Two can play

05 Jun 2005

Written by Trevor Rhone, Directed by ahdri zhina mandiela - Presented by Obsidian Theatre Company

The cast: Karen Robinson & Malcolm Xerxes

Two Can Play is a Caribbean comedy set against the turbulent political unrest of the 1980’s in Kingston Jamaica. The play opens with an anxious Jim, played by Malcolm Xerxes (Heaven), and a decidedly calm Gloria, played by Karen Robinson (Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God), trying to get a good night’s sleep despite the sound of rapid fire gunshots just outside their bedroom window.  Having sent their beloved children off to America for a better life, they contemplate selling the house and escaping to Miami themselves. As the story unfolds, the couple engage in creative, often hilarious schemes to get themselves and some funds, to the United States, past the watchful eyes of immigration and the FIU (Financial Investigative Unit)

But the play isn’t only about their escape to America. The tumultuous relationship of Jim and Gloria, intrigues the audience right from the start. Jim is the stereotypical, male, “I’m de general, me a run tings!”  While Gloria, is patient, and obliging. Although intelligent, she remains in this subjegated role, in a somewhat stifling twenty-year marriage, until she has the courage to voice her own truth. Under the expert direction of ahdri zhina mandiela, Karen Robinson skillfully portrays the evolution of Gloria as she becomes her own person.

Written many years ago, by celebrated Jamaican playwright, Trevor Rhone, the play still holds its appeal today. “The play is appealing on many levels because it explores the human condition and answers questions on subjegation and male female relationships.  These are universal themes,” says Rhone.  Many of his plays have been performed in Paris, Kenya, and off Broadway.

“Gloria keeps herself in this subjegated position because she is terrified to be her own person. She is steeped in a tradition where the man brings home the bacon. It takes her twenty years to realize she is capable and even smarter than he is,” adds Rhone.

Rhone is also known for his work as a screenwriter. His film credits include Smile Orange, One Love and Milk & Honey, a Canadian film, which won the Gemini for Best New Screenplay at the Toronto Film Festival.

A skilled playwright, Rhone has woven a story about love and relationships that is both laugh out loud funny, and touching. Definitely a must see.

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