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N Touch
Thursday 22 March 2018

Local play for Scots Youth Festival

The Naparima College team pose at the at the VC Bird Memorial Statue, St John’s, Antigua. The group represented TT in the Caribbean version of the youth drama festival festival in Antigua. Photos courtesy: The Cultural Development Division – Antigua and Barbuda


NAPARIMA College’s award-winning play The Inspector is bound for Scotland as part of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival later this year.

In 2016, the locally written play won rave acclaim and earned top spot in the Secondary Schools’ Drama Festival and was selected to represent TT in the Caribbean version of the festival in Antigua.

It is now history that The Inspector trumped all its competitors and walked away with 19 awards, including best original script, directing and outstanding production, both at home and abroad.

To raise funds for the Scotland trip, Naparima College will stage its award-winning play this weekend, with two shows at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts, (Sapa) tomorrow and at the Central Bank Auditorium in Port of Spain on Saturday.

Written and directed by Simeon Chris Moodoo, The Inspector explores the issues of greed, poverty, corruption, political and moral decay in TT.

The genesis of the piece was the July 2015 prison break at the Frederick Street, Port of Spain when Allan “Scanny” Martin, Hassan Atwell and Christopher “Monster” Selby made a daring dash for freedom. Martin’s and Atwell’s escape was short-lived, as they were both killed. Selby later surrendered to the police.

It is at this point that fact ends and the writer’s imagination takes centre stage as he delves into a fictitious account of a conspiracy involving “higher authorities,” and the dilemma the inspector must face as he takes the moral high ground or sinks into the abyss of corruption and immorality. Award winners and scholarship recipients Daniel Baptiste and Justin Lee are the main players representing Inspector and Monster,

San Fernando Wharf is the venue where the scene plays out and where Moodoo expands his creativity to incorporate some reflection of the kidnapping and murder of businesswoman Vindra Naipaul.

In an interview, Moodoo recalled that he was just holding on temporarily – for three months to be exact – for the theatre arts teacher at Naparima College during festival time. He encountered numerous challenges: among them, how to write a play for an all-male cast. Given the time constraint, he said, he could not put the boys in drag, as most of them were form one students and theatre novices who had never even seen a stage, and transforming them into a female replica needed time they did not have.

It was at this point he decided to direct his unfinished play. He recalls that he held no auditions and instead of casting roles, he had an open call and wrote the script around those who responded.

Tickets for Sapa are available at Naparima College.

Tickets for the Central Bank show are available from Eric Williams, 755-5014; Central Bank, Port of Spain; Ronald Dowlath, 623-4266; Suite 6, Plaza 46, Frederick and Prince Street, Port of Spain; Hillview College; or St Augustine Girls’ High School.


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