Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
A small gathering of persons of varied interest was given a sneak preview of the 2013-2014 Little Theatre Movement's National Pantomime, The Golden Macca Fat, on Tuesday.
From all accounts, the Barbara Gloudon-penned musical promises magic, eccentric characters, foot-tapping singing and dancing.
The springboard for dancehall, jazz, along with a fusion of calypso and Kumina songs and dances, is a story set in a village called Macca Fat Mountain. The village is named after the maccafat fruit.
The fruit grows on a tall tree, covered with sharp prickles, Gloudon informed the audience.
However, unlike the sharp prickles that protect the fruits of the tree, the villagers of Macca Fat Mountain are not protected from Charlie Prosperity Hardtime.
Hardtime intends to put a legend of the village to the test. The legend said as long as a particular maccafat fruit stays in the village, all will go well for the residents.
The audience was entertained by the cast which performed high-energy songs and dances from the production.
It was also revealed during the launch at the Little, Little Theatre that Pierre Lemaire was directing the production.
The director, who has worked with the movement on prior productions, joined Gloudon to get the evening's affair going with humorous buffoonery.
Later, Lemaire shared some thoughts on his new position. He described the process as interesting.
"What I love is the way Mrs Gloudon works. She does not write in advance. She writes enough for you to start with and then she writes based on what she gets from the actors. So it gives power to the actors. So, whatever the actor or the director finds, she builds it into the rest of the script. So the script moves along with you. And that is a very interesting process," said Lemaire.
Working with actors who are not professionally trained also meant a little bit of adjustment in Lemaire's directing style, so there is a little bit of teaching, as well, to a group of actors, he said were open and ready to learn.
Long-time member of the National Pantomime cast, Doreen 'Faith' Bucknor, described Lemaire as a fun director who takes time to guide the young actors while making the older ones feel appreciated.
There were also inadvertent revelations at the launch, as Anya Gloudon, the resident costume designer, seemed to be in training for another role.
Anya joined her mother, Barbara, in presenting information on other production matters.
The Gleaner asked Barbara Gloudon whether the above was a sign of a changing of the guard.
"You have to have to begin to pass it down, and there are a number of things in there. We have begun to give the cast things to do. I feel that it is time. Anya does a lot, I do not know how much more she can possible do. And I think we are blessed to have her. She is a good administrator. So I am hoping that she will do what has to be done when it is to be done."
Completing the production team are Patrick Earle (choreographer), Michael Lorde (set), Symone Coombs (props) and Grub Cooper, is the musical director.
The Golden Macca Fat will open on Boxing Day and will run until May 2014.