Omeros

| July 9, 2014
Vee Simmons, Entertainment Correspondent

Vee Simmons, Entertainment Correspondent

Caribbean news. There was a special St. Lucia 35th Independence Celebrations performed on Saturday 31 May 2014, supported and in association with Unity of St. Lucian Associations. It was the Omeros play shown at the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.

Joseph Marcell

Joseph Marcell

Caribbean writer Derek Walcott adapts his epic poem Omeros for performance in the candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. The poem spans both time and continents, following the journey of a present-day Odysseus and a beautiful house servant Helen, who incites her own Trojan War.

Derek, a Saint Lucian poet and play writer from the age of fourteen, wrote his Nobel prize-winning epic poem Omeros and has written at least twenty poems and plays.  He is well known for writing; in a Green Night, The Lighting Child, Tiepolo’s Hound, The Prodigal and White Egrets and won Nobel prize in literature.

He is a professor of Poetry at Essex University and has won Literature awards. He is a celebrated St Lucian poet, and in 1993 Columbus Square in Castres St Lucia, was renamed Derek Walcott Square.

Omeros, is an alluring Caribbean epic poem. The narrative is rooted on the island of Saint Lucia, Walcott’s home and is set with charisma.  It was directed by Bill Buckhurst, the Music composed and performed by Tayo Akinbode and starring Joseph Marcell of Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  Jade Anduka, who gained credits in Romeo and Juliet at the shakespeare’s Globe Theatre previously, also stars in this wonderful play.

This poem is about a lonely poor fisherman who finds gold and that gold is his captivation for a beautiful woman in a yellow dress.  Helen is every man’s dream. She is Homer’s dream!

Omeros – The present-day Odysseus, is captured in several scenes. In the rum shop window, Iron market, the music café, the home near the pig farm, his bed, Homer goes out to Sea and when he is near the cave, he is in another world. The scenes were set in a dark romantic chandelier candle lit master piece; in a clever wooden love nest with modern seating for the attendees who sat in the darkly lit theatre, the ambiance was amazing!

Jade Anduka

Jade Anduka

There was a balcony of music throughout each scene, background sounds and party music for the music café includes caster nets, shakes instrument, bongos, African drums and classical violin and base cello.   Patois was spoken in the market, known as Creole Caribbean language fitting for any country to appreciate the Caribbean’s different music, flavours and lingos.

I must make it clear this is a story in a poem, it has a charming setting and often there is silence except the two people talking, the music is only used to bring achievements to heighten engagement at appropriate times. The audience loved the poem, laughed often and enjoyed intervals of beautiful hot music!

Homer liked to sit waiting for life or living at sea, serving his Sea God. Does he have a shadow or is he lost? He had a wound that would never heal, it is presented as a sorrow of chains. It appears like a lack of his opportunity to have his love.

This enchanting poem relates to a native woman wanted by a black fisherman. It is a play with sadness, excellent humour and comedy, a Fete, relationship distance and then vivid passion, was it black maid or black mail, in hurricane season?  Helen is allured to Homer’s bate and he is happy. He captures her.  In his reflection of the situation, will he love her forever with solid passion or kill her passion?

This was an excellent play, understanding of the Caribbean culture is not necessary to appreciate this play, however having that enhances the humour which seeps out from time to time.  The play was shown last year and this year during 22 May 2014 to 9 Jun 2014.

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