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Gloria Lannaman's Classic Stanley, Fay, Pularchie and P Returns to the Stage
A Jamaican classic is returning to the boards this summer with the re-staging of Gloria Lannaman’s historical play Stanley, Fay, Pularchie and P. Under the direction of Pablo Hoilett, and with an all-new cast, some of whom were mere toddlers when the play was first staged in 1974, the production will open at The Theatre Place, Haining Road, Kingston, on June 22, 2012.
Marjorie Whylie, co-producer of Stanley, Fay, Pularchie and P, explained that the decision to re-mount the play was influenced by the commemoration of Jamaica 50. The play surrounds Jamaica’s 1938 labour unrest, which then triggered the labour movement in Jamaica, and ultimately influenced the the growth toward independence. Whylie explained that because of this, although Stanley, Fay, Pularchie and P did not take place during 1962 when Jamaica gained its independence, its issues are critical to the creation of independent Jamaica. “We thought it would be a good time to remount the play,” explained Whylie. “So few plays really spend the time to look at the history and yet we find characters today are going through similar experiences.”
Whylie and co-producer Pauline Stone Myrie were part of the original cast with Whylie playing Ms. Pularchie and Stone Myrie as Fay. The current cast features Marguerite Newland, Dennis Titus, Sherando Ferril, Marsha Ann Hay, Carl Davis, Donald Anderson, Maurice Bryan and Suzette Barrett. Interestingly, Newland was also a member of the original 1974 cast.
Whylie expressed great confidence in her cast noting that many of them are young but they are very experienced. “I find it interesting because the energy is very different,” Whylie said also expressing admiration for the way the cast has taken to the roles. “In watching the rehearsals from the start, you see how they’ve really grown,” she said. Whylie also notes that are part of the strength of the production is the multi-dimensional nature of the characters and its exploration of the human condition.
Stanley, Fay, Pularchie and P was originally staged at The Little Theatre and reaped sufficient acclaim that it was quickly remounted. The producers anticipate a good reception from today’s audience. Whylie notes that Lannaman, who was a contemporary of Walter Rodney while at UWI, was intensely interested in history which was her major. She notes that Lannaman paid particularly attention to the character’s linguistic authenticity.
Whylie also points out that although the play deals with serious issues it is not without some light-heartedness. “There is pathos but underneath all of it there is humour and that humour is often side-splitting,” she says.
Stanley, Fay, Pularchie and P will continue through to August and plays Fridays to Sundays.