The Big Wood Man, a one man, monologue play performed by Kennedy ‘Boots’ Samuel and directed by Kendel Hippolyte, is presented to us in the St Lucian Ole Mas tradition.
In this production, however, our character, the big wood man, goes beyond his comical, minimalistic props and placard. He comes to life and proceeds to tell a bigger story which explores the concept, conduct and short comings of ‘the big wood man’.
The performance, skillfully injected with traditional story telling form, takes us on a journey to help us understand the value of men in the shaping of other men, particularly boys.
If you haven’t already experienced this Ole Mas Theatre production, it is well worth trying to.
With some adult themes, the performance raises issues around manhood, power, sex, rape, murder, sexual abuse, homophobia and fathering. It will make you laugh and maybe a little uncomfortable in parts, but it is also likely to stain your brain and leave you with a whole load of food for thought.
Boots Samuel says the idea for the play came from his concerns over what he sees happening with young men and boys in St Lucian society. They are under represented in further education yet over represented in the juvenile system, jails and as victims of murder.
Boots says this is a ‘male dominated society’, but males are still marginalised and dominated in certain areas of life. There is a need to increase social awareness to instigate change.
Director, Kendel Hippolyte, makes the point that, as well as embracing the Ole Mas tradition, the performance aims to explore issues around what it means to be a man in this society and the positive and negative sides of maleness. It is hoped, he says, that the performance will instigate discussions and dialogue around these important issues.
The big wood man has had two showings so far, at the Civil Service Association (CSA) Centre, in San Soucis, on the 7th and 8th July.
Keep an eye out for the repeated performances planned for other parts of the island such as, Dennery, Laborie and Soufrère.
Note: Steffanie Edward is a creative writer and freelance journalist. She was Literary Editor for the New Black Magazine and has written for ‘The Voice’ newspaper in the UK. She blogs at: http://www.saedward.com/sa-ka-fegravet-my-blog