The social intervention of lady simone
Set in the environment of a bar of the transgendered woman Lady Simone, the story allowed us to share the fears, love and anguish of a relatively marginalized segment of our society. The play started flat and seemed to drag a bit. However, the introduction of Nala the $2 Philosopher's strong and unassuming character Moses brought some much needed energy which Solace, played by Varia Williams, excellently maintained.
Simon Alleyne, portraying the 'down-low' and in denial character Pecong, was by far one of the strongest actors on the night. The intense interaction between Gabriel, played by John Hunte, and Stuart, played by the young actor Marcus Myers, was beautiful. Both actors did a good job of sucking the audience into their passionate love affair during their heated arguments about the implications of having an open homosexual relationship in the social environment of Barbados.
The young and least experienced actor Shannon Arthur rose to the challenge of playing the lead character Lady Simone. The first time actor, in a play of this standard, was natural and confident while in character and demonstrated that he has the potential to go far as an actor. Being rejected by Moses was certainly no easy experience and based on Solace's entertaining abrasive behavior Moses was no easy conquest for her either. Nala the $2 Philosopher did a very good job of portraying the unassuming nature of this character and left the audience guessing about his sexuality as much as he did with the characters in the play.
The writer, Glenville Lovell, producers and director, Russell Watson, must be commended for taking the bold and much needed step towards portraying these individuals as human beings. This is a refreshing and welcoming development in stage performance in Barbados as our habit is tended towards a comical and objectifying, over the top display of our homosexual community. The actors must also be commended for their open mindedness and bravery in publicly portraying these characters in spite of the critical and, to a large extent, hypocritical environment of our country.
I believe that those persons who were of the opinion that our audiences were not capable of handling such a presentation were, without a shadow of a doubt, proven wrong. Congratulations to the cast and production team for a much needed social intervention.
Anya 'Tripp' Lorde