Sunday, 25 September 2011

FANTASTIC FOUR: A powerhouse quartet of theatrical releases comes centrestage

IN THE SPIRIT: Father HoLung laughs it up.

Each year, as awards season draws nigh, the offerings in local theatre take on an increasingly fascinating tone, characterized by a surfing of genres from intense drama and witty comedy to delightful musical. As the last quarter dawns, it seems safe to conclude that theatergoers are in for much of the same in 2011. October alone, buoyed by a quartet of hot-ticket productions, provides reason for audiences to rejoice.

Leading the fantastic four is the buzz-worthy gospel drama God’s Way, written and directed by Dahlia Harris (Judgement) and starring Gracia Thompson, who heads a cast that also includes Trudy Campbell, Sabrena McDonald and Ainsley Whyte. With a foundation rooted in a recognizable mix of spirituality and struggle, the play should attract sizeable crowds for its nearly two-month run at the Theatre Place. Those in the market for a high-energy production that combines the dramatic word with rousing music, should make a date to see Acts of the Apostles, the latest from Father HoLung & Friends, which runs at the National Arena for two weekends, starting Oct. 1.

Also returning to the theatrical marketplace, playwright and director David Tulloch (White Witch) brings together a reputable batch of stage stars for the dramedy If Walls Could Talk, set for a stint at the Pantry until mid-Nov. Many will be thrilled to witness veteran actress Rosie Murray back in action (after a too-long self-imposed hiatus) alongside Chris McFarlane and Winston ‘Bello’ Bell, fresh from the success of the cinematic release Ghett’a Life. Finally, A Gift For Mom, Basil Dawkins’ award-winning examination of work and love, is slated to enjoy a brief revival at the Little Theatre with a cast comprising Alwyn Scott, Ruth HoShing and TALLAWAH cover star Regina Beavers.

Former beauty queen Marsha-Ann Hay continues to lengthen her list of acting creds with a meaty role in the eagerly awaited David Tulloch production, If Walls Could Talk. Hay, who has appeared in such acclaimed stage pieces as The University Players’ Appropriate Behaviour, is yet to land that captivating breakout role to nudge her into the pantheon of genuinely emerging Jamaican actresses to watch. This time around, many are saying she might just hit the jackpot.

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