Wednesday, 15 July 2015

LEADING MEN: The passing of Lloyd Reckord + Rapper T.I. heads to Sumfest + Usain Bolt gears up for London meet

THE MEASURE OF A MAN: Through his work as a director, actor and producer (among other hats), Lloyd Reckord constantly reminded Jamaicans of the theatre’s singular power to enlighten, provoke and astonish. No doubt that’s a major part of his legacy. The stalwart artist passed away last Wednesday after briefly battling an undisclosed illness, TALLAWAH has learnt. Reckord, who began his theatrical career with the Little Theatre Movement, studied at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in London and later joined the Old Vic Theatre Company. Years later, while living in the United States, he studied Theatre Arts at Harvard, Yale and with the esteemed American Theatre Wing. Back in Jamaica, Reckord quickly went on to make his mark. Among his industry credits are the founding of the National Theatre Trust (NTT) and a short-lived Theatre for Schools Programme. His work did not go unrecognized. In July 2013, Reckord was one of the pioneers honoured by London’s National Theatre when it hosted Walk in the Light, a week-long series of events celebrating the contributions of Black Artists to British theatre over the past 50 years. 

WELL VERSED: From the studio to the big and small screens to the concert stage, the name Tip ‘T.I’ Harris has become synonymous with unbridled masculine energy and undeniable presence. Patrons at this weekend’s Reggae Sumfest extravaganza at Catherine Hall in Montego Bay, St. James, will get a taste for themselves when the megastar rapper-actor-reality TV star takes centrestage as one of the co-headliners of International Night 1 (July 17), opposite Common and a host of top-flight roots-reggae entertainers. Nicknamed the King of the Rap South, T.I. has won raves for more than his hard-hitting rhymes and chart-topping albums like the classic T.I. vs. T.I.P. In 2004, he wowed critics and audiences with a spot-on portrayal of the overprotective older brother Rashad in the urban comedy-drama ATL and followed up that performance with a memorable turn opposite Denzel Washington in American Gangster. Last month, he returned to cinemas, making a cameo appearance in the Entourage movie, along with his wife Tameka ‘Tiny’ Cottle, who just might accompany him to Jamaica, where the Sumfest stage – and scores of his Caribbean fans – awaits. 

LONDON CALLING: Just when we thought Usain Bolt was about to pull the plug on his the rest of his summer 2015 season, news arrives from the UK that the World’s Fastest Man will be running the 100 metres at the upcoming Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium in London on July 24. As the online reports attest, the announcement about Bolt’s participation comes days after British Treasury Chief George Osborne decided that international athletes would not be taxed while competing in London at the two-day meet. For his part, Bolt welcomes the opportunity to put on an impressive performance for the British fans, who are ever eager to see their favourite Jamaican star do what he does best. “I have great memories of competing in the Olympic Stadium in the summer of 2012 and in the previous Grand Prix meets in London,” the triple world-record-holder said in a statement last week. “The British fans are always great and I expect there will be a lot of Jamaican fans in the stadium. It will be amazing to put on another great show for them under the floodlights on the Friday night.” The Jamaican sprinting legend, who turned 29 in August, last hit the track on June 13 when he ran and won the 200 metres at the New York Grand Prix.

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