Garvey takes centrestage

By Richard Johnson Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, October 09, 2012    

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THE artistic work of National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey comes to the stage this Heritage Week.

Kenny Salmon is part of the team behind The Visit, a production based on Garvey's play, In a Dialogue: What's the Difference, which was written in 1931.

The production opens on Thursday at The Theatre Place in New Kingston, St Andrew.

Salmon notes that the play was last mounted in Jamaica at the School of Drama, Edna Manley College, 15 years ago, but based on recent developments the time was ripe for a remount.

"The play is based on Garvey's teachings and with it being Heritage Week and the fact that the teachings of Garvey are being introduced into schools we thought it was perfect timing," he says.

The Visit is a dramatisation of the efforts of a father trying to instill certain values and attitudes in his son by using the teachings of Garvey to sway him from deviant behaviour.

The cast is headed by theatre veteran Ronald Goshop, who is best known for his role on television's Royal Palm Estate. He will be supported by storyteller Amina Blackwood-Meeks and performance poet Kenroy Rowe.

The Visit opens with a special performance for schools ahead of a three-day run starting Monday to Wednesday, October 15-17.

According to Salmon, The Visit entertains while dealing with serious issues in a serious way.

"Based on what is happening in society at this time we want to use theatre to tackle some of the issues affecting us as a people," he adds.

Born in St Ann, Garvey was a political leader, publisher, journalist and entrepreneur. He was a passionate believer in black repatriation to Africa.

His work has inspired groups such as the Nation of Islam and Rastafari and influenced artistes including Burning Spear, Culture and Bob Marley.

Garvey died in England on June 10, 1940. He was 52.





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