The White Witch Reigns at Actor Boy Awards 2010

The long renowned guzzum power of Annie Palmer, the legendary witch of Rose Hall continued to weave its magic at the 2010 Actor Boy Awards. The LTM Montego Bay production of The White Witch swept the 2010 Actor Boy Awards scooping up 13 of the 19 trophies.

The Actor Boy Awards 2010 was staged at the Pantry Playhouse, Kingston, and beautifully hosted by Teisha Duncan and Maurice Bryan. In his comments, Actor Boy judge Tony Patel pointed out that comedies continued to dominate Jamaica’s theatrical landscape. But it would be a musical that held the spotlight for the majority of the night.

The White Witch’s success sent ripples of comments about the power of obeah through the audience, as the pile of awards heaped up.

The White Witch, originally staged in its home city of Montego Bay  (at the Fairfield Theatre) and later in Kingston (at the Theatre Place) follows the demise of Annie Palmer. Crichton’s version deviates from the more traditional tale, presenting Annie’s story in a more sensitive light and instead casting the shadow of villainy on Obeah-man Taku. The cast featured Maylynne Walton as Annie Palmer (Best Lead Actress), Kieran King as (Best Lead Actor); Phillip Clarke as Taku (Best Supporting Actor), and Noelle Kerr as (Best Supporting Actress).

By the end of the night, The White Witch had not only been dubbed the Best Production of 2010, but had also copped the awards Best Director (Douglas Prout) along with all the awards for acting and most of the technical awards. The play had also earned the awards for Best Original Song (‘Flowing Free’) and Best Musical Score (David Tulloch), as well as Best Choreography (Marline Pitter-Sloley) and Best New Play (Crichton). Of course, it had also been dubbed the Best Musical.

The evening paid special tribute to the Secondary School’s Drama Festival, which is celebrating 60 years of existence. The impact of the festival on the development of local theatre was particularly highlighted as almost all presenters at the award show made reference to their participation in the festival ranging from the 1960s to the 1990s.

A few other productions also received a taste of the limelight. The Jamaica Youth Theatre’s Graffiti beat out its sole contender, Tick Tock, written and produced by Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis, to earn the title of Best Revue. With the category of Best Roots Play now out the door, the Stages Production The Plumber proved its mettle as Best Comedy.

Campion College’s Cindy was dubbed Best Children’s Theatre while Douglas Prout further fattened his award coffers with the Best Drama award for Against His Will. Jambiz International’s Midnight at Puss Creek was the only other production to take home multiple trophies. The play earned the awards for Best Lighting Design (Trevor Nairne) and Best Special Effects (Patrick Brown and Trevor Nairne).

The evening’s success was in may ways due to the skills of Duncan and Bryan who were absolutely delightful, presenting spoofs related to the plays which had received the Best Production nod. The two were a wonderful medley of hijinx, high drama, and high talent.

At the end of the night, the dramatic, engaging and often hilarious presentation by the two able comperes easily made up for the absence of excessive flash, bang and glitter, showing that theatre’s true magic always comes down to creativity.

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