Ras Leon Saul brings Victoria story to stage

Legend of Victoria Village, a musical, dramatic, historical reenactment of slavery, which includes sacrifices, murder, resistance and aggression, church and education, indentureship, social life, love and marriage, opened last evening at the National Cultural Centre.

In a sit down with The Scene, writer and director Ras Leon Saul related: “The idea of the play came from two cousins of mine who live in Victoria Village, Desmond Saul and Danny Ainsworth. They had requested of me since in the year 2013 to craft a play on Victoria…. It was written at that time to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the founding of the village.”

The one-act play he wrote then was called Victoria’s Secret.

Writer/director Ras Leon Saul (left) with the cast of Legend of Victoria Village
Writer/director Ras Leon Saul (left) with the cast of Legend of Victoria Village

Legend of Victoria Village builds on that; it is a complete play in four acts.

“It is about a slave, Bellender Hopkinson. She had gone to watchman the dam since the village used to be flooded out. The next day the villagers found her strangled with her own scarf,” Saul related.

“Viewers can expect great entertainment, good drama, superb acting and a wonderful experience in knowing more about Guyana’s history.

 

“This script was created partly from President Granger’s historical writings on Victoria and the village movement. Other information was acquired from historians, Tommy Payne and William Arno.”

The cast is headed by veteran actor Michael Ignatius with Max Massiah, Wendella Austin, Keno Ramnarine and Nigerian actor, Opara Samuel. They’re all part of a cast of sixteen actors.

“The Office of the Prime Minister was very instrumental in helping to get this off the ground,” Saul said. “Without them this won’t have been possible. The Golden Jubilee isn’t just about May but the entire year as well. Once this production is successful, we’re hoping to take the production to other venues along the coast, Linden and the rest of Guyana.”

He also acknowledged the support of BK International, Ming’s Products and Services, Mohamed’s Enterprise, GUYTRAC, Sleep Inn, Chetson’s, Banks DIH and the Ministry of Tourism.

Legend of Victoria Village will run until tomorrow night. It starts at 8 each night. Tickets cost $1,500 and $1,000 and are available at the National Cultural Centre.

The play is produced by Carib Feedback Productions.

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