Celebrations to mark the 40th Anniversary of Guyana’s Independence will be launched in St. Lucia with the staging of a popular Guyanese play titled “The last of the Redmen.” The performance opens on Friday April 7th at the Folk Research Centre with a Gala Reception hosted by the Guyanese community. It continues on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th at the same venue.

“The last of the Redmen” is a one-man play written, directed and acted by Dr. Michael Gilkes. Dr. Gilkes is a former tutor of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, and is well known throughout the Caribbean as an actor, director, poet and filmmaker. He has directed and acted in several plays of Derek Walcott. In this play, Michael plays Roger Redman, an almshouse inmate confined to a wheel chair, out of whose memory – illustrated with visual images, music, dance and multiple role-playing – a whole era of Caribbean life is evoked.
Among many themes, the drama makes the case for the support and survival of the creative and performing arts. It offers an evening of nostalgia in the setting of challenging and entertaining theatre. Humour, Caribbean wit and word play are used to transform the frustrated, lonely life of the elderly protagonist into a creative experience.

The Guyana-St. Lucia Association has joined with the Jubilee Trust Fund to produce the play. The Jubilee Trust Fund, headed by Msgr. Patrick Anthony has worked with the Cultural Development Foundation and other groups to stage plays like Sarafina and Roderick Walcott’s The Banjo Man. The Guyana-St. Lucia Association is led by an executive committee whose chairman is business man Edward Harris. Mr. Lokesh Singh is the Honorary Consul for Guyana in St. Lucia. The Guyana-St. Lucia Association has become well-known for its charitable work in St. Lucia. Part proceeds from this production will be used for further charitable work.

The play was produced in Guyana by Gems Theatre Productions and was very successful there. Writing in the Stabroek News, critic F.E. Alleyne said, “”One man, one small room, a few props, one life epitomizing a class, some memories. The result: theatre at its best. This is serious socio-political analysis elegantly party-dressed as entertainment…from the deadpan satire of Mr. Redman, punctuated with exquisitely delivered morsels of bawdy humour which never become vulgar, the play holds the audience in the world it creates.”

Tickets are available at Sunshine Bookshop and the offices of the Cultural Development Foundation.

[Contact : Edward Harris – 485 1456/452 8790
John Robert Lee – 484 7178 ]

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