Thursday, 17 August 2017

YOU, ME & SHE: ‘Matey Chronicles’ whips up a combustible mix of sex, secrets and scandal

MAKE YOUR CHOICE: Things get pretty heated between Deer and Wilson.

The Matey Chronicles (Jambiz Productions) 
Director: Patrick Brown & Trevor Nairne 
Cast: Courtney Wilson, Sakina Deer, Sharee Elise and Glen Campbell 
Venue: Centrestage Theatre, New Kingston 

WHAT’s a prominent public figure to do when his sweetheart starts revealing intimate details of their affair on her blog, which quickly amasses an ardent following and becomes the hottest piece of gossip at the barber shop and the beauty salon? That’s the scandalous situation Isaiah Jakes (a commanding Wilson) finds himself in when Lola Stone (Deer, terrific) starts dishing about her mysterious “Mr. X” in cyberspace before a global audience. 

Lola, a gorgeous but needy girl, has no qualms about being the other woman (the ‘matey’ in Jamaican parlance), but it’s been two years of promises, promises and Isaiah sneaking to her apartment in the dead of night (disguised as her granny!) for hanky-panky. She feels she deserves more. For Lola, the time has come for him to put a ring on it. Never mind that Isaiah’s been married to the oblivious yet devoted Minerva (Elise, convincing as a Sunday-School-teacher type) for 22 years. Lola gives him an ultimatum: she’s tired of waiting and he must choose between her and the wife. 

Yes, sparks fly and tempers flare in Patrick Brown’s The Matey Chronicles, an edge-of-your-seat, popcorn-worthy comedy-drama that’s so juicy that by the time the plot is set, you’re dying to see how the action will climax and ultimately conclude. 

Brown’s storytelling prowess never ceases to amaze, and though the ending could have been a bit more imaginative, The Matey Chronicles comes off as a well-spun and thought-provoking piece of work, delving into matters of the heart, attitudes towards matrimony, choices and consequences. You alternately cheer and chastise these characters as they hurt each other, make up and begin the cycle all over again. 

Every the brilliantly versatile performer, Campbell is the fourth wheel this time around, appearing as Ras B, Isaiah’s long-serving gardener, personal chauffeur and a shoulder to cry on when the Lola mess hits the fan. Though the play echoes predecessors like The Baby Scam, Brown and Nairne manage to bring a freshness to the production that goes in hand in hand with its tabloid appeal – and the very natural acting style that the players (all Jambiz veterans) bring to the stage. 

A suitably functional set design and apt lighting make strong contributions to the show’s overall success. 

If nothing else, The Matey Chronicles is a bonafide conversation starter. For one thing, it’s bound to have the restless husbands in the audience weighing the pros and cons of embarking on extra-marital romps. At the same time, the mateys, too, have to take an honest appraisal of such relations – the betrayal, the heartache. As for the wives: it’s midnight, do you know where your man is? Tyrone’s Verdict: B+







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