Monday, 11 November 2013

TALENT SHOW: Sisters on the run, Judgement Day mayhem, a marriage on the rocks -- TALLAWAH 2013 delivered

WINNERS' CIRCLE: Members of the Jamaica Youth Theatre pose with their awards. Below, actress Petrina Williams in a scene from Hell Got No Fury.

VESSEL (UWI Creative Writing/Maya Wilkinson)
Sensitively written and artfully directed by Maya Wilkinson, this 25-minute two-hander is an arresting portrait of marital strife and mental illness, anchored by terrific performances by Kayla Ellis (the complicated Karen) and Ramone Gordon (frustrated John). A

Featuring a black-clad army, face paint and a set bizarrely completed with a corpse on stage, the super-expressive Prestonites offered a morbid but strangely enlightening choral piece. B

ANANCY AND FIYAH (Michael Lewis, Taylor Hall)
Never falling short in his bid to remind us that Jamaican culture (dancehall, in particular) is richly entertaining, Lewis (an engaging young raconteur) worked every inch of the stage -- and the audience -- to weave a comical tale of infernal love and fatal attraction. B

OSISI ABATHATHU (Excerpt from Escape of the Three Sisters)
Three sisters -- one pregnant, one furious, the other caught in the midst -- flee a raid on their African village, embarking on an arduous journey marked by tension and grave tragedy. Impressively acted and emotionally hefty. A

DEM GAL (University Dramatic Arts Society)
A rollickingly funny, all-girl dub-poetry performance extolling the etiquette of skin bleaching and giving free rein to the downtown mode of getting things done -- from the bedroom to the dancefloor. B+

HELL GOT NUH FURY (Jamaica Youth Theatre)
Twisted and menacingly realized, the red-hot piece features an eerie Judgement Day scenario, as three different but distinctly Jamaican women (the holier-than-thou marm, the loose-tongued firestarter and the naive skeptic) stand to give an account for the lives they led. What eternity has in store for them is left to be seen, but judging by the stentorian disembodied voice of The Judge (fantastically orchestrated by Tyane Robinson) it surely comes down to a case of you reap what you sow. A-

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