Two Una Marson plays published

Bookends

Saturday, March 11, 2017

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The National Library of Jamaica and Blouse & Skirt Books have co-published two plays, Pocomania and London Calling, from one of Jamaica’s most important feminists and dramatists Una Marston.


Pocomania is among the most important Caribbean plays ever written, having been credited with representing "the birth of Jamaican national drama".


First staged at the dawn of the region’s stride toward nationalism and Independence, it heralded a new era of Jamaican and Caribbean drama, one unafraid of taking a serious look at the people, the culture and the language. London Calling explores the all-too-real anxieties surrounding race, class, identity and migration in early 20th century London.


These plays grapple with class, race, gender, language and culture as they explore the tensions at the nexus of prejudice and the performance of blackness.


Born in Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, Jamaica, February 5, 1905, Una Maud Marson was a poet, editor, activist, journalist and playwright. She was Jamaica’s first female magazine editor and publisher (The Cosmopolitan) and through her work with the Pioneer Press she published Vera Bell, Ethel Rovere and Louise Bennett-Coverley.


As the first black female employee of the BBC Marson developed her Calling the West Indies programme for servicemen into Caribbean Voices.


She has five collections of poetry: Tropic Reveries (1930), Heights and Depths (1932), Moth and the Star (1937), Towards the Stars (1945) and Selected Poems (2011). Marson authored three plays At What a Price (1932), London Calling (1937) and Pocomania (1938). She died in Kingston, on May 6, 1965.

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