By Stephen Weir
Marcie Brown’s new play, Deception, has left the city of Brampton in stitches. It wasn’t just the down-home Caribbean humour. It was the twists and turns of a Jamaican Canadian story that could be true. Or is the well-known playwright and actress just messing with us?
“What we saw in Brampton and which audiences are going to see this weekend in Toronto (and the weekend after that in Scarborough and Ajax) is a play that will make them laugh, make them feel the raw emotion and also think about the underlying truths in the storyline. Deception is the real package,” Brown told the Caribbean Camera.
Familiar faces on stage in Brampton include Brown herself who plays Imogene, Naggo Morris who plays Bredda and Adrea Smith as Madge. As is her passion, Brown introduces the audience to new talent, including Grace McDonald (Dotlyn) and Natalle Camille and Kameka Morrison who both play the character Wingi.
Deception is the third full-length play that she has written, produced and starred in since coming to Canada some 30 years ago. “This is a play that is about the diaspora; the Jamaican experience. It’s a story I know because I am from Jamaica., ” she said.
“That doesn’t mean that non-Caribbean people won’t get it. There are some universal truths in this that everyone will get.”
The story is about three spinsters -Imogene, Dotlyn and Madge. They are all Christians, unmarried and childless. “They realize that being in the church,” explained Brown, “is impeding them from finding male companions, because, let’s face it, there are no men in the church and at their ages the chances of remaining unmarried and childless becoming a reality is daunting.”
What to do? The ladies are open to using modern technology to land a man – or three. Online dating, suggests Madge.
Imogene thinks computer dating is not Christian but gives in when her friends remind her that even though she’s been in Canada for 15-years, she is still here illegally. Getting a living breathing man to marry could well be the only way she will get landed immigrant status.
But before she can bag a guy, Imogene is arrested by immigration officers and sent back to Jamaica. She leaves her Canadian affairs to be handled by her two friends. Meanwhile, in Jamaica, Bredda, her brother (who was handling her affairs there) has moved himself into her house and seemingly swindled her savings.
“Rock bottom? Yes. “But, if God is with you, just who can be against you,” writes Brown.
Marcia has been presenting her plays and Jamaican written comedies in the Greater Toronto Area for decades. Over the years she has built up a troupe of expert performers. There are six actors on stage in Deception, three of them performed together before.
This weekend the play will be shown both Saturday and Sunday evening at the Jamaica Canadian Centre. The following weekend Deception moves onto the Ajax High School on Saturday evening and closes out in the Rembrandt Banquet Hall in Scarborough on Sunday evening.
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