Pampalam getting rave reviews

The Pampalam cast of six has been getting rave reviews from audiences over the past two weekends.

Event producer Janelle Mitchell, cultural officer – theatre arts – at the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), said the Mother’s Day show drew a bumper crowd.

“There has been an overwhelming response but the Mother’s Day show was standing room only. The audience really loved the nostalgic feel of the show while seeing different characters bring to life pieces authored by Jeannette Layne-Clark.”

The play is only on for three weekends, with the last two shows slated for this weekend at St George Secondary School.

Mitchell said that Simon Alleyne, director of the project, brought the idea of doing three scripts for a community theatre project series to the NCF, the executive director.

The tribute to Layne-Clark is directed by Carla Springer Hunte and explores the rich Bajan vernacular and stinging social commentary that is the highlight of her  writings.

This production features amateur actors supported by experienced practitioners as they bring to life a high-spirited group of characters that are unmistakably Bajan.

“We know that Pampalam was staged from between 1977 [and] 2002. [That is over] 45 years . . . [so] to be remounting piece of it to celebrate that rich history is exciting . . . . Pampalam, as we know, is built on some dialect verses, unique Bajan vernacular, which really represents us as Bajan . . . ,”said Mitchell.

She added that the director put her all into the production, with rehearsal lasting over six weeks.

“It is great to have Springer Hunte, who was an actor in the original production of Pamapalam on this other side, lending her rich director skills to the amateur actors, who are supported by some experienced practitioners.

“It was very important for Simon to select the specific directors that he wanted on board for this project and definitely it was key for Carla to come on and it was close to her heart to continue that vein in terms of bringing to life Pampalam all these years later and it’s very important to our legacy.”

Mitchell said the young cast members (age 16 to 19) fit right in, and were eager to soak up from the experienced cast members.

“The audience commended the young actors (Tamika Brin, Eden Peters and Carl Prince) . . . and with this fusion between generations . . . they’re all building their skills in the art form of theatre.

“It was good to see them collaborate with the experienced actors (Lynette Taylor, Phillip St Hill and Jennifer Walker) as well, to continue the art form and the development of theatre and culture in Barbados.”

The first play in the community theatre project series was the House of Landship and the second was The Confession. (NS)

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