by Tamika Burton
Talent! It was in overabundance last weekend as hundreds flocked to the Frank Collymore Hall for the Barbados Community College’s Theatre Arts final portfolio, Love!; Is The Province Of The Brave.
The play, which was written by talented Barbadian playwright Mark Jason Welch, touched on several controversial topics, the main one being homosexuality. It showed how society, especially ones like Barbados, which were built on Christian values, often belittle or dismiss anything that did not conform to the societal norm.
It touched on the fact that cases of rape were often overlooked by parents as they either did not listen to the child or they believed they were lying. In some cases, parents did not even want to hear because of their perception of the abusive persons.
Before a very appreciative audience on Saturday night, the first scene opened with stage props displaying Heaven Or Hell painted onto a residential wall and Animals Don’t Worry painted onto a prison wall while popular dancehall music filled the room.
Subsequently, there was a display of a series of news clips of ministers speaking about the various outbreaks and rising prices the country faces in the wake of the recession. This scene showed a fruit vendor as they all tried to entice patrons to them, an all too familiar scene of the “hustle” which took place in van stands across the island.
The actors did not hold back as they captured every aspect of what occurred in reality and as well supplemented their English with a series of obscenities.
The story followed the snow cone vendor’s son Daniel, played by Du–Wayne Hinds, as he went about celebrating his birthday with friends. When one stripper Nicole, acted by Nadia Holmes, decides to give him a lap dance. He pushes her off infuriating Keshia (Amina Best) her girlfriend and inspiring taunting as they call him a “batty boy”.
Further into the play, after a much convincing sexual scene between Nicole and Keisha, Daniel is reunited with Nicole at a bus stop. After conversing for some time they realized they had more in common than they actually thought.
This friendship continues as they are often seen together talking about her application to college and future plans. One day, while doing this they come close to kissing but never did and they leave returning to their respective homes. Upon arriving at their homes, they are both met by feuds; Daniel by his father and Nicole her lover and she breaks down explaining that she was raped by her uncle.
The audience got a closer look as to why Keisha was always so cantankerous when she presented a monologue. In it, she explained how she abandoned girly things upon realizing “she wasn’t right” and was put out of her home for that difference. Displaying the sadness that this situation left her feeling as she sat alone, the audience were inspired to sympathize with her. The story concluded when Nicole warns Daniel to stay away from her because she had a girlfriend but he refused.
Further, he proceeded to read her a poem he wrote, they kiss. Later that night after another argument with his family, Daniel goes to the strip club where Nicole worked and pulls her off the stage, making Keshia angry. When Nicole defends Daniel’s actions, this makes Keshia angrier that she would want to be with the “snow cone man bull son”. Unable to contain her anger any longer she launched at Daniel and repeatedly stabs him to death.