- Born in Kingston(March 1940) – grew up in St. Catherine – Bellas Gate
- He was involved in acting/performances from a child – decided on his profession at the age of nine.
- Attended Beckford and Smith’s School – Now St. Jago High School
- Was actively involved in Pantomime – The Little Theatre Movement
- Studied theatre at the Rose Burford College in England (1960-63)
- Became a teacher – after lack of fulfillment went officially into acting and theatre. Writing and directing plays.
- Known mainly for his work on ‘The Harder They Come.’
- Other works include Old Story Time and Smile Orange
Background of text
ü Set in the 1970s –
ü Colour prejudice - education the only means of social mobility for blacks, little job opportunity
ü The lighter the complexion of the skin the greater chance of being noted or recognized socially, esteemed professions - (any work at a bank) eg. teller, pastor, etc.
ü Esteemed education was only found in England.
ü Obeah and spirituality high – African background – nearer to slavery than now – hence African ancestry stronger.
ü The church had a strong influence in the governance of the lives of the people.
- Economical and Political
ü Farming the main source of economic livelihood – hence the market and its significance
ü Pre – independence – hence the crown ruled the country- laws were based on those of the monarchy
Features of Modern Drama
ü Heavy reliance on stage conventions
ü Elaborate stage directions
ü Line of demarcation between types of plays not as visible
ü Then - Comedy, tragedy, romance and history
ü Now – tragicomedy, historical –romance etc.
The oral Tradition – folklore
ü Story telling - main source of entertainment for society
ü Used as a unifying agent – community members remain close based on the interaction that takes place during this time also the witty comments enhance the relationship among members.
ü Used as an avenue to make comments on social, political and economic conditions. This comes in the form of satire, ridicule and allegories etc.
ü This is demonstrated in all aspect of society –eg. entertainment – music, plays, our social life – how we communicate – things are done in a dramatic sense – elaborate and exaggerated – hence a narrative.
ü Our language (patois) – struggle for it to be accepted in print - hence making it official
ü It is appreciated verbally.