Wednesday, 2 August 2017

CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK: JYT takes Jamaica Drum to Scotland + Karen Smith appointed JFM president + Nexus debuts first musical

MUSICAL: In spite of its grim-sounding title, Jamaica the Musical: The Day the Music Died is a lively and eye-opening stage production from the Nexus Performing Arts Company that falls short on depth but delivers strong performance and sobering messages about forgiveness and dignity, family and community spirit and the rapidly changing world in which we now live. Written and directed by Hugh Douse, the musical recently played at the Philip Sherlock Centre, UWI Mona. We admired its committed exploration of one rural community’s spirited fight against global oppressors to change their way of life to facilitate a ‘new world order.’ It’s a powerful reminder that there are those among us, regardless of socio-economic status, who remain staunchly committed to fighting the good fight. Art matters. It’s a fundamental part of human existence, and the world would never be the same without it. 

DRAMA: The multi-award-winning Jamaica Youth Theatre (JYT) is accustomed to performing for international audiences. This time, they head to Scotland, where they will unveil their latest stage production, Jamaica Drum, at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival. Directed by Danar Royal, Jamaica Drum is an inventive theatrical piece conceived and devised by the JYT members and presented through an ‘edutaining’ mix of skits, poetry, dub rhythms, dance, song and multimedia. The gala world premiere of the production will be hosted by Scotland’s Barn Theatre and will see JYT joining forces with Morocco’s Dramatic Troupe for Artistic Growth in an international double-bill performance. The Aberdeen festival runs from July 28 to August 5. The Jamaican delegation was sponsored by the CHASE Fund. 

ICON: We’ve always admired her as a concert headliner, cabaret act and recording artiste. Now, songstress Karen Smith is set to serve the entertainment industry in a new capacity – as President of the Jamaica Federation of Musicians (JFM), bringing her vast expertise, intellect and a woman’s intuition to the pivotal role. We wish her all the very best.

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