Miss Lou lauded in word, song

Miss Lou lauded in word, song

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Storyteller Amina Blackwood-Meeks (left) delivers her ‘duppy story’ at An Evening with Miss Lou at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre in St Andrew on Sunday. Deon Silvera (background right) acted as emcee for the evening. (PHOTO: KARL MCLARTY)

THE Corporate Area rain on Sunday put a damper on the celebrations in observance of the 95th birthday of Jamaican folklorist Louise Bennett Coverley, popularly known as Miss Lou.

However, the much-needed rain, could not stop the spirit in which the performers took to the stage to pay tribute to the late cultural icon.

The event dubbed An Evening With Miss Lou was aptly staged at the Louise Bennett Garden Theatre in St Andrew.

Lovers of local theatre and long-time friends of the Miss Lou came out to show support for the woman who helped popularise Jamaican culture, both local and overseas, through her writing and performances.

The event took on the theme of Ring Ding — the children’s talent show which aired on the now-defunct Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation Television between 1969 and 1980.

Stage actress Deon Silvera took on the role of Miss Lou and guided the evening’s proceedings which seemed to have been contracted due to the intermittent showers.

Dressed in the signature bandana national costume, Silvera brought home Miss Lou’s spirit and memories of the popular TV programme with her “clap them, clap them” at the end of each performance or tribute.

With an impressive backdrop of an old Jamaican house, Silvera sat in an old rocking chair surrounded by children.

Humorous recollections came from the likes of playwright and radio talk show host Barbara Gloudon, actress and broadcaster Fae Ellington and entertainment personality Weston Haughton.

The audience were also entertained with performances from Sheldon Shepherd of the dub poetry quartet Nomaddz, storyteller Amina Blackwood-Meeks as well as the Scotia Singers who’s rendition of the Miss Lou-penned, Noel Dexter-arranged This is My Country, had the audience rocking and resulted in Silvera calling for an ‘encore’.

The evening was capped with the cast of performers taking to the stage and delivering Walk Good, another Miss Lou signature.