A perfect fit

Lavern Archer finds her calling

BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter livingstonc@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, April 09, 2014    

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IN the mid-1980s, deejay Lt Stitchie struck the right notes with his breakthrough hit, Wear Yuh Size, a number one song enhanced by a humorous video.

Who can forget the young woman in the visual, forcing her foot into shoes obviously too small for her?

Fast track to 2014 and Lavern Archer reminisced on that experience in an email interview with the Jamaica Observer.

"The experience was a combination of excitement, confusion, tension, exhilaration, then exhaustion ....weeks later excitement again and satisfaction of a job well done," she said from her home in London.

Archer, who is in her early 50s, said her first meeting with Stitchie was as funny as Wear Yuh Size. They were on a bus months before and he was pestering her; she did not realise who he was until agreeing to appear in his video.

Archer hails from the district of Ginger Ridge in St Catherine. She says she was hooked on acting from age six, inspired by the versatility of actress Leonie Forbes.

She made her debut in the 1987 play, Don't Blame The Postman, at the Green Gables Theatre.

She left Jamaica for the first time that year, after a producer visiting from London came by the Green Gables and saw her performance.

"He decided to take me to join a British cast to run the play in England. So we truly say that play buss mi," she said.

Don't Blame The Postman ran for over six months to sold-out audiences, Archer recalled.

"It was a phenomenon, even major broad-sheets carried reviews of it. I returned to Jamaica after the six-month run but was requested to return five months later for a rerun. This is how me, Miss Gilbert Girl, meets boy, gets married and remained in the UK," she joked.

Archer continued to work with London's Blue Mountain Theatre Company until 2008, starring in plays such as Passa Passa, Bups and Dutty Wine.

She is still in theatre, but behind the scenes.

"I have written six plays all of which have been produced here in the UK. One of the plays called My Big Fat Jamaican Funeral, was selected as part of the entertainment for Jamaica's 50th year of independence celebrations," Archer shared.

Among her pending projects is a religious play and an animated film.





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