Averitable who’s who of St Lucia gathered on Thursday evening for the champagne gala which marked the opening of Derek Walcott’s Pantomine at Sandals Grande’s Palladium.
The play centres on British performer turned Tobago guest house owner, Harry Trewe and his reluctant manservant Jackson Phillip, a former pan man/calypsonian. Trewe is fixated on the idea of a Christmas panto based on the adventures of Robinson Crusoe and Friday, in a last gasp effort to attract guests to the deserted establishment. Hilarity ensues when Phillip, at first utterly resistant, runs wild with the concept, incorporating the master-servant relationship, racial prejudice, and creole versus classical acting.
Judging by the positive reaction to the witty banter, the crowd got its money’s worth, and then some. Kudos to the production crew for an operation which ran like clockwork, commencing the second the always punctual Governor General arrived, and who was then seated close to Walcott himself. Curiously absent was a representative from the office of the prime minister who were, ironically, sponsors. Or even the overated Ministry of Creative Industries?
The play continued last night and will have a final performance this evening November 15 at the Sandals Grande. Tickets are available at all branches of 1st National Bank, outlets of The Cell, and Landmark Events. Showtime is 8pm nightly.
When the servant becomes the master, and the master the servant. In this scene from Pantomime the master Harry Trewe
takes on the roll of the servant while Jackson the servant delights in this role
reversal. (Photo by Bill Mortley)
Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott sits among guests at the gala opening of his play
Pantomime on Thursday. (Photo by Bill Mortley)