03 May 2012

Nobel Prize winner unveils Pantomime

Scene from Pantomime

Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott unveils a new production this week of his play Pantomime at the University of Essex’s Lakeside Theatre.

Professor Walcott, who wrote the play in the late 1970s, has directed the new production as part of his role as Professor of Poetry at Essex and Pantomime will be staged from Thursday 3 May to Saturday 5 May.

“I feel very privileged,” Walcott said about his role of Professor of Poetry at Essex, speaking in-between rehearsals for the new production. “This is a lovely little theatre and they help me do what I want to do. It feels like it is the fulfilment of something.”

The show’s production manager Steve Goatman said: “It’s a huge honour to work with someone like Derek. We love his work and our creative team has really enjoyed turning his vision into a reality.”

Pantomime stars Trinidadian actor Wendell Manwarren and leading Mercury Theatre Company actor David Tarkenter.

Professor Maria Cristina Fumagalli and PhD student Penny Woollard, who are producing Pantomime, said: ““We are incredibly proud to be involved in presenting another play by Professor Walcott following the success of the UK premiere of Moon-Child last year. We are thrilled that he will be here at our Colchester Campus to direct the play himself. This production offers audiences the unique chance to see the work of one of the world’s greatest living writers on the stage.

“He has chosen to take this opportunity to revive a play first performed in the late 1970s which remains incredibly timely. Pantomime is full of comedy with witty, sometimes brutal, interplay between the two characters which powerfully investigates colonialism and racial tension among many other themes.”

The plot revolves around the relationship between former song and dance man Harry Trewe who now manages a rundown hotel in Tobago and his black calypso singing waiter Jackson Phillip.

Together they desperately try to find new ways of keeping guests entertained. They come up with the idea for 'Robinson Crusoe: The Pantomime', but this eventually throws their relationship into a crisis which extends far beyond the pantomime at hand.

Everything from post-colonialism through to the creative process are touched on by the play which is packed with provocative exchanges, verbal and physical comedy, the rhythms of calypso and echoes of the English music halls.

Pantomime will be at the Lakeside Theatre, University of Essex, Colchester Campus, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex from Thursday 3 May to Saturday 5 May at 7.30pm.

Tickets are free. Book online at www.essex.ac.uk/artson5 or call 01206 873288.

Notes to Editors

The images can be viewed here: http://s1078.photobucket.com/albums/w494/ben_hall1976/Derek%20Walcott%20at%20University%20of%20Essex/
Download high resolution images at: http://wtrns.fr/HdRs7Z7c1Qr_GsW
Photographs from the production are available. If you want further information or would like to review the show pleace contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 874377.
3 May 2012
Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott directs UK premiere of new production of Pantomime
Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott will unveil a new production of his play Pantomime at the University of Essex’s Lakeside Theatre on Thursday (May 3).
High resolution images from the rehearsals are available via the link at the bottom of this press release.
Professor Walcott, who wrote the play in the late 1970s, has directed the new production as part of his role as Professor of Poetry at Essex and Pantomime will be staged from Thursday 3 May to Saturday 5 May.
The show’s production manager Steve Goatman said: “It’s a huge honour to work with someone like Derek. We love his work and our creative team has really enjoyed turning his vision into a reality.”
Pantomime stars Trinidadian actor Wendell Manwarren and leading Mercury Theatre Company actor David Tarkenter.
The plot revolves around the relationship between former song and dance man Harry Trewe who now manages a rundown hotel in Tobago and his black calypso singing waiter Jackson Phillip.
Together they desperately try to find new ways of keeping guests entertained. They come up with the idea for 'Robinson Crusoe: The Pantomime', but this eventually throws their relationship into a crisis which extends far beyond the pantomime at hand.
Everything from post-colonialism through to the creative process are touched on by the play which is packed with provocative exchanges, verbal and physical comedy, the rhythms of calypso and echoes of the English music halls.
Pantomime will be at the Lakeside Theatre, University of Essex, Colchester Campus, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex from Thursday 3 May to Saturday 5 May at 7.30pm.
Tickets are free. Book online at www.essex.ac.uk/artson5 or call 01206 873288.

Notes to Editors

Photographs from the production are available. If you want further information or would like to review the show pleace contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 874377.

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