God 'nah' sleep!

By Richard Johnson Observer senior reporter

Monday, January 13, 2014    

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PLAYWRIGHT Basil Dawkins' decision to use the less popular adage 'My God Don't Wear Pajamas' as the title for his latest production, has some onlookers puzzled.

Perhaps, if it was explained in Jamaican parlance 'God nah sleep', then many will have an immediate 'aha!' moment and make it to the Little Little Theatre in St Andrew to see the play.

If they do, an entertaining evening awaits.

Dawkins has assembled a talented cast to bring to life a personal experience.

My God Don't Wear Pajamas came to Dawkins at the funeral service of his own father, a man he met for the first time a few years earlier. It formed the backdrop for the storyline -- a dead patriarch leaves his estate to his widow and a son he only knows of. However, in order to claim the 'dead lef', the son must travel to the United States for the reading of the will. That sets off a whole chain of events that takes twists and turns and is knee-deep in deception, suspense and truly enjoyable theatre.

Actor Boy Award winners Hilary Nicholson, Zandrian May and Donald 'Iceman' Anderson, along with Jean-Paul Menou turn in credible performances to bring both their characters and Dawkins' script to life.

Actor Boy Award winners Hilary Nicholson, Zandrian May and Donald 'Iceman' Anderson, along with Jean-Paul Menou turn in credible performances to bring both their characters and Dawkins' script to life.

Nicholson, who is known for her work with the Sistren Theatre Collective, stepped into the shoes of Sharon, the recently widowed, who hatches a plan to get the stepson Denver (Anderson) to the US to hear the contents of her late husband's will. Both will have to get past her unstable, cocaine-snorting son Bradley (Menou) and Denver's self-confessed 'tegereg' of a wife Molly, played by May.

Special commendation must, go to Menou and May, whose characterisations are spot-on.

In what is ostensibly a drama, Dawkins spikes the production with instances of humour, thanks mainly to May who steps up to the plate. Her use of the physical and that drop-of-a-hat, almost schizophrenic switch from one emotion to the other, makes for an interesting and enjoyable character.

Menou, on the other hand, uses his strong dramatic ability to pull the dark, troubled traits of his character to the surface. He deliveres the fidgeting cocaine addict and whining, spoiled brat with conviction.

Although the story is set in Jamaica and the US, Dawkins' script moves at a sharp pace, never allowing the story to lag, but there were instances where the dialogue carried on for a little more than required.

So the consensus here is, forget the title if you must, and give My God Don't Wear Pajamas a shot. It's worth a watch.





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