Fabian Barracks never disappoints. High off the success of last year’s mega production, Wah Sweet Nanny Goat, the talented young writer and director is back with his newest project, Black Sheep, another fabulous highlight of social issues affecting our youth.
Black Sheep follows the story of Shane who has been the outcast child for most of his life. His mother, Cersey sees him as a failure and instead, embraces the prize child Chelsea who is pursuing studies abroad.
Shane has a love for music and is sometimes seen penning tunes and performing them for his girlfriend, Kizzy. He dislikes his mother’s relationship with the abusive Danny and is soon kicked out of the house his deceased father had built after Danny framed him for stealing from his mom. He finds refuge on the street through his friendship with the ‘in-the-streets’ Squeegee, who teaches him the art of windshield wiping, his new pastime.
With the support of Kissy and Ras, Shane enters a popular talent contest where he must pull strength from his adversities to achieve a compromise and the one million dollar cash prize, all while searching for his mother’s love.
Every Fabian Barracks production is an experience. The actors, in usual fashion, deliver very realistic performances marked by precise comedic timing and on-stage chemistry. The lead, Shane, played by Kevin Broomfield is a powerhouse who displays aggressive male emotions convincingly, seen in the many scenes in which he challenges his mother Cersey (played by Jodiann Findley) to see more in him. To top it off, the youngster sings exceptionally well and delivers a few radio-ready tracks throughout the play as demanded by the role.
The feisty Kizzy, payed by Christina Harris, is an audience favourite, thanks in part to her role as Prada in Wah Sweet Nanny Goat last year. Her role in both productions are similar and the actress certainly knows how to make her character memorable.
She is often challenged by Findley’s mighty character, Cersey, and together, with the actors who play Danny and Squeegee, the five man cast delivers an exceptional performance that feels all too real. And, Barracks Entertainment knows how to fully engage their audience in even the tiniest ways. After each scene, the deejay blares some of today’s hottest tunes that best carries off the message of the scene, something that has the packed room either on its feet or cheering in excitement, every time. There are also references to real life occurrences in the production itself such as an actress playing Yanique Barrett dressed in bodysuit hosting the talent show and a playback of a pre-recorded Miss Kitty commending Shaney on his exceptional, authentic (and other big words used by Miss Kitty) performance.
Black Sheep does more than entertain. The production highlights a different side of the teenage experience in our Jamaican society including healthy boy/girl intimate relationships as seen in Kizzy’s blatant refusal to have sexual intercourse with Shane. In a society where male entitlement is a common issue, Black Sheep shows where some of our boys are the ones who have to fight the hardest for approval. Hats off to Barracks Entertainment for another great show!