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Governor Eyre goes on trial this weekend

Published:Thursday | December 1, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Bert Samuels

History, the law and theatre combine to create a riveting courtroom drama in The Trial of Governor Eyre - the critically acclaimed play by attorney-at-law Bert Samuels, which opens this Saturday at the Faculty of Law Lecture Theatre 2 at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona at 8 p.m.

A revolutionary court will seek to bring closure to the human tragedy of the Morant Bay War of 1865, through the symbolic enactment of the trial of Governor Eyre for the deaths of Paul Bogle, George William Gordon and two women.

The play, which is directed by Michael Holgate, was first staged on October 25, 2015 at the new Morant Bay Courthouse in St Thomas, in observance of the 150th anniversary of what is referred to in history books as the Morant Bay Rebellion.

Under the orders of then Governor Edward John Eyre, over 400 Jamaicans were murdered and thousands left homeless when the military was called out to engage Jamaicans who were protesting for social justice. Among the victims were George William Gordon, a Baptist minister and a member of the Legislature; and Deacon Paul Bogle.




Governor Eyre was never indicted for their murders or the atrocities in Morant Bay in 1865.

The drama based on witness accounts and crucial evidence of this important event in Jamaica's history, boasts a rich cast of characters, including Bogle's mother and Gordon's wife. They are played with heart and passion by actors Bob Kerr, Brian Johnson, Abledon Foote, Shawna-Kae Burns, Suzanne Beadle, Renae Williams, Hilary Nicholson, Alicia Taylor, Royane Green and Stephen-Rae Johnson.

The Trial of Governor Eyre will play on Saturdays at 8 p.m. and on Sundays at 6 p.m. from December 3-18.

The production is sponsored by the Faculty of Law and the Institute for Gender & Development Studies, UWI. It is endorsed by the National Council on Reparations.

For ticket information call: 337-1622/ 927-1913, or 999-0898.