‘Rum and Coca Cola’ ‘Rum and Coca Cola’ debuts at CLR James Auditorium
By Leiselle Maraj Saturday, August 18 2012
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Conrad Parris (left) and Llewellyn MacIntosh in an emotional scene from Rum and Coca Cola, which opened on Thursday night at the CLR James Auditorium,...
On a sandy beach with the sound of waves crashing on the shore, the audience at the CLR James Auditorium was transported back in time to experience Mustapha Matura’s 1976 musical, Rum and Coca Cola.
Scarlett Project premiered their version of the play last Thursday at the Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies, Valsayn; their second after staging Trevor Rhone’s Smile Orange last year.
Although he has appeared on stage before in his role as calypsonian, Short Pants (Llewellyn MacIntosh) shined in his acting debut as “The Mighty Creator”, a washed up former three-time King of Calypso making ends meet by singing for tourists on the beach.
Short Pants, together with Conrad Parris, who played the part of Creator’s young protégé, “Bird”, smoothly carried along the plot of the play, developing the two characters as they went along.
Creator’s bitter resentment towards tourists, his devotion to Bird and his development and his stubborn hold on the past leads to a surprising and somewhat disturbing climax.
The island setting slightly masks the dark undertones of the play. Despite Bird’s enthusiasm and determination, the reality of their situation is always close at hand, lurking in Creator’s attitude towards life and it finally comes out full force in the finale.
Appropriate lighting and music help set the mood and era. The constant singing of Lord Invader’s Rum and Coca Cola, despite its seemingly light hearted rendition like that of the Andrews Sisters in 1944, emphasises the relationship between the tourists and the struggling calypsonians.
The 90 minute play is directed by Louisa Proske and will be staged at 8:30pm today and 2 pm and 6.30 pm tomorrow at the same venue.