Oliver show a big hit
Local Vibes
September 2, 2005

Oliver show a big hit

Excellent play!

This is my rating of the Patrick Browne presentation “Ras Noah and the Hawk” staged at the Peace Memorial Hall from Wednesday, August 17, through Saturday, August 20. All four nights of the show featuring the Caribbean’s King of Comedy Oliver Samuels, alongside other top dramatists from Jamaica were sold out.{{more}}

Patrons would agree with me that this is a play that they will want to see again. It was clean, full of laughter and sugary. The cast of Glen Campbell, Dahlia Harris, David French, Sharee McDonald-Russell,Loeri Robinson, Christopher Hutchinson, Roger Williams, Orlando Anderson and Yanique Robinson spurred the audience with so much humour that some patrons have rated the play as one of the best ever been staged at the Peace Memorial Hall – St.Vincent and the Grenadines’ home of drama.

The title suggested the plot. It was a replica of the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. Hence, if you know the Bible story you already know the play. Only that in this instance the events take place in modern-day Jamaica and Noah happens to be a Rastafari.

The play kicked off with scenes of looting during Hurricane Ivan, with a security guard promising to rid Jamaica of its scoundrels. In the process he shoots dead a looter.

Just before the looter was killed, he cried out: “No you cannot shoot into the crowd against innocent bystanders.” This set the precedent for what was to be the active involvement of patrons throughout the play.

The strongest performance was Dahlia Harris in the role of Cass Cass, a granny who foretold the script. Her wiry charisma brought great adulation as patrons went wild with laughter. Harris playing a dual role also acted as Go Go.

“Wen ah sey uno brey like a donkey, uno must brey like ah donkey. When ah say uno crow like a cock uno crow like a cock,” granny Cas Cas ordered the audience, who were very amused.

Oliver portrayed a shrewd shop-keeper who hiked his prices after the hurricane. But while this aspect of his performance brought great humour, Oliver will be remembered by his Vincentian audience for bragging about his son Noah, whom he believed had migrated to the United States to study medicine.He longed to have a doctor in his family whom he could boast about.

To Oliver’s dismay, the son had never gone to study medicine. Instead, he went to the Blue Mountains and became a Rastafari who became Jah’s special messenger to warn the world of an impending disaster that would destroy the world.

“Papa, I and I not a doctor,” said Ras Noah to Oliver, who responded with disappointment “so you and you is what?”

Ras Noah, trying to prove that he had

special gifts, walked out into the road and was knocked down by a bus. He luckily survived the accident.

“Papa do you think I am mad?” Ras Noah questioned Oliver who simply told him, “ no, me only think yuh mind go and come and one of these days me fraid it would go and not come”. The Peace Memorial Hall came alive as patrons broke into a laughing frenzy.

But most interesting was the choosing of the animals for the Ark. Oliver and the cast members came into the audience and chose patrons to act as animals for the Ark. This was quite interesting.

As Ras Noah predicted, the floods came and destroyed the world. However, the looters were not destroyed because Oliver did not only assist in selecting animals for the Ark but helped to stow away the looters for a fee.

The play had a strong message that one day the world would be destroyed again, not by water this time but by fire.

The production was part of the Rotary Club of St.Vincent’s ongoing activities to raise funds for

the construction of a Children’s Hospital in St.Vincent. The Club has already donated in excess of US$20, 000 towards the hospital from its fundraising efforts. The hospital is expected to cost EC$36 million.