Gov­er­nor Eyre goes on trial this week­end

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

HIS­TORY, THE law and the­atre com­bine to cre­ate a riv­et­ing court­room drama in The Trial of Gov­er­nor Eyre – the crit­i­cally ac­claimed play by at­tor­ney-at­law Bert Sa­muels, which opens this Satur­day at the Fac­ulty of Law Lec­ture The­atre 2 at the Univer­sity of the West Indies (UWI), Mona at 8 p.m.

A revolutionary court will seek to bring clo­sure to the hu­man tragedy of the Mo­rant Bay War of 1865, through the sym­bolic en­act­ment of the trial of Gov­er­nor Eyre for the deaths of Paul Bogle, Ge­orge Wil­liam Gor­don and two women.

The play, which is di­rected by Michael Hol­gate, was first staged on Oc­to­ber 25, 2015 at the new Mo­rant Bay Court­house in St Thomas, in ob­ser­vance of the 150th anniversary of what is re­ferred to in his­tory books as the Mo­rant Bay Re­bel­lion.

Un­der the or­ders of then Gov­er­nor Ed­ward John Eyre, over 400 Ja­maicans were mur­dered and thou­sands left home­less when the mil­i­tary was called out to en­gage Ja­maicans who were protest­ing for so­cial jus­tice. Among the vic­tims were Ge­orge Wil­liam Gor­don, a Bap­tist min­is­ter and a mem­ber of the Leg­is­la­ture; and Dea­con Paul Bogle.


Gov­er­nor Eyre was never in­dicted for their mur­ders or the atroc­i­ties in Mo­rant Bay in 1865.

The drama based on wit­ness ac­counts and cru­cial ev­i­dence of this im­por­tant event in Ja­maica’s his­tory, boasts a rich cast of char­ac­ters, in­clud­ing Bogle’s mother and Gor­don’s wife. They are played with heart and pas­sion by ac­tors Bob Kerr, Brian John­son, Able­don Foote, Shawna-Kae Burns, Suzanne Bea­dle, Re­nae Wil­liams, Hilary Nicholson, Ali­cia Tay­lor, Roy­ane Green and Stephen-Rae John­son.

The Trial of Gov­er­nor Eyre will play on Satur­days at 8 p.m. and on Sun­days at 6 p.m. from De­cem­ber 3-18.

The pro­duc­tion is spon­sored by the Fac­ulty of Law and the In­sti­tute for Gen­der & Development Stud­ies, UWI. It is en­dorsed by the Na­tional Coun­cil on Repa­ra­tions.

For ticket in­for­ma­tion call: 337-1622/ 927-1913, or 999-0898.


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