August pantomimeSunday, July 18, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
The Little Theatre Movement (LTM), which produces the annual national pantomime, is currently preparing to mount its summer production, Nah Give Up At All.
The musical revue was inspired by a virtual performance given by the pantomime company last December, given that the theatre scene has been dormant since last year due to the current pandemic.
The LTM's Anya Gloudon Nelson told the Jamaica Observer that the cast decided that they wanted to do something in order to remain relevant last December and 'Nah Give Up' was created and released virtually. She noted that the discussions continued this year and it was decided that a second episode should be created to continue the conversation about how people are managing during this period.
“The plan is to perform the work in front of a live audience and film for release virtually. We have developed the story and drew on music from past pantomimes. One song is from the 1982 production Pirate Princess. In that panto, Oliver [Samuels] is mixing a 'sciance' punch and the song works for a scene in Nah Give Up At All, where a character is mixing a concoction to cure something... I won't say what he is working on. From Trash we have pulled a song which was performed by the late Volier Johnson, so that is our tribute to him. We are also drawing on music from Blinga Linga and Queenie's Daughter. Grub Cooper is back on board with us and he has created a new song for this production.”
Gloudon Nelson shared that the plan is to stage and film Nah Give Up At All during the weekend of August 14 and 15, however it has not been decided when the recorded version will be aired.
“When we film with the audience, it will be in keeping with the guidelines established by the local authorities. That means only 70 per cent of the capacity of the theatre, masks on entry, temperature checks, and sanitisation. One of the options we are considering is to air the recording on October 26, which is the birthday of Ranny Williams [late veteran actor]. Some are saying release it for free, while others are encouraging us to venture into charging for viewing online as a means of raising some revenue, which is important to keep the LTM afloat during this time when there are no performances,” said Gloudon Nelson.
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