COME May, the popular Jamaican roots play Bashment Granny will make it to the big screen.
The play — produced by the Stages theatre outfit — can be credited with introducing actor Keith ‘Shebada’ Ramsay, thanks to his now infamous line: “Mi deh pon de borderline”.
According to Stages director, Bunny Allen, the release of the movie Bashment Granny, is part of the overall thrust to move theatre mainstream.
“The business model being followed by Stages will see a total of 18 plays being converted to movies over the next five years,” Allen said.
He added that the list of plays includes favourites such as the Ralph Holness-produced classic Maama Man.
The business model also sees Stages looking to establish three to four more theatres, which will join the complex on Knutsford Boulevard, New Kingston, which was opened late last year.
Allen said more space has been identified on the Knutsford Boulevard strip for the new playhouses.
The new complex at 51 Knutsford Boulevard houses two theatres, seating 250 and 160 persons, respectively. A snack counter and bar with a balcony to be converted to accommodate private functions will soon follow.
“We want people to put on their good clothes and feel confident that they are going into a safe environment for quality entertainment, instead of the down-market stigma which is currently attached to local theatre,” he said.
For Allen, the business side of local theatre tends to suffer, as for the most part, it is seen as a part-time/on-the-side activity. This is something he and Stages team have set out to stem, adopting what he calls a professional outlook to the business of theatre.
With this more business-like outlook, Allen said it is hoped that the nation’s actors, and indeed the community, will follow suit as he sees indiscipline as one of the biggest factors inhibiting the growth of theatre in Jamaica.
“There is definitely a lack of discipline in the industry — there is no respect for time, etc. We are not short of talent in Jamaica, but we are hampered by indiscipline,” Allen said.