Mo' works from JambizTuesday, July 20, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
JAMBIZ International, the prolific local theatre producers, are returning to the stage with a new production — Mo, Joe & Flo — which opens at the Little Theatre in St Andrew on August 5.
The producers are promising another of their signature comedies with a message embedded.
Jambiz principal, playwright Patrick Brown shared that this latest instalment follows two thieves (Mo and Joe) played by Glen Campbell and Courtney Wilson, who break into a basement occupied by an abused woman named Flo (played by Sakina Deer). What ensues thickens the plot of this comedy and that, Brown said, patrons will have to come out and see.
“We a try a ting,” he said. “Not sure if people ready to come out, but we putting it out there. We are playing by the rules... so all the COVID restrictions and protocols will be observed and we will have police on hand to remove persons from the theatre who don't abide. We had our test run at the Little Theatre a few months ago with Windscream Posse and it went better than we had expected, considering that it had already run for over 100 performances. We just hoping people will work with the rules, as we know there are some persons who are longing to go out... Let's see what the wider society thinks,” Brown told the Jamaica Observer.
In true Patrick Brown style, while his works are largely comedic, there is always a bigger story. In this case it is the issue of spousal abuse, a topic which many do not consider a laughing matter.
“But that's how we are; wi tek bad something mek laugh,. We laugh at everything and ourselves, it's a Jamaican thing. We do it in entertainment, including theatre and music, but for me, there must always be a message. That's the way I have been doing it for the past 30 years and it has worked. I want people to laugh and have a good time when they come to see one of my productions, but the real message should not be lost... They usually leave the theatre thinking. That is what I want,” said Brown.
The current pandemic has dealt the team at Jambiz a blow.
With no productions on stage, the company was no longer in a position to continue the lease obligations with the owners of the property which housed its Centrestage Theatre, and had to amicably end the arrangements. The property on Dominica Drive in New Kingston has now reverted to the New Kingston Drive-In cinema, operated by Palace Amusement Company.
Brown said the company is examining a number of options but is not in a position to commit to anything, given the uncertainties of times.
“We are exploring options for a new home. We have initiated discussions with a couple but things have to get back to some level of normalcy before we can commit to that kind of major investment,” he said.
Mo, Joe & Flo is co-directed by Brown and long-time collaborator and theatre veteran, Trevor Nairne.
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