Montserratian Playwright, David Edgecombe will be bringing the UVI Theatre’s production of Old Story Time by Trevor D. Rhone, to the 2011 Alliouagana Festival of the Word.
Old Story Time is the story of Len Tomlinson and his mother, Miss Aggie, told amusingly by Pa Ben, a caring neighbor.
Miss Aggie is a salt-of-the-earth Caribbean woman ‘from country’ who has nothing but the highest ambitions for her son, Len. She pushes him to go to school and study hard because education is necessary to help get him through a hard life.
She also pushes Len to marry the girl of her choice, Miss Margaret, with the nice brown skin and the tall hair down to her back. When she catches Len frolicking at the river with his neighborhood playmate, Pearle, she rains blows on him screaming, “How much time A must tell you, don’t mix up with the little dutty black gal dem in the district?”
But who can dictate the path of love?
In England, as an economics student, Len marries Lois, the black-skinned woman he fell in love with even before leaving Jamaica. This is a slap in the face of his mother who insists he did it only because the girl ‘obeah him.’ Len must struggle to keep the peace between his wife and mother as Miss Aggie struggles to keep herself from taking action against Lois and freeing her son from the spell she put on him. Pa Ben warns, “Obeah is a serious thing. Don’t meddle with it.”
In addition to his many well-known plays, Trevor D. Rhone co-wrote the 1972 film The Harder They Come, which helped introduce reggae music and Jamaican patois to international audiences. He visited the University of the Virgin Islands many times and directed his play “Smile Orange” at the Reichhold Center for the Arts in 1996. He died of a heart attack at 69 in 2009 shortly after declining as a result of ill- health, an invitation to the 2009 Alliouagana Festival of the Word.