Jambiz Int'l hits home run

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, March 14, 2014    

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LOCAL theatre producer Jambiz International definitely has a Midas touch when it comes to mounting productions.

Over the years, this theatre company has put forward some strong plays that, even after their run, resonate with the Jamaican audience and their latest, If There's a Will There's a Wife, continues that tradition.

So strong is this production that it copped 10 Actor Boy Awards nominations — the Jamaican award for excellence in local theatre. The nominations come in most of the major categories including Best Production, Best New Jamaican Play, Best Comedy, Best Actor in a Lead Role — Glen Campbell, Best Actress ina Lead Role — Camille Davis and Best Actress in a Supporting Role — Sakina Deer.

There is little wonder why this Jambiz production has nabbed this number of nominations, outdone only by another Jambiz work, Ladies of The Night, which has 11 Actor Boy nods.

A strong script, brilliant directing and spot-on acting by a dedicated ensemble of actors makes If There's a Will, There's a Wife worth seeing.

The plot surrounds the issue of 'dead lef'.

Abraham Adams (Glen Campbell), a yam farmer from deep rural Jamaica, has just come into an inheritance. His 'mean' uncle has died and made him the sole beneficiary of his estate which comprises a sizeable bank account, land and a house in Beverly Hills.

However, there is a caveat.

According to his uncle's will, in order to come into his inheritance, Abraham must find a wife.

Abraham now has only a matter of weeks to tie the knot and fulfil this stipulation of his uncle's will. This sets in motion a whole set of events and brings two women into Abraham's life -- a scheming ghetto girl Kimberly Golding (well-played by Camille Davis) and attorney Tish Jones portrayed by the ever-improving Sharee McDonald-Russell.

While these two women scheme and plot to become Mrs Adams, they are constantly under the watchful eye of Abraham's confidante and housekeeper Etta (Sakina Deer), whose wit and acid tongue provide some truly comedic moments. Add to the mix 'property manager' Ivan, the ever-present gardener, who is prepared to defend his boss in order to protect his own interests.

Campbell puts in another masterful performance. This time portraying a truly rural Jamaican with all the correct nuances as well as a dialect which may have the uninitiated questioning his pronounciation. Not bad for the British-born actor.

While Davis leads the ensemble using her physical attributes to great effect, it is Deer who manages to steal the scenes. As Etta, another deep, rural Jamaican, she shines in the role given the meaty one-liners she drops on her audience 'without warning'.

Jambiz International should experience a long run with this production as it makes for an entertaining watch.





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