`Ole King Cole’ Comedy hits NCC Tuesday Guyana Chronicle
November 17, 2002

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This Mike Norville composite captures young actors rehearsing for the Ole King Cole comedy at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) last week.

The pre-Christmas comedy will be staged at the NCC from November 19 - 26 at 13:00 hrs each day.

`Ole King Cole’ is a Gems Theatre Production. It is directed by Gem Madhoo-Nascimento, and stars Jennifer Thomas, Andre Wiltshire and Brian Singh. Rolly Lamas, Travis Chase, David Parris, Marcell and Abigail Fraser will be introduced in this production.

Ole King Cole is a fairytale comedy written specially for children. It’s the story of Old King Cole and Old Queen Cole wanting to marry off their only daughter, Princess Daphne Cole, who is referred to as Drippy Daphne in the palace circles.

The two men in contention for her hand in marriage are the weedy Baron Wadd, who has no money, and Cyril, the fiddler, who plays in the Royal Band at the palace. Cyril is dapper looking, a great sportsman and is good at anything.

The King decided that he would have a sporting competition and the winner would have the Princess’ hand in marriage. The events in the competition are boxing, sword fighting, egg and spoon race, rifle shooting, archery, high jump, long jump, pole vaulting and fire-diving.

The weedy Baron, played by Jennifer Thomas, goes to Faz played by Rolly Lamas, who is a specialist in traps and disguises and paraphernalia. Faz has a feeble-minded assistant, Twoo, played by Travis Chase. The Baron wants Faz to undermine the competition and rig it so that he will win and marry Princess Daphne. In that way, he will not have to work a day in his life and he will inherit the fortunes of the Kingdom when Old King Cole and Old Queen Cole die. Then, and only then, would he be able to pay Faz for his dirty deeds, schemes and tricks, which will make him win. He promises to pay $800 000 to Faz and Twoo.

The competition takes place at the National Sports stadium with much tension and hilarity. The tricks and schemes of Faz and Twoo, along with a clumsy weedy Baron create much entertainment and enjoyment. The play features Christmas music and organisers say it will help to put the audience in the mood of the season.

The cast of the GEMS theatre Productions is a mixture of old and young, experience and inexperience. Three students are among the cast members. They are: Travis Chase, best actor in the children’s drama competition from Dolphin’s Secondary School; Abigail Fraser of Christ Church Secondary; and Marcell Fraser of St. Roses High School. David Parris is a University of Guyana student, Lamas is a British trained actor for television and stage. They will join forces with well-known stage personalities, Thomas, Wiltshire and Lavonne George.

This play marks Madhoo-Nascimento’s directional debut.

According to Ms. Madhoo-Nascimento, there is a dire need for children’s theatre, and with the inclusion of Theatre Arts in the CXC syllabus, she hopes to channel her energies in this area.

Tickets for the show, which should last for about two hours, cost $200 and are available at the Cultural Centre and at schools, the organisers said. Adults will only be admitted if they are accompanied by children, the organisers say.

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