A comedic mystery set in Portland, Jamaica
By Stephen Weir
Rehearsals are well underway for a new play which the playwright describes as a “mash up” of old time Jamaica and British theatrical farce. When Death Come Run by Torontonian Yvette Martin, opens the evening (8 p.m.) of Friday May 4th at the Al Green Theatre in Toronto.
“The play owes a lot to Agatha Christie written from a Jamaican perspective,” Martin explains. “Despite the part-patois title of the play, When Death Come Run is aimed at a general English-speaking audience”,
The two-act play is set in the Parish of Portland, Jamaica in the early 1970s. A comedic mystery, it focuses on two brothers in their late ’60s, Joshua Jenkins, the local tailor (John Phillips) and his brother Jerimiah Jenkins, the local grave digger and part time medicine man (David Smith). Along with their extended dysfunctional family, they all try to come to terms with their own demons as the small village is faced with a rash of unexplained deaths.
The Jenkins family is well respected in the small village of Ranch Hill, but when an alcoholic niece comes to visit, that status might change. As the deaths continue, the extended family members and friends take refuge at the Jenkins’ house which makes for a funny gathering of truth, lies and secrets.
“I left back Jamaica some 40 years ago, but, you never forget,” said Ms. Martin “ This isn’t a story about me but I do remember so well what Jamaica was like back in the 70s. It was so perfect!”
Yvette is the writer/director and has a small role in the play as the alcoholic niece. Cast members include Kevin Sinclair, Jason Crooks ,Delores Weber and Luther Hansraj.
This is Martin’s fifth play. Her writing credits include critically acclaimed stage plays Ova Mi Dead Body (Toronto), Trading Places (Toronto) Queen For A Day (Vancouver).
She has directed for stage, television and radio for over 20 years and has worked extensively as a stage manager for theatre, festivals (including Caribana) and concerts across the country.
The play has a short run but can be extended. The Al Green Theatre is at 750 Spadina Ave. at Bloor Street. Tickets are available on line at EVENTBRITE.COM.