both. The production uses colours to shade in the ways we create repressive borders on identity, whether they be sexual or cultural. It also uses colour as a symbol of freedom and a marker of identity. 

So if you haven’t yet donated to their Go Fund Me campaign, it’s about time you did.

Colour Me explores sexuality as well as people’s freedom to simply be themselves. It looks at the prison of gender stereotypes in the hilarious sketch ‘Pink for Girls and Blue for Boys’ then expands this idea to suggest that neither men nor women are so simple as any single colour and that love is a kaleidoscope. The Quilt

The production pays keen attention to how colour has marked the Jamaican landscape in multiple ways. It suggests that colour has become an intrinsic part of what it means to be Jamaican, embedded in the language and street and dancehall culture and pouring forth whether in the art of ‘tracing’ (cussing) or simply giving directions.

So if you haven’t yet donated to their Go Fund Me campaign, it’s about time you did.

Colour Me explores how we use colour to conform or to break freeOf course, the production also explores the politics of colour, It looks at how representational politics as stymied the society by dividing the nation through colour. Still in keeping with colour and politics it casts light on the revolutionary nature of Rastafari.

Colour Me combines music, movement and acting. The production is cleverly written and the diverse themes explored as well as the hearty servings of humour ensure that it is thoroughly entertaining. What is particularly striking, however, is the vocal talent as well as vocal arrangements embodied in the production. The production included renditions from the repertoires of Marley, Chronixx and Cyndi Lauper. Indeed, the rendition of True Colours was positively ecstatic. Colour as revolution through Rastafari

Costuming is simple but apt, and the attempts to play with a kind pitchy-patchy theme is noteworthy. The production also benefits from good technical elements including lighting, Nadia Roxburgh and multimedia, Wilkinson. 

The performance at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts was the last leg of The Quilt's attempts to raise their funds to get to Manchester, England as well as test run the production and get feedback. In addition to Colour Me, the evening also included musical performances from Chris Malachi (who also performs with the troupe as Chris Morris), Verlando Small and Mario Evon. Colour embodied in street and dancehall culture

As the opening, McClean the troupe’s artistic director pointed out that raising the funds have been a long and arduous road which included walking the streets of Kingston and even flash-mobbing Digicel. 

"Boy I must tell you, we thought about giving up a lot, but we never did," MClean said.

So if you haven’t yet donated to their Go Fund Me campaign, it’s about time you did. You’ll be glad you did.