Saturday, 22 December 2018

BEST OF 2018: David Tulloch sounds off on his latest hit, projects for 2019, and taking the work to another level

MAN FOR ALL SEASONS: "We’ve done some good work, and the recognition, locally and internationally, is growing," the playwright notes.

IT wouldn’t be a complete year for Jamaican theatre without a few submissions from the relentless agent provocateur David Tulloch who, true to form, supplied both brand-new material (Sugar Daddy, Young & Wreckless) and revised works (What Goes Around), while lending his directorial expertise to a slew of other projects (One Blood, Jump Staat). Did we neglect to mention that in November, he and wife Karla welcomed their second child, a daughter named Lisa-Marie? Life is sweet for this 37-year-old achiever, whose company Probemaster Entertainment turns 20 next year. 

TALLAWAH: You’ve remounted your hit play Sins of the Flesh as What Goes Around. Why the name change? 
David Tulloch: Because of the title, we didn’t want people to think it was another Sugar Daddy. We didn’t want them to think we were doing another R-rated production shortly after doing one that had such a long run. It would have sounded like we were going back down that road. (Laughs). 

TALLAWAH: So what will you next new play explore? 
David Tulloch: I’ve been taking a break from writing, but I’m trying to come up with some true-to-life stories for next year. We’ll be doing Jamaica Sweetest, which will be the final in the revue series, after Jamaica Sweet and Jamaica Sweeter. We’re also doing Nanny: The Musical next year and an adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire, to be directed by Eugene Williams. We’ve applied for the rights, so hopefully it can be on stage in April. 

TALLAWAH: Fantastic news. As a storyteller, when it comes to finding material for your new scripts, how challenging is that? 
David Tulloch: Not very challenging. Sometimes it just comes to me. You see something and you’re like, ‘Hmmm. Is that for real? Very interesting.’ I’m also trying to focus on some stellar work, but I’m not forcing it too hard. I want to allow them to unfold naturally. 

TALLAWAH: After two decades, Probemaster Entertainment is still doing amazingly well. Congrats. How can the company achieve even better results in 2019 and beyond? 
David Tulloch: I’d like to spend a lot more time in administration next year, because I’d like Probemaster to be a proper administrative machine as well. We get great feedback on social media, especially Facebook, but we need more hands to help us with the work. In May, we’ll officially be 20 years old, and to celebrate that we’ll be having the return of the Phoenix Awards in June. We’ve done some good work, and the recognition, locally and internationally, is growing. 

TALLAWAH: That said, what’s great about Jamaican theatre right now? 
David Tulloch: We’re still practising, while other industries have stopped. A handful of us in theatre are still practising, and that’s important. In terms of business, it’s tough but we are still working, we’re still making strides and giving thanks.

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