Calypso play to be staged in honour of Kitch's centenary

Zeno Obi Constance. Photo courtesy Playwrights Workshop
Zeno Obi Constance. Photo courtesy Playwrights Workshop

Fyzabad Connection Theatre Company’s upcoming production of De Road Make to Walk, by well-known playwright Zeno Obi Constance, features a cast of actors of all ages. The play will be staged at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) on May 29 and June 11 and 12.

The play is one in a series of theatrical events to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Kitchener’s birth.

In a media release, Constance said the play encompasses Roberts’ life from his humble beginnings in Arima, to his 15-year sojourn in England, to his return and famous calypso battles with Calypso King of the world the Mighty Sparrow.

“The play utilises Roberts’ songs to tell a story, sometimes factual, sometimes fictional, sometimes real, sometimes surreal. Aldwyn Roberts, the Grandmaster, the Lord Kitchener, is perhaps the greatest songwriter/composer in any musical genre internationally. His many road marches, his 1975 calypso monarchy and multiple national awards have ensured that he will be enshrined in our collective memory forever. His classic hits from Pan in a Minor, Bees Melody and Rainorama to Love in the Cemetery, Mystery Band and Toco Band can testify to his musical brilliance,” Constance said in the media release.

In an e-mail to Newsday, Constance said the play was written in 2000 when Kitchener died, at the request of Rawle Gibbons, who rehearsed the script but didn’t produce it. Constance then premiered the play at the Prime Minister’s Best Village Competition 2003.

“I actually had no remembrance of 2022 being Kitch’s 100th birthday anniversary until someone asked me about Aaron
'Voice' St Louis’ sample of Kitch's Brooklyn Gal in his hit Out and Bad. Later Andre Williams of Radio Toco asked me about the existence of a script on Kitchener and encouraged me to reproduce De Road Make to Walk. I’m pleased to join in the celebration of Kitch’s 100th and we plan to take the production to all parts of the country until the end of the year. We have performances for schoolchildren carded for September,” Constance said in an e-mail response to questions.

Director Geneva Drepaulsingh said she has been blessed to direct Constance’s play. She said the play is a re-imagining of what fragments in Kitchener’s life may have looked and sounded like.

“This surreal construct under the hands of Zeno brings us a man confronted with his own doings, a man who is forced to face what he created, a man, The Man, The Mighty Lord Kitchener in an existentialist crisis. Transformation of the main character through the stories of the other characters who are searching to give meaning to their existence, whether it is in the coldness of life in London in a time when racial prejudice went unchecked, or coming to terms with his own creations, manifests at the close of the story,” she said.

The play features Joseph Lopez and Kurtis Gross as Kitchener, along with Harmony Farrell, Chennel Cupid, Andrew Friday, Emmanuel Ansolia, Akeem Mannings, Gervon Abraham, and many others.

Most of the music featured in the production is by Kitchener, including The Road, Green Fig, Mango Tree, Beat of the Steelband, Piccadilly Folk, London is the Place for me, Rich and Poor, Saxophone, Small Comb (Ah Bernice), Mama Hear a Band Passing, Drink a Rum, Nora, Pan in A Minor, In the Bamboo, Battymamselle, Gimme de Ting, Sugar Bum Bum, Flag Woman, Bees Melody, and Carnival is Over.

Tickets are available at Atherley’s by the Park, Seon’s Royal Rd, TUCO South Office, Book Berries Point Fortin, Blue Edition Tunapuna, and Gayelle the Caribbean.


"Calypso play to be staged in honour of Kitch’s centenary"

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