The Jamaican Pantomime Company was formed to bring together a core of multi-faceted, musical theatrical performers, whose principal objective is to present original works based on the rich cultural heritage of the Caribbean.
The “company system” has produced within the Little Theatre Movement (LTM), Jamaica’s oldest theatre company, a cadre of performers, notable for their versatility, not only in their ability to sing, dance and act but also in their readiness to meet the special challenges of the Pantomime, which is to entertain all ages, from young students to golden agers.
The Company has performed throughout the United States at several venues in Florida and New York, as well as in England at Leeds and London in the United Kingdom. They have visited Toronto, most recent being the staging of the successful production “Augus Mawnin” in 2002. They return in 2003 with “Miss Annie”, an even more varied and textured work, complete with beautiful costumes, sets and original music. In the recent annual Actor Boy Award, the production received four awards for best costumes, best set, best lighting and best original song.
MISS ANNIE- Colourful And Comic
ONE OF THE MOST colourful legends of Jamaican culture is the story of Annie, The White Witch Of Rose Hall, who, according to legend, loved to marry and was as quick to dispatch each husband once her love cooled.
Holiday visitors to Jamaica’s North Coast-Montego Bay in particular, go on sight-seeing tours to Miss Annie’s house at Rose Hall. The brooding old stone mansion provides a perfect setting for stories of magic and “duppies”, the unique Jamaican word for ghosts.
In an unusual twist to the usual story of dungeons and darkness, Barbara Gloudon, one of Jamaica’s foremost playwrights, has taken the story of Miss Annie and turned it on its head. She takes a comical and wildly imaginative look at what could have been, were Miss Annie to have met a husband who could not be conquered. Miss Annie’s workers also have modern aspirations in Mrs. Gloudon’s tale. They demand pay for their work at a time when no one got pay. Predictable, Miss Annie is not amused.
With colourful costumes, songs, dance and the inestimable Jamaican sense of humour, the story of a new and different : “Miss Annie” is told in the format known as the Jamaican Pantomime, produced by the Little Theatre Movement, Jamaica’s longest established theatre group ( founded 1941).
The show is performed by a talented team, who are members of the Pantomime Company. All sing, dance and act. The Ensemble included musicians performing original songs by Grub Cooper of the famous Fab-Five band, who creates the music and Barbara Gloudon who writes the lyrics. Their team effort won them an Actor Boy Award 2003 for Best Original Song in a Jamaican production. The winning number was entitled: “Time Come Now” and is part of the score of “Miss Annie”.
Other features of the Pantomime are the brilliant sets and costumes for which the production is famed. The creation by Anya Gloudon ( costumes), architect Michael Lorde ( set), have also been recipients of 2003 Actor Boy Awards, as is the lighting by Michael McDonald.