Sunday, 4 September 2011

AWARDS SEASON WATCH: Are Charlie’s Angels and Last Call the year’s first surefire Best Production nominees?

HELLO HEARTBREAK: Last Call's Rishille Bellamy, Shayne Powell and Maurice Bryan.

This time last year White Witch, the eventual Best Production winner at the 2010/11 Actor Boy Awards had already graced the stage, giving critically acclaimed runs in Montego Bay and Kingston. This year, I believe it is safe to conclude that we already have two sure-thing nominees for the coveted top prize: Keiran King’s nostalgic musical Last Call and the hilarious dark comedy Charlie’s Angels, Patrick Brown’s latest writing-directorial effort.

Granted, we’ve still got a few months to go before all probable contenders for both the upcoming Thespian Spirit Awards and the Actor Boys hit the boards. But Charlie’s Angels and Last Call, two of the year’s best reviewed works, are great bets for multiple nominations in acting and technical categories.

By all appearances, both productions are smartly crafted but not overly complicated works, certainly not forced or, worse, pretentious in the action that plays out – or the writing itself, for that matter. Plus, they deliver top-notch acting from their respective casts, with memorable lead and supporting performances. Sakina Deer, Camille Davis and Glen Campbell, in particular, have never been better. And speaking of Davis and Deer, they could have another fierce opponent for actress honours in Adopted Child’s outstanding young talent Trudy Bell, one of the year’s breakout stars.

On the downside, the only factor likely to play against Last Call and Charlie’s Angels is that they ran months ahead of the other definite top contenders, which are set to open closer to the end of the year and as a result will be fresher in the minds of voters. That said, the rest of the year will see the premiere of eagerly awaited new efforts by Basil Dawkins, David Tulloch, Brian Heap’s University Players, Dahlia Harris, Fabian Thomas, Stages, and Jambiz, among others.

And with everyone intent on breaking out their A game, something tells me this awards season will be among the toughest in the recent history of Jamaican theatre. Bring it on!

WEAPON OF CHOICE: Davis and Campbell play a deadly game in Charlie's Angels.

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