MoBay ‘governor’ laments lack of theatre space
MONTEGO BAY, St James — Actor Boy award winner Lloyd B Smith has described as shameful and disgraceful the lack of a major performing arts facility in the city of Montego Bay, which has contributed so much to the Jamaican economy.
“I have some serious problems when it comes to Montego Bay. We are still not getting what we deserve in all areas of our social, economic and physical existence. As some of you may have known, over the years I used to dabble in theatre. In fact, I had the distinction of winning the Actor Boy Award, the only western Jamaican who had ever done so. But right now Montego Bay doesn’t have a theatre,” bemoaned Smith, who is sometimes referred to as the governor of Montego Bay.
He continied: “There is no city in the world that does not have at least one theatre. We do not have any major performing arts facility in Montego Bay.”
Smith, who is publisher of the 43-year-old Western Mirror, argued that only hotels could be considered to stage a play, while acknowledging that many of those facilities were not intended to do so.
“If you want to put on a play, or a show, you have to go in the hotels, and the hotels are not designed for that sort of thing. They are designed for limbo dancing and calypso. When we talk about real performing arts, there is no performing arts facility in Montego Bay. And it is a shame, it is a disgrace!” he expressed.
He was delivering the keynote address at the launch event of West Side JA, an island lifestyle Web series with Janet Silvera, featuring stories of success from western Jamaica.
The event was hosted on Sunday at the S Hotel.
According to Silvera, West Side Ja is a 30-minute island lifestyle series “about interesting people, places and happenings on the west side of Jamaica”.
“It will feature successful business luminaries who have contributed extensively to the growth and the development of Jamaica’s west coast. Chosen from an eclectic fusion of backgrounds and industries, it will also go off the beaten track to highlight some of the unique cultural treasures under the segments of cuisine, artifacts, architecture, and hidden gems,” Silvera explained.
Meanwhile, Smith expressed optimism that West Side Ja will highlight to the “rest of Jamaica that we is not cunumuno down here, we have quality”.
“We have persions of outstanding calibre. Let us not forget that western Jamaica has produced the world’s most outstanding track athlete in Usain Bolt. And if you were to even look at the corporate boards in Kingston, many of them have people from western Jamaica pon it enuh. And I don’t know why they remain so quiet. But one of these days we are going to name and shame them,” the former House Speaker said.
He added: “What Janet has set out to do is a game-changer. We have many outstanding professionals, business persons in this neck of the woods who are not being featured.”