Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 1st 2015 Contents A key artistic reference she used
was the incorporation of a height-
ened poetic language, which
remained distinctly T&T-influ-
enced. This provided some chal-
lenges to the original cast who
were all Americans at Georgia State
"The language is very poetic,
but there is a poetry that is dis-
tinctly Trinidadian in its text.
"I wanted the play to work like
one big calypso. We take a depar-
ture from the Greeks and give in
to Trinidad language. When we
had a reading of it last December
in Trinidad, the cast was really
smitten by the language. It is lan-
guage in some cases that we don't
even hear again like "Basil busy,
boy!" as a signifier for death. I
really made use of our national
narrative in words and phrases that
are used in the play."
When asked about any thematic
adjustments or changes, Spencer
revealed that she also incorporated
a lot of the geography of the
Caribbean in the setting and an
additional major and perhaps con-
troversial plot change near the end
of the play.
"In the original, Medea kills her
children but in my version of it,
I prefer not to kill the children. I
don't want people to go out and
have thoughts and ideas about
killing their children.
"That's a thing that the
Caribbean woman does---spite the
father through the children. So
instead she leaves. She makes him
feel that the children will live with
him, while she is being exiled to
Venezuela, but instead she flees to
Venezuela with the children.
Instead of killing his children, she
kills his spirit.
Caribbean man's heart, it's to deny
him his children. Jason will not
have his sons with him to bring
them up in the batonnier/stick-
The original play is typically
associated with the feminist move-
ment "because of its nuanced and
sympathetic portrayal of Medea's
struggle to take charge of her own
life in a male dominated world,"
says the Wikipedia article on the
"Interestingly enough, when it
was done here in Trinidad, most
of the audiences sided with Medea
and hated Jason! That was new to
me. They never felt pity for him.
However, some of the Trini men
in the audience loved Jason because
he has some lines that really res-
onated with them and he repre-
sents the all-time Caribbean man,
a bit of a village ram---it's a bit
phallic. He's a stickman, you
know?" Spencer laughed.
Carnival Medea: A Bacchanal
will be the source material for a
workshop on March 21, by Lord-
street Theatre Co. Later in the year,
the play will be exported and pre-
sented (upon invitation) at the
International Collegiate Theatre
Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland,
from August 5-16.
"Some of the adjudicators from
the Fringe Festival came to see the
premiere of the play at Georgia
State in Atlanta and loved it. Of
all the Medeas they had seen all
over the world and over the years,
this was the first time they had
ever seen a Medea like that.
"The play was then chosen to
move on and be performed by the
American cast from Georgia State
in Scotland. From that we would
hopefully move on to the profes-
Even with the progress the play
has made, Spencer would love
nothing more than to have the full
play presented in T&T. She con-
firmed that Carnival Medea could
easily be a million dollar play in
terms of cost. She also revealed
that the recent reading at TTW
showed promise, and already, there
are hints that it may be produced
under TTW in 2016 or by Lord
Street Theatre under the manage-
ment of Tony Hall at a later time.
"It's very difficult because it's a
huge cast of about 50. Especially
in the Caribbean, you always have
to find a company to co-produce
with you when it's such a large
cast, because it's so costly.
"The reading we did in Decem-
ber blew my mind. For the first
time I could really see it---hearing
the language and portrayal done
by a Trini cast, compared to when
it is done by the Americans.
"Ultimately the real production
to me is a Trinidad production of
the play. This is where it's from,
this is where it belongs and I would
like to see it played here with a
Rhoma Spencer in character as Tan Tan Britain in the Barrack Yard Tent
Experience. The tent ran through Carnival 2015 at Napa.
PHOTO COURTESY CEF/MARLON HAYNES
A B&W classic
On the first day of 2015's third month,
the New Year's resolution of cable &
DirecTV to show great films has not
faltered, even if only today's program-
ming was available at deadline time.
The impressive Also Rans include one
of BC on TV's top five African-American
DVD releases of 2012 (Think Like a Man,
3.44 pm HB), what might be the best thriller since The Silence of the Lambs
(*Prisoners, 2.55 pm Fx1W), what might be the most influential Western after
Stagecoach (Shane, 6.55 pm FxCL), the first film of a trilogy making up what
is certainly the best comic book adaptation in American cinema (Batman
Begins, 1.05 pm MaxP), a bone-chilling account of the greatest modern sin
against humanity without a single frame of blood or guts (Hotel Rwanda,
9.52 pm Paramount) and one of the finest films made about India by a non-
Indian and non-Satyajit Ray-ian (*Slumdog Millionaire, 7.48 pm Paramount).
On top of all that, there are back-to-back screenings of the best shark movies
so far shot (Jaws, 1.30 pm, Jaws 2, 4.30 pm AMC) and a fine performance
from Judi Dench in one of her most talked about roles (Philomena, 8.10 am
TODAY'S BEST FILM:
Quiz Show (Robert Redford/ 1994/ USA/ Biography-History-Drama / 133
mins/ PG-13 for some strong language), 1 pm Turner Classic Movies BEST
FILM OF THE WEEK. Watch this if you liked Argo, All the President's Men
or Good Night, and Good Luck. Probably the best of Robert Redford's outings
as director, Quiz Show features remarkable performances from John Turturro,
Ralph Fiennes, Paul Scofield and Rob Morrow and one of the best, and best-
paced, historically accurate screenplays of the modern age telling the true
story of the fixing of TV game shows in the 1950s. Rarely does history work
so well as drama. Even the video game crowd will sit still for all of its two
hours-plus runtime. Hard to say whether the rich Wasp character, the work-
ing-class New York Jew or the driven investigator is most intriguing. Unre-
BEST OF THE REST:
Kung Fu Hustle (Mandarin title, Gong fu) (Stephen Chow/ 2005/ China-
Hong Kong/ Action-Comedy-Kickup/ 95 mins/ R for sequences of strong
stylised action and violence), 6.15 pm HBO Plus. Watch this if you liked
Shaolin Soccer, Bulletproof Monk or The Legend of Drunken Master. There
cannot be a more succinct assessment of Stephen Chow's follow-up to Shaolin
Soccer than its own DVD slipcover blurb, "Kill Bill meets Looney Tunes."
Chow's hugely stylish and immaculately executed movie pushes the limits
of credulity to their extreme while stretching the medium in nearly every
frame. It takes a genius to conceive of an axe-wielding gang of bandits doing
the hustle by way of celebration after killing off their rivals; it takes a craftsman
endowed with a stunning gift to pull it off technically and dramatically. Yes,
Kung Fu Hustle is an action comedy that would not disappoint a Jet Li
audience; but it is also a fine film, beautifully and lovingly made that does
everything movies do and most of what art should. Recommended like lemon
chicken and special fried rice.
All About Eve (Joseph L Mankiewicz/ 1950/ USA/ Drama/ 138 mins/
Unrated but probably PG), 10 am Fox Classics. Watch this if you liked Sunset
Blvd, Casablanca or either the original or remake of 12 Angry Men. One of
the great American films---No 16 on the American Film Institute's 100 Best
list---features Bette Davis in her great role as the fading Hollywood star con-
fronting extinction (and prior usurpation by her own protégé, Anne Baxter,
very nearly as good). A crackling script tackling deep questions of life's
meaning via superficial Hollywood concerns---and a supporting role from
one Marilyn Monroe---make this as pleasurable for patient grown-ups as it
might be "bow-ring" for the PlayStation set. It won six Oscars including
Best Picture, Supporting Actor (George Sanders), Director and Screenplay.
Its eight other nominations (tied with Titanic, it's the most Oscar-nominated
film of all time) include two Best Actresses, one each for Davis and Baxter.
*Starred films have been chosen in the last three months.
Scheduled Internet times often vary on the day, particularly around month-end.
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt March 1, 2015
A Trifecta of the Week's Best Films on the Box
Anne Baxter, left, and Bette Davis in the 1950 realistic, dramatic depiction of
show business, All About Eve.
Medea gets a twist Trini-style
CONTINUES FROM PAGE B3
The Orishas Oshun
and Shango as
interpreted in the
2014 Georgia State
Carnival Medea: A
Of all the Medeas they had
seen all over the world and
over the years, this was the
first time they had ever
seen a Medea like that.
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