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Oliver Samuels Leads Cast for Basil Dawkins' Divorce Papers

Actor Oliver Samuels and playwright and producer Basil Dawkins

At a cursory glance it seems an unlikely pairing, yet odd-couples have been a hallmark of riotous stories and so it might well be fitting that this Boxing Day, Basil Dawkins will be joining forces with Oliver Samuels when Divorce Papers gets served. Divorce Papers is the latest comedy drama to drip from the pen of veteran playwright and producer Basil Dawkins and is amongst the new crop of Jamaican plays set to open on Boxing Day, the official-unofficial start of the Jamaican theatre season.

It is the first time the two will be collaborating, at least on island, despite over 40 years of friendship. Samuels performed in the London staging of Dawkins’ Champagne and Sky Juice, approximately 20 years ago. So Samuels believes that the collaboration now is providential. 

“It’s God who decided that now is a good time to collaborate. The amount of incidents that have taken place to take us here,” Samuels said. He explained that a key element is that their goals are aligned.

Oliver Samuels and Barbara McCalla“I am currently deciding where I want to take my career, Basil is looking towards new markets,” Samuels said. “I need to be challenged by the material I am working with without losing the integrity of who Oliver as a performer is.  Basil Dawkins through his excellent writing is offering me this with Divorce Papers so it is the right time to collaborate.”

For the past few years, Samuels has been writing, producing and directing his own plays. Yet, he argues that he now has a chance to return to his true passion, being on stage, and promises that audiences will not be disappointed.

“Yes man, competition tun up for the 2014 theatre season,” Samuels said. “The audience will be in for a treat as I and my fellow actors are guaranteeing a most fulsome performance every night,” he said.

Samuels tackles the leading role of Augustus Geoff a man who finally capitulates to his wife’s (played by Barbara McCalla) demands for divorce, only to find that this unleashes unexpected fury. Teddy Price and Ruth HoShing provide an alternate cast and the four-hander is rounded out by Maylynne Lowe and Dennis Titus.

Divorce Papers is directed by Douglas Prout and plays at the Little Little Theatre, Tom Redcam Drive, Tuesday through Sunday, starting December 26, 2014.