04 May 2013

Nobel Laureate's joy at world premiere for O Starry Starry Night

Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott was overjoyed after flying in especially from St Lucia to attend a sell-out world premiere performance of his new play O Starry Starry Night at the Lakeside Theatre at the Colchester Campus.

Professor Walcott, recognised as one of the world’s greatest living writers, had had to delay his journey from St Lucia in the Caribbean to the UK due to medical advice, but arrived in time to see the first ever performance of his play in front of a packed full house at the Lakeside.

He said: “I cried a lot – I wept – with joy at seeing it done. I am very proud and pleased with the play and proud of the actors. It is devastating, devastating joy which I feel. For any artist to get the support I have received from the University is immense. I think it is a huge benediction for me.”

During rehearsals over the past month he has provided support and advice to the actors and production team via Skype videocalls between the UK and the Caribbean.

He especially chose the Lakeside Theatre to unveil his new show about the relationship between Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin due to the creative links which have developed between Professor Walcott, the Lakeside Theatre production team and academics at Essex since he was appointed Professor of Poetry within the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies.

Professor Walcott is celebrated for both his poetry and his plays - he founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop in 1959 and the Boston Playwrights Theatre in 1981 and has seen his work performed around the world.

He drew together a cast of outstanding Trinidadian actors for the production plus UK-based actors including influential musician and actor Wendell Manwarren, longstanding Walcott collaborator Nigel Scott and international opera star and actor Brian Carter-Green. London-based Trinidadian actor Martina Laird, well known to UK audiences through her role in Casualty and her work on Moon on a Rainbow Shawl last year at the National Theatre.


Notes to Editors

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