PLAY ON: Venus has everything a great play should: humour, spectacle, brilliant dialogue and puts forward solid arguments about humanity, race and class. But bringing it all together is perhaps the most important ingredient of all — sharp, memorable performances that keep audiences enthralled. This latest School of Drama major production absolutely satisfies. Buoyed by the sheer manic energy of their supporting players, Venus' trio of lead actresses deliver such impassioned work on the stage that you quickly forget you're watching students who are still studying the acting craft. In other words, the girls outshine the boys in this one. I'm talking about Eden Gibson (who brings such resolve and remarkable poise to the titular role), Danielle Jones (the play's antsy narrator who's job it is to explain the story's wider historical context and the more complex parlances) and, in a rollicking combo of the two, Samantha Thompson, as a controlling mother hen who is all about her coins. (Think Queen Latifah's Mama Morton in Chicago). As much as TALLAWAH is always pleased when the School of Drama shines the spotlight on original Jamaican works, bold pieces with universal appeal, very much like this Suzan-Lori Parks masterpiece, are always welcome. Venus is on again this coming weekend at the Dennis Scott Theatre, and I wholeheartedly recommend that you go see it.