Written at Derek Walcott's suggestion, and based on interviews with the playwright and actors, this is the first detailed study of a post-colonial theatre company and the problems of creating `serious' theatre in the former colonies. The book shows how Walcott strove to create a world class theatre ensemble in the West Indies - a Trinidadian Brecht Berliner ensemble - and traces his life and career in West Indian theatre, and the history of the Trinidad Theatre
Workshop. Beginning with an actors' studio and the vision of a West Indian theatre company of international standards with its own style of acting, Derek Walcott developed the most
important theatre company in the West Indies. This was the company which first performed his Dream on Monkey Mountain, the musical version of Ti-Jean and his Brothers, The Joker of Seville, and O Babylon! A major contribution to West Indian history and theatre, Bruce King's study reveals the heroic will of Derek Walcott and his actors, and their determination to prove that West Indian drama was a force with which to be reckoned.
From the hardback:
`The book is obviously the work of a meticulous fan.'
`the book is a mine of information...research for this book will be valued by thoughtful Caribbean theatre goers and theatre historians.'
`...pioneering book, which weaves theatre history and literary criticism together in a fresh and rewarding way'
`An important resource book... this is a very significant piece of work. The portrait of Walcott that emerges is complex and offers... fascinating insights into a great but often difficult man. In King, he has found a serious and careful chronicler, the court historian to the prince of Caribbean playwrights.'
Elaine Savory, Research in African Literatures
`I imagine that Derek Walcott and West Indian Drama will prove an eye-opener to anyone who assumed that Caribbean theatre began and ended with Errol John's Moon on a Rainbow Shawl. Bruce King's book reveals just how wide of the mark they were.'
`This book is not the "academic study" one might expect. It combines thoroughness of research, an acute sense of the writer's intentions, great literary flair, with a refreshing disrespect for whatever is considered "politically correct"...a superb achievement...Bruce King compells us to re-evaluate our vision and grant him more attention as a playwright...an enthusiastic tribute to the often heroic will of Walcott and his actors.'
Afram Newsletter no 41
this is a detailed study of a post-colonial Caribbean theatre company and the problems of creating 'serious' theatre in the former colonies. - Communaute Francaise, centre belge de l'IIT
`Substantial study ... Bruce King's account of the Workshop and the man is admirably clear and to the point.'
`substantial study...this book is essentially the story of a very particular theatre company as it grew up and evolved over four tempestuous decades on Trinidad...Bruce King's account of the Workshop and the man is admirably clear and to the point...this is a superb book - scholarly, scrupulous, immensley detailed but also very readable...a major achievement.'
Planet - the Welsh Internationalist
List of Illustrations
Part I. Roots 1948-1965
1: 1948-1959 Forming a Vision
2: 1959-1965 The Little Carib Theatre Workshop
Part II. The Great Years (West Indian Style) 1966-1976
3: 1966 The Basement Theatre; The First Season
4: 1967 Dream on Monkey Mountain in Canada; The First Tours
5: 1968 Dream on Monkey Mountain; Henri Christophe; Homeless Again; The Five-Island Tour
6: 1969 Dream in Connecticut and for NBC
7: 1970 A New Ti-Jean; Black Power; Aquarius IV
8: 1971 Ti-Jean and Dream in Jamaica; In A Fine Castle
9: 1972 Ti-Jean in Central Park; Astor Johnson; Theatre Fifteen; Pieces One
10: 1973 The Second Season; Franklin; The Charlatan
11: 1974 An American Charlatan; A New Dream; A West Indian The Joker of Seville
12: 1975 The Joker Revised and on Tour
13: 1976 O Babylon!; Carifesta; TTW Dance Company; Walcott's Resignation
Part III. Separation and Reconciliation 1977-1993
14: 1977-1983 The trinidad Theatre Workshop and Dance Company
15: Walcott 1977-1981 Pantomime; Remembrance; Marie Laveau
16: Walcott 1982-1983 The Last Carnival; A Branch of the Blue Nile
17: Walcott 1984-1990 Haytian Earth; Another New Dream; Another Branch; Another Franklin
18: 1984-1993 The Trinidad Theatre Workshop; 'Let Resurrection Come!'