Monday, 9 August 2010

MAYLYNNE WALTON makes the leap into new territory, revels in newfound fun and freedom

Over the years, TV and stage actress Maylynne Walton-Lowe has attained a certain beguiling expressiveness, making her one of the most admired Jamaican thespians of her generation, a specialist in playing desperate housewives and judiciously modest characters looking for love but stymied by circumstance and discursive thought processes. But now she is busting loose with a crackling new role that gives her a lot less to be modest about. And it’s about time.

Many are surprised to see you appearing in Stages Productions’ latest laughfest Ghett-Out. This is your first outing in that terrain. Are you enjoying the ride?

It’s been wonderful from day one. They are very professional and have been very welcoming. I’ve been getting a lot of help from fellow actors there, and it has really helped my process, from the physical to the emotional.

Have you always wanted to be a featured actress in a Stages play?

Always. I even talked about it when I appeared on The Susan Show about two years ago. I love that they reach a large-scale audience. So I put it out there in the universe, and I was so grateful when I got the call to come and read for the role. And I am really happy that they put their faith in me to do it.

What have you learned from Keith ‘Shebada’ Ramsey? Is he anything like those uncontainable characters he portrays?

He’s an exceptional improv actor; he reminds me of my early days in theatre. He’s a quick-thinking and very intelligent actor. [At Stages], they all share that style. The spontaneity is wonderful, and it helps you in letting go in the performance.

Are you an environmentally conscious citizen?

No, I’m not. I don’t recycle, but I don’t like litter. I don’t like waste, so I have a problem with things like the oil spill. My beliefs are a little existential, but I do believe that everything has its place.

What inspires your personal sense of style?

(Laughs). I don’t accessorize. I love high heels to show off my legs. I’m a bit of a glam girl. I love my chic, glam style.

Okay, back to acting. Earlier this year you played Annie Palmer in the Fairfield Theatre musical drama White Witch, which did extremely well. What did you make of the warm response the production received?

It was just wonderful, and I am glad we brought it to Kingston. It’s just a pity that it wasn’t recorded, because a lot of people still didn’t get to see it.

Taking on a role like Annie must have been the realization of a lifelong dream. You seemed ideally cast.

I’ve always wanted to do that role; it was a dream come true. And to portray her not as a wicked obeah woman but in a love story was fun to do. It was very rich and dramatic every night.

And it could possibly be the role that finally (!) wins you an Actor Boy award.

That would be nice. But I’ve been nominated before, so that’s neither here nor there. What I always pray for is work. I want to be occupied. And that’s what I focus on. Doing this [Stages] play is the most work I’ve done in my life. And I know that for a lot of people to see me play [Barbara] is so interesting and fun. I also believe that what they are doing [at Stages] is worthy of recognition.

This summer, you made the cut as one of BUZZZ Magazine’s 25 Sexiest Caribbean Stars, along with people like Asafa Powell, Tami Chynn, Rihanna and Tyson Beckford. What does that sort of recognition mean to you?

I think that’s pretty funny (Laughs), especially because I don’t consider myself a spring chicken. It’s flattering - and good for the ego (Laughs).

Related Posts:

* Theatre Review: Wispy new comedy ‘Ghett-Out’ is a satisfying, funny surprise

* Ambitious theatre newcomer Abigail Grant is charting her own course

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