It is about two human beings who nearly lose one another - but who eventually struggle back together through uncertainty, through quarrels, through humiliation.
Trevor Rhone, who passed on in 2009, is perhaps ranked as Jamaica's best playwright having written over a dozen manuscripts. He is also known for his co-writing of the cult classic film The Harder They Come starring Jimmy Cliff. In December another of his plays will open in Kingston, this one being the two-hander Two Can Play.
Two Can Play, according to a description from Goddess Theatre is "a Jamaican story, reflecting life in the inner city, ravaged by violence and hopelessness. It is the need for a better life. Jim and Gloria get involved in a scheme to get American citizenship. However, it is Gloria not Jim ( ‘the general’ ) who takes the risks. Gloria and Jim come to a new understanding of the world and their relationship."
Further, according to a Gleaner Article dated October 14, 2009, former Prime Minister Michael Manley's foreword to the published play read "Two Can Play is about love and estrangement; about domination and liberation; about confusion and compassion. It is about two human beings who nearly lose one another - but who eventually struggle back together through uncertainty, through quarrels, through humiliation."
The play is considered to be a classic Jamaican comedy and in 1982 when it was staged won an award for Best Jamaican Play. In 2009 it was mounted by the University Players; this time around it will be produced by Goddess Theatre which is the project of actress Terri Salmon, a well-known fixture on the Jamaican stage. The director is Carolyn Allen, a lecturer at Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts. For Ms. Allen this will be a departure: although she has been involved in various theatrical pursuits including directing student productions, this represents her first commercial directing job.
Jamaica Cultural Enterprises will be supporting this venture on January 5. If you wish to find out more about going to the theatre on this or any other night email email@example.com or call 876 540 8570. You can also call the producers at 876 347 2024 and visit their Facebook Page.
Cecil (Maurice Bryan), Rose (Rishille Bellamy),, Joseph (Shayne Powell) and Clarence (Andrew Lawrence) discuss love and life in Last Call.
Ever heard of Myrtle Bank Hotel? In the golden era of downtown Kingston, from the late 19th century to perhaps the mid 20th century, it was THE hotel. It was known for luxury and prestige. Lorna Goodison, well-known Jamaican poet, writes of how awed she was when as a youngster her older sister, Barbara Gloudon, then a cub reporter, took her to the hotel. In Keiran King's musical, Last Call, the oppulent hotel becomes the setting for a tale of love lost and rediscovered.
Written by Keiran King with direction from King and Mike Daley, the plot follows four high school friends who reunite by design and coincidence at Myrtle Bank Hotel in 1949. The play features musical direction by Karen Armstrong and choreography by Paula Shaw. Perhaps one of the most interesting features of the play is the live band, including the obligatory ultra cool bass player, which plays the accompaniment to the musical numbers sung by the talented cast. With respect to singing ability, Andrew Lawrence must be giving special mention as he is particularly talented.
This weekend (August 18 - 21) is the play's last. It will run from Thursday to Sunday at 8 pm, with matinees at 5 pm on Saturday and Sundays, at the Phillip Sherlock Centre of the Creative Arts at the University of the West Indies, Mona. The play, with its heavy air of nostalgia, offers a means of looking back to a more golden era and a much more optimistic time in our history. Ir is well-worth attending.
L-R: Rose (Rishille Bellamy),Cecil (Maurice Bryan), Daphne (Sakina Deer) & Joseph (Shayne Powell) in a group song.
From L to R, Rose (Rishille Bellamy) and Daphne (Sakina Deer) catch up in Last Call.
Sakina Deer plays Dphne, the sultry cabaret singer at Myrtle Bank Hotel.
Jamaica, Farewell opens to the strains of the Harry Belafonte sung “Jamaica Farewell”, a song that for many conjures up an old Jamaica, an island paradise fair and gentle. The one-woman show written and performed by Debra Ehrhardt was not so gentle in its reminiscing on Jamaica. The play focuses on the story of Debra, a Jamaican born woman who from early childhood entertained the dream of migrating to the United States. The play, which runs for 85 minutes without intermission, is a comical look at her attempts to obtain a visa and her eventual success in leaving Jamaica behind through a series of death defying escapades with the aim of arriving at the wonderful and apparently milk and honey overflowing shores of Miami. Debra Ehrhardt was convincing, the staging of the play was effective, the material was funny enough, even the politics – a clear anti-Manley perspective – was admirable. But, but. Why this obsession with migrating to the United States? Why this devotion to Americana? Loyal Jamaicans may find the play uncomfortable to watch or maybe even objectionable.
For Better or Worse, at first blush, has a bit of an edge. The play at its heart presents the story of a relationship between a man and a woman and both characters, Alfred (Christopher Daley/Jerry Benzwick) and Marcia (Sakina Deer), are counterculture. Alfred, a trained professional who has lost his job, is now content to stay home and “mind” the children. His wife is not so content and it is her thrust to improve her lot in life which leads her to leave Alfred and have a relationship with her wealthy femaleboss that upsets the marital apple cart.House husband? Lesbians? This play is perhaps one of the more interesting Dawkins plays in recent times. It does not hurt that it is also funny. The cast* assembled is an experienced one, the plot absorbing, the characters confounding. This is a good play and definitely worth seeing.