Pantomime opens with a bang

Sunday, December 31, 2017

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THE Little Theatre Movement is claiming success on the opening night of the 71st National Pantomime in St Andrew on Tuesday.

Playwright Barbara Gloudon said in keeping with the tradition, the pantomime curtains went up on Boxing Day in front of a “great audience”.

“It went very well on opening night. We had a lot of people, especially Jamaicans who are visiting for the holidays and will leave in a short while. Everybody came out to be part of this tradition. The numbers will pick up in the coming weeks and months. By then, you will have the big buses coming in from all parts of Jamaica, as far away as Negril with schools, church and community groups who come in for the annual trip to enjoy the production,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

Gloudon has written the majority of the pantomimes, starting with Moonshine Anancy in 1969.

This year she has penned Dapper Dan.

Known as the Anansi man, the titular character is the hottest dance promoter in the land, but not everyone is comfortable with Dapper Dan's entrepreneurial spirit. The community police have their hands full with complaints about night noise. Dapper Dan has heard that in the overseas market, always looking to make more money.Dapper Dan wants a piece of the action. With the help of Selector and Mama Blaze, he auditions for a grand Dancers World Tour. How will it all work out? Will Dapper Dan live up to his “Anansi Man” reputation?

Senior pantomime company members hold the lead roles — Ray Jarrett as Dapper Dan; Faith Bucknor as Supe; Kevin Halstead as Sarge; Latoya Newman-Morris as Elise; Shama Reid as Willy; Maxann Stewart-Legg as Mama Blaze.

The National Pantomime usually runs until April.

— Richard Johnson

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