Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 14th 2013 Contents B3
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Timmia Hearn Feldman starts
her director s note on the
programme for the play Fool
for Love with the word "Tabanca."
And yes, that s one way of looking at
this intense, riveting play---as a work
Tabanca, of course, is the "painful
feeling of unrequited love," as Lise
Winer puts it in her Dictionary of
English/Creole of T&T. What the
play s main characters Eddie and May
feel is indeed that agony of love lost
and now out of reach.
Yet the play is also an examination
of the nature of reality, the bridges we
build between absolute truth and nec-
essary fantasy---and what happens to
us when we blow those bridges up.
Hearn Feldman alludes to this in
the director s note when she writes,
"With this text playwright Sam Shep-
ard has taken reality and essentialised
it. He exaggerates the places visited
in love. I look at the story told by this
play as a metaphor: a surreal landscape
somewhere between reality and fic-
Shepard s script is set in a motel
room in the Mojave Desert where May
(played by Sindy Nurse) is living in
sober isolation. Her sobriety and soli-
tude are interrupted by Eddie (played
by Nickolai Salcedo), who bursts in
with liquor, sex and a gun, destroying
her equilibrium and forcing her to
confront their shared past.
That past is represented in the form
of a drunken old man (Errol "Blood"
Roberts) sipping rum in a corner of
the room. He is visible always but only
spotlit when he interacts with the
characters, bringing their past rudely
into their present.
I won t spoil the play by revealing
what that secret past is, but I will say
it s dirty.
Salcedo and Nurse both turn in
credible, nuanced performances of
these star-crossed lovers, but to my
mind it s Errol "Blood" Roberts who
steals the show. He has always had
impeccable diction and powerful stage
presence, and here he uses it to dev-
astating effect as the broken old man
at the heart of the play s tragedy. He
also embodies the reality/fantasy
dilemma, and when he talks about a
picture on the wall everybody in the
Trinidad Theatre Workshop (TTW)
audience turns to look at a picture
that isn t there, so persuasive is his
A canny Fool character s selling of his own fictions.
Credit also has to go to Arnold
Goindhan as the character of Martin.
Hearn Feldman directs him as a ghostly
character with nearly completely flat
affect, giving the audience a strong
hint that the character isn t really there.
However, once again we have to ques-
tion what is real and what is not; and
what these imagined realities drive us
to do and feel.
Visually, the play is arresting---for
example, Curtis Bachan s amazing
lighting design simulates a car turning
in the car park, the only sign of the
unseen "Countess" whom May accus-
es Eddie of seeing behind her back.
The director also uses levels and spaces
to good effect, having characters climb
on top of, lie on, and crawl around
the set s single bed; and having Eddie
throw ropes to tether the bed to the
wall as he and May are so cruelly teth-
ered to one another.
I also really enjoyed the play s
soundtrack, which is designed and
played by DJ Jayron "Rawkus" Remy.
Although one person in the unde-
servedly sparse audience last Sunday
remarked that they found the sound-
track obtrusive and overbearing at
first, I found it note-perfect from start
to finish. I loved how Remy found
songs to illustrate the emotional
cadence of the play, from Tracy Chap-
man s Sorry to Lord Pretender s Ille-
gitimate Children and the evocative
instrumental theme Total Agony from
the film Love, Actually.
In this play, which uses actors
recently seen in TTW s staging of A
Midsummer Night s Dream, it is clear
that the TTW is building a repertory
company again. I m pleased to see it
and look forward to more work from
Salcedo brings to his characters a
sexy, devilish energy that works well
in the intimacy of the TTW black box
theatre. While Nurse s effusive per-
formances are perhaps better suited
for a bigger theatre with more distance
between the audience and the stage,
she has been convincing in both parts
I ve seen her in so far. Goindhan has
been a staple of T&T theatre and I
find it gratifying for him to get material
to stretch his dramatic muscles.
Finally, I hope Roberts sticks around;
he has been missed on the stage as
one of the elders with real gravitas
and skill in our theatre fraternity.
Fool for Love continues at the
Trinidad Theatre Workshop, corner
of Jerningham Avenue and Norfolk
Street, Belmont, Thursdays-Saturdays
at 8 pm, and Sundays at 6 pm, until
or see the TTW Facebook page.
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. PHOTO: DARREN RAMPERSAD
Crazy for You
hone their craft---Page B4
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