‘Fungus’ lives it in Pigview Heights
Throughout his 42-year career, actor Glen “Titus” Campbell estimates he has played over 100 characters, many of them comedic. For his latest role, as Fungus in Pigview Heights, he got down and dirty.
Fungus is the main character in the Patrick Brown-written and -directed play which opened on Boxing Day.
A dramedy, it continues its run at Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston.
“I had to once again breathe life into a new character, aptly named Fungus by the writer. This primarily because society often views people from the lower strata as just that, a fungus,” said Campbell in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.
“Fungus fell on hard times after a devastating hurricane and ended up resorting to squatting on a section of a dump site, affectionately referred to as Pigview Heights by its inhabitants,” shared Campbell.
To make ends meet, Fungus often rummages the dump for something to eat. Initially, his new mode of life is depressing, but eventually he finds there are benefits.
“Over time, he forms the view that Pigview Heights is ‘the real life!!’ With no light bill fi pay, no water bill or rent fi pay, no layoff possible â€” because our layoff permanent,” Campbell exclaimed.
To make Fungus as authentic as possible, Campbell visited the Riverton Dump in the Corporate Area and observed the daily routine of people there and how they survive.
“This helped tremendously in making the character believable, and being able to truly represent their actual ‘livity’. [It] may seem strange to some members of our society, but this is the lived reality of many,” he said.
The London-born Campbell rose to stardom during the 1980s as Titus, a bumbling country bumpkin in the popular television series, Titus in Town, which aired on Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation.
Still, Campbell admits the troubling issue of gender-based violence is the actual focus of Pigview Heights, which also stars Courtney Wilson, Sheree Elise, and Quera South.
The cast is scheduled to run this work until February.