Desperation… eagerness… hope… disappointment…
Through opening vignettes featuring the emotional journey of the main character of the story, Right Girl, Wrong Address immediately engages its audience in the plot of life most of us know all too well. Patrick Brown’s latest production, co-directed by Trevor Nairne, is set in Prince Productions, the music studio of the Prince brothers – Adam and Ricky – where hopes and dreams are either realized or diminished.
Playing at the Centerstage Theatre in New Kingston, the backdrop of the music industry’s highs and lows, particularly through budding artist Ras Oily, serves as an ideal thread that pulls together an engaging, socially significant and thoughtfully constructed theatrical performance. With a strong cast of actors who collaborate seamlessly throughout the production, Right Girl, Wrong Address features Sharee Elise as Charmaine (Charm) Ned (lead character), Sakina Deer and Keniesha Bowes as Antoinette ‘Nicey’ Nunes, Akeem Mignott as Adam Prince, Glen Campbell as Ricky Prince, Courtney Wilson as Ras Oily, Kevin Brown as Flaggy and Shamola Williams as a police officer.
Part comedy, romance, drama and full-on session with multiple ‘live performances’ by Ras Oily, the play highlights the extents to which Charm is willing to go to get ahead, despite her circumstances. Recognizing that an address can be a strong inhibitor to viable employment, regardless of education and skills, Charm tells a little lie which quickly becomes a big, tangled web of many lies when unexpected romance enters the picture with her new boss, Adam Prince. As the intricate nuances within the storyline begin to unfold, it is easy to understand, and maybe for some to relate, to the reality of the ‘by any means necessary’ attitude adopted by Charm. In Jamaica, classism, colourism and the effects of overbearing poverty sadly remain strong realities for too many. The varying audience reactions alone spoke volumes as persons could be heard yelling their support or displeasure with Charm’s actions. However, whether those actions were right or wrong is left entirely up to individual perceptions.
Right Girl, Wrong Address embodies participatory theatre at its best. Ras Oily’s performances throughout the play, not only served to reiterate the message of self-identity and striving for better, but also provided great party vibes with audience sing-alongs. Nicey’s role as the office cleaner also kept audiences on their toes with her speech impediment, a delayed stammer, which seemed to encourage most audience members to help complete her lines. This theatrical style proves to be very engaging and helps to break up the dreaded monotony that can drain the energy from otherwise good plays.
The technical team of Kevin Brown (Stage Manager), Annmarie Jumpp (Assistant Stage Manager), Orvel Harrison (Light/Sound) and Shamola Williams (Wardrobe Mistress) must be commended for their work in accurately setting the stage to facilitate the seamless delivery of this play. The set was simple but detailed, stage presence was maximized for all actors and the audio/visual mechanics were flawless. Right Girl, Wrong Address is another hit for Patrick Brown and his team and should not be missed. A family friendly, girls night out, after work chill out, solid good time, with a little life lesson for all.