Tuesday, 27 June 2017

STAGE LEFT: Brace yourselves for Heist + Introducing Crystal Fletcher + Oliver and Volier as ‘frenemies’

CATCH THEM IF YOU CAN: With summer on the horizon, it’s an exciting time for Jamaican theatre. And no premiere is more highly anticipated than Heist, Maya Wilkinson’s Tallawah-winning short play that’s getting the full-length production treatment. With Wilkinson serving as writer, director and producer, the play (which got a lively launch at the Jamaica Pegasus Gardens recently) features a 16-member cast (!) bringing to life a story mainly centred on two thieves (Desmond Dennis and David Crossgill), who break into a museum under the cover of night to steal a painting. The events that unfold are bound to have patrons rolling in the aisles when Heist runs at the Philip Sherlock Centre, UWI Mona, from July 21-30. Visit facebook.com/HeistJamaica for ticket information, etc.

RISING STAR ALERT! One of the hottest young talents to watch on the local theatre scene is Crystal Fletcher. The 21-year-old St. Hugh’s High grad, who landed her breakout role in David Tulloch’s multiple award-winning Not My Child last year, is beyond thrilled that she’s already getting to share the stage with such heavyweights as Rosie Murray, Donald ‘Iceman’ Anderson and Leonie Forbes, who had some sage advice for the starlet. “She told me to observe and to take note of different personas, so that when I get a character to play I have those experiences to draw from,” shares the warm and intelligent Computer Science undergrad (University of Technology), who hopes to land film roles as her career blossoms. Recently seen causing all kinds of ruckus in Fabian Barracks’ Wah Sweet Nanny Goat (alongside Renae Williams), Fletcher says she makes it her duty to encourage those her age to come out and experience live theatre more often. “I think more and more young people are becoming aware and more involved in the arts,” she reflects. “I encourage my friends to come and see a play as opposed to going to the movies, because we should be doing more to support the arts in Jamaica.”

BACK IN BUSINESS: What a laugh riot is in store for theatregoers when they settle into their seats to catch the grand ‘reunion’ comedy Frenemy, starring the ultimate dynamic duo – Oliver Samuels and Volier ‘Maffie’ Johnson – who’ve been industry colleagues and real-life pals for over three decades. Rehearsals are well underway for the play, which opens for previews this Friday, June 30 at the Jamaica Shopping Club Theatre, Cargill Avenue, Kingston.

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