No. 133 Friday, August 27, 2010
Lesbian or maama man?
Winner of six Actor Boy Awards, A Box Office Success in Kingston and overseas, Basil Dawkins provocative comedy moves into Montego Bay this Sunday August 29, starting 6:30 p.m. for one performance only, at the Half Moon Conference Centre.

   Directed by Douglas Prout, with a very experience cast featuring, Ruth Hoshing,
   Christopher Daley, Jerry Benzwick, Sakina Deer and Rishille Bellamy.
   Montegonians have not seen a Basil Dawkins produced play in the city for some years and so the drought will come to and end this weekend with For Better or Worse.
   Taking a look at what to expect, one writer, Devon Dick describes the production as “a cracker of a play, which could be said to examine the temptation of immorality.”
   He described the story to be about economic hardship and its challenges to relationship. Because of hardship a wife is tempted to engage in an alliance which she would not normally consider, a landlord entered into a relationship with a tenant he did not like, a man attends funeral of people he does not know.
   Another writer described the play as a relationship between a man and a woman with both characters, Alfred (Christopher Daley/Jerry Alfred, a trained professional who has lost his job, is now content to stay home and “mind” the children. His wife is not so content and it is her thrust to improve her lot in life which leads her to leave Alfred and have a relationship with her wealthy female boss that upsets the marital apple cart. House husband? Lesbians? This play is perhaps one of the more interesting Dawkins plays in recent times. It does not hurt that it is also funny.
   The play opens with a disappointed Alfred, who planned a surprise birthday party for his wife, to be celebrated with their two children. He baked and cooked, but she arrives late without having called to say she would be late. And, adding insult to injury, she has already been feted by her boss in a more lavish way. This, unfortunately for Alfred, seems to be the tone of their marriage: him trying to please Marcia with his modest means, and her being able to receive more from others. True, he is a little pathetic - his inability to provide financially is accompanied by the fact that he is outwitted by his wife and her boss,
   Mrs. Shields (Ruth Ho Shing) - but he is perhaps the most in pain and ultimately the one that grows the most.
   Interestingly enough, the most likeable and stable character is the gold digging tenant, Patience. Nevertheless, it is she who is able to lift Alfred’s spirits. Yet she, like all the other women in the play, wants something. For all the women, coupling is part of a financial transaction, and sex and love are traded for money.
   A master manipulator in the game of sex for money is Enid Shields, the boss. She communicates her desire to possess Marcia and her role could just as easily have been written for a man. Yet Marcia does everything with her eyes wide open and in her, we have the least sympathetic character. We have to seriously ponder her motive if, as a straight woman, she cannot find a man to do it, she will find a woman.
   It is remarkable that, given the inclusion of homosexuality, there was not one epithet included in the play. The play is well-written with enough twists, turns, and humour to keep the audience engaged.
   Tickets are now on sale at Fontana Pharmacy and El Paso Records.

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