New York City
By Nobel Laureate DEREK WALCOTT
Cape Cod Premiere
Starring GUSTAVE JOHNSON, Member Actors Equity Association
Directed By VERNICE MILLER
A fast-paced comedy. The setting is a breeze-swept, seaside gazebo that belongs to a dilapidated tourist guest house in Tobago. The guest house is run by Harry Trewe, a broken-down British music-hall performer who has abandoned England forever to start life anew in the West Indies.
The play’s action concerns Harry’s efforts to devise a small-scale music-hall entertainment, a pantomime, to amuse the vacationers who are scheduled to arrive at his establishment a few days hence. He enlists the aid of his black waiter, Jackson Phillip, to help improvise the show. Harry’s show, pointedly enough, is a burlesque version of ”Robinson Crusoe.”
As the men rehearse it, Mr. Walcott sets up a series of role-reversals. Not only does Harry and Jackson’s master-servant relationship soon go topsy-turvy, but so does the relationship of the characters in their fledgling pantomime: They trade the parts of Crusoe and Friday back and forth just as frequently as they usurp each other’s identities in real life.
“Allegory is the name of the game in Pantomime, which explores everything from colonial power plays and the master-servant relationship, to marital power struggles and the relationship between classical theater and the art of improvisation.” – Chicago Sun-Times