Theatre season off with a bang

Thursday, January 02, 2014    

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JAMAICAN theatre is entering 2014 with a bang.

The Kingston-based playhouses are awash with new productions, a total of eight plays, seeking to capture the theatre-going public's attention.

The productions range from comedy to musical revues.

Scarlett Beharie, president of the Jamaica Association of Dramatic Artists, said the Yuletide/New Year's holiday period is known as the unofficial kick-off to the theatre season.

"It's not the most plays that we have had opening at this time. However, it is significant in that it shows the resilience of the theatre scene as it has been a very challenging year in terms of mobilising audiences," Beharie said.

"However, the total number of plays that ran over 2013 remains one of the highest we have seen in recent times," she continued.

For over seven decades, the curtains have risen on Boxing Day for the National Pantomime.

The Barbara Gloudon-penned The Golden Macca Fat, took to the stage at the Little Theatre in St Andrew, continuing that tradition which has been carried over from the days when the Pantomime played at the historic Ward Theatre in downtown Kingston, which now stands in disrepair.

Embassy Saga, with Jamaican comedy king Oliver Samuel, also had a Boxing Day opening.

Following an impressive run with Ladies of The Night, award-winning producers Jambiz International also opened If There's is a Will There is a Wife. This is running at the Centrestage Theatre in New Kingston and stars Glen 'Titus' Campbell, Sakina Deer, Sharee McDonald Russell, Camille Davis and Courtney Wilson.

The Green Gables Theatre lights up with the musical revue Jamaica Sweet, written, directed and composed by David Tulloch. This production stars Deon Silvera, Terri Salmon, Rosie Murray and Michael 'Stringbeans' Nicholson.

DMH Productions is the force behind the other Boxing Day opener, To The Finish. Directed by Dahlia Harris and Suzanne Beadle, this dramatic piece stars Carl Samuels, Jerry Benzwick, Nadean Rawlins and Chris McFarlane. The local theatre fraternity zoned in on the entire holiday season, and as such there were productions opening just before Boxing Day and immediately after.

David Tulloch's second play for the season, Clash, which stars Keith 'Shebada' Ramsay and Garfield 'Badboy Trevor' Reid opened at the Green Gables Theatre on Christmas Day.

On December 27, veteran theatre producer and playwright Basil Dawkins opened his production, My God Don't Wear Pajamas at the Little Little Theatre in St Andrew.





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