Monday, 30 September 2013

EIGHT BY TEN FESTIVAL: Night 1 yields poignant social commentary, a blend of experience and youth

A diverse crop of directors (long established names and relative neophytes) got the inaugural Eight by Ten theatre festival going at Mona's Philip Sherlock Centre last Friday night. A solid showcase, marked by impressive stagecraft and creative risks that frequently bore fruit.

Whether it was the pairing of Trevor Nairne and Lenford Salmon to adapt Roy Coney's Run For Your Wife or Dahlia Harris' social commentary-spiked Across The Line (a look at sporting talent, longevity and human nature), the eight pieces offered the succint reminder of theatre's singular power (even in miniature form) to delight, transport and provoke.

Barbara Gloudon's funeral-party-set Don't Go There and Rayon McLean's minimalist-staged , monologue-heavy Open/Closed Doors, featuring the women of the Quilt Ensemble, managed to combine the poignant and the provocative to terrific effect. 

By now, local theatre is steadily getting acquainted with the young McLean's outside-the-box approach to his art while the veteran Gloudon's work-in-progress has the makings of a laugh riot for the sophisticated set. I'm happy that there is a place for both of them in contemporary Jamaican theatre. (Photography: Michael Daley)

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