Ho Lung and Friends working to deliver a thrilling Ruby
A scene from the dramatic production Ruby, in rehearsal (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

When the curtains open at the National Arena on Saturday, September 30, 2023 an excited cast will present a revamped script of Father Ho Lung and Friends' Ruby.

The 'slice of Jamaican life' production brings to the stage the struggle of family, the pursuit of love, and the loss of life — all familiar themes of life across the nation.

Set in the nation's inner city, it was first put to the stage in the early 1990s. The story of Ruby is a departure from recent Bible stories, but it is one which captivates the senses and can be appreciated by all audiences.

With castmates as young as 8 years old up to the recently turned 84-year-old priest, there is representation for everyone onstage.

Production director Dorraine Reid is excited at all that has been unfolding in the rehearsal space.

"It has really been different, good different, in the sense that I am generally working with persons who are trained theatre people, but the ensemble has a mix... So what is rewarding is seeing them come into their own... you can see when the light bulb goes off and they start to embody and enjoy the roles," shared the newbie to Father Ho Lung and Friends.

The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Peforming Arts educator shared that many of the youngsters are a director's muse.

"They are very open... and also willing to step out of their comfort zone, and it has been so rewarding seeing it all come together... They are really talented," she said.

For choreographer Paula Shaw, "Most of our juniors have grown up with us in many special concerts, so the abilities have been honed... We have great talent among the group, some are triple threats, who sing, dance and act very well."

The highlight, for her, has been starting the whole process all over again after a break because of the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic and seeing the group re-engage.

There will be four shows at the National Arena; two on Saturday, September 30, 2023 and two on Sunday October 1, 2023.

All proceeds will support the programmes and charities of the Ho Lung-founded Missionaries of the Poor.

Members of the cast of Ruby are guided through vocal techniques by Music Director Jodi-Ann Johnson. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Paula Shaw looks on as the cast works on a scene. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)
Music Director Jodi-Ann Johnson works through tempo with drummer Stephan Sinclair.Garfield Robinson
REID... many of the youngsters are a director's muse (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?