“Hold Me Strong” was truly an Inspiration
Local Vibes
March 24, 2006

“Hold Me Strong” was truly an Inspiration

The New Artists’ Movement, NAM’s play entitled, “Hold Me Strong” was truly an inspiration.

It is the latest play written and directed by Cecil “Blazer” Williams. The story unfolds in the yard of “Tantie,” played by Anita Williams-Ralph, who would often shell peas and sing to herself to the amusement and sometimes empathy of the audience. {{more}}

At one point “Tantie” was about to lose her land but always kept her faith and would often share her strength with other relatives who needed advice and encouragement through their own rough patches.

The writer cleverly demonstrated how faith was able to help “Solita”, played by Sue-Mona Moses, have a safe pregnancy although she was advised by doctors not to bear any more children, and how love was re-kindled for long time teenage sweethearts “Donald” played by Brian Alexander and “Violet” played by Karen Nash.

Other commendable performances were delivered by “Mario” played by Lennox Haynes; “Pardo” played by Nzimbu Browne, “Delano” played by Glenford Ralph and “Don’t Know” who was portrayed by Benedict Charles.

But the climax came in the musical production, when “Tantie” ended up getting the deed from the son of her late significant other, “Lawyer Smith” who was portrayed by Clyde Fitzpatrick, proving that her faith that everything was going to be alright no matter the rough spots of life was not unfounded.

Buzz Magazine went behind the scenes to see what it was like for the actors as they rehearsed for the production which was staged at the Peace Memorial Hall on the weekends of February 24-26 and March 3-5.

After months of practice and learning lines, nerves were a bit frayed, so the actors were seen doing relaxation exercises in the dressing room to help ease their anxiety and transform them into their characters.

Drab clothes and the make up that was applied helped to enhance the look of the actors and the 40-year-old Anita Williams-Ralph now looked like the 80-year-old “Tantie.”

With the help of black pencil eyeliner, her teeth were coloured to give the effect of a rotted or missing tooth and the eyeliner was also used on her face to give the appearance of wrinkles.

The finishing touch came when baby powder was used in Anita’s hair to transform the actress into an elderly lady, giving her the complete grey haired look.