Monday, 24 October 2011
THE YEAR IN THEATRE: With two months to go, where do things stand on the awards front?
We’re only a couple of months away from the close of the year, and within the coming weeks the heat that accompanies the annual race for awards gold in local theatre is sure to reach scorching temps. After all, it’s certainly been an intriguing, noteworthy year of bravos (and a few boos) for local stage productions. The creative bounty has featured offerings, for the most part encouraging, in spite of the flops and misfires. Certainly, there’s a lot to be grateful for. That said, where do things now stand, regarding the best bets for awards glory?
BEST IN SHOW: Too bad the stellar A Gift for Mom (which ran for only a few days) doesn’t meet qualifications for the exhilarating festivities ahead. But, as the count racks up, there are more than enough options left in the field to pick, choose and toss. In any case, the hands-down top releases so far must include: the nostalgic and wildly appealing musical Last Call; the School of Drama’s sparkling The Button-Hole Bandit, which oozed charm and radiance; Charlie’s Angels, a remarkable achievement for Patrick Brown and Trevor Nairne; plus, the intense, well-acted domestic dramas Hairpeace and Not About Eve. Not to mention the spectacular, if uneven, Acts of the Apostles.
LEADING LADIES: In a role originated by Karen Harriott some five years ago, enough cannot be made of Nadean Rawlins’ alternately intense and mesmerizing turn in Not About Eve. But, as it happens, Camille Davis was just as riveting in Charlie’s Angels, doing some of the best work of her young career. I was similarly impressed by on-the-rise star Julene Robinson, who surprised with her mix of commitment and conviction in Hairpeace. At the same time, Carol Lawes (Not About Eve) and Trudy Bell (Adopted Child) cannot be ignored. And the same goes for the irresistible Rishille Bellamy-Pelicie (Last Call, below) and the ever-impressive Barbara McCalla (Stop Dat Train).
GENTLEMEN’S CLUB: As is often the case, the Best Actor race is never ripe for exploration until around Christmas, when the theatre community customarily rolls out the big-budget heavy-hitters. But for what it’s worth, 2011 is shaping up to be a sweet one for Glen Campbell, who is near-flawless in his titular performance in Charlie’s Angels. But you can never count out dark-horses like Stop Dat Train’s Winston Bell, who might just make a long-in-coming return to awards season.
SECONDARY GIRLS: Always my toughest category to call is the one for the supporting actresses, and this year might prove the toughest yet. From the extravagantly comic work of Teisha Duncan (Charlie’s Angels) to the stunning diva antics of Sakina Deer (Last Call), supporting actresses are having the best year ever! Duncan and Deer may be the frontrunners, but looking to crash the party are the exceptional likes of Abigail Grant (Double Dose), Deon Silvera (Big Tree, Small Axe), Faith Gordon (Hairpeace) and hot new talent Lisa Williams (Not About Eve).
STAND-UP GUYS: Another category best explored at year’s end, obviously, is that reserved for the supporting actors. But in the meantime, extra-special mention must be made of people like Ainsley Whyte (God’s Way), Shayne Powell (Last Call), Paul Beale (Adopted Child) and Jean-Paul Menou, who got to show some real intensity and versatility in Acts of the Apostles.