Friday, 21 December 2012

COMING ON STRONG: Two fascinating young actors prove their leading-man potential

UP RISING: The success of Wine & Roses, recently seen at the Pantry Playhouse in New Kingston, hinged largely on 23-year-old Fabian Barracks’ sharp, dominant breakout performance as an 18-year-old golden boy caught up in an improper relationship with a woman of a certain age (played by Rosie Murray). The strength and sheer conviction of Barracks’ turn came as a huge surprise to this critic, perhaps in large part because it’s a key role that demands huge amounts of pathos and stamina that could prove challenging to any actor with limited experience. But the relative newcomer, who has written and staged his own mini-plays in the past, wondrously demonstrated that he is a serious talent who can more than hold his own alongside seasoned colleagues like Rodney Campbell (above). For me, if Barracks had failed to deliver as Jonathan, the show would have seriously suffered.

WINNING APPEAL: Much has been made of 21-year-old Akeem Mignott’s bright, standout work in this summer’s hit comedy revue Fifty 2 Rahtid, opposite stage veterans Deon Silvera and Dahlia Harris. But Mignott has been a fixture on our ones-to-watch radar for quite some time, starting with his brief yet memorable appearances in Sankofa and School of Drama productions like Masqueraders. Now, the Edna Manley-trained actor is rapidly morphing into a proper thespian boasting comedic zest and riveting stage presence. Like Barracks, Mignott is still a work-in-progress of course, but at this point the leading-man capability is simply unmistakable.

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