Golden Maccafat opens on Dec 26
GOLDEN Maccafat is the title of this year's pantomime, which opens on its traditional December 26 date at the Little Theatre in St Andrew.
It is based on the Maccafat, a thorny fruit tree.
According to Barbara Gloudon, who produced and wrote this year's production, Golden Maccafat surrounds the people of fictional Maccafat Mountain.
They fear that should the Maccafat disappear so too will their village. To protect their heritage and hometown, residents hide the sacred golden Maccafat.
"The task is now to protect the secret of where the Maccafat is hidden, and from there comes the various thrills and twists and drama in the plot which involves a female Minister of Everything (who is) the MP for the area," she said.
Gloudon has been involved in the pantomime for over 30 years. She says she writes to reach a different audience each year.
"I walk the streets and I look at people, learn what is going on out there in order to come back and put that on the stage," she told the Jamaica Observer.
With Golden Maccafat, Gloudon is anticipating strong support from schools and churches. Pantomime is a family affair, she noted.
"Grandparents and children can sit together without fear," she said.
Although she is upbeat about the future of the Jamaican pantomime, Gloudon is not as optimistic for the Ward Theatre where the production first played in 1941.
"Every time I pass there I feel sad," she said about the Ward which has deteriorated considerably in the last 10 years.
This year's cast is almost 20-strong and has several veterans including Faith Bucknor, Ray Jarrett and Kevin Halstead.
The costumes are designed by her daughter Anya, another pantomime mainstay.
Golden Maccafat is scheduled to play for four months at the Little Theatre in St Andrew.
— Cecelia Campbell-Livingston