LARAMADE bringing musical theatre to the local stage

The LARAMADE troupe is back in Guyana to bring Joie de Vivre, French for ‘the Joy of Life’ to the National Cultural Centre’s stage slated for December 4 and 8.

In a sit-down with The Scene, two of its members Launce Northe and Oral Welshman, gave a sneak-peek into what will go down for the shows. “It’s a theatrical musical and it tells a story of a group of artistes at a night club who desperately wanted to be liberated but feel trapped by their circumstances. The owner cares only about money and her artistes feel intimidated by her. But there is one to rebel; that one would be the protagonist. It therefore follows a character of one who feels empowered to change the course of her life. She’d choose to leave…,” Launce said.

LARAMADE performers  on stage
LARAMADE performers
on stage

He added, “This is a universal story and it’s relatable. The viewers can put their circumstances or jobs into this play and it would resonate.”

Because of the Jubilee year LARAMADE would like to pay homage through spoken-word, song and dance to their forebears (inspirations): Ron Robinson, Francis Quamina Farrier, Desiree Edghill, Margaret Lawrence, Daphne Rogers (who are expected to be onstage during the presentation), and posthumously Habeeb Khan, Robert Narain and Andre Sobryan.

“We intend to put on a great production that would wow the audience and our standards are very high. We intend for the audience to go home quite impressed. It will be put on by the LARAMADE team and a local cast of 25,” Oral said pertaining to production they will bring.

To add to that Launce said, “We want the audience to experience musical theatre like it is done on Broadway. It is LARAMADE’s hope to bring Broadway to Guyana.

LARAMADE cast from left at the top are Launce Northe and sister Linda Northe and below Oral Welshman.
LARAMADE cast from left at the top are Launce Northe and sister Linda Northe and below Oral Welshman.

“We hope to inspire young people that they might want to pursue Musical Theatre Arts. It is also our fervent hope that we would one day see names of Guyanese on Broadway and London’s West End,” he said. This is where the second show (a matinee) comes in and caters for the students writing CSEC especially, Theatre Arts and English Literature.

Last December LARAMADE held a dinner/theatre production at the Pegasus Hotel. “It was well attended and well received. That encouraged us to return with the same production, only this time, an extension,” Launce said.

LARAMADE consists of overseas-based Guyanese from Canada and America who after leaving Guyana decades ago return to give back to their mother country. Last year’s dinner/theatrical performance at the Pegasus was the first time the group performed together in Guyana.

The cast consists of: Launce (writer/dancer/actor), Oral (artistic director/dancer/ choreographer/actor), Linda Northe (Public Relations Officer/actress/vocalist), Donna Powell (actress/vocalist) and Val Barnwell (vocalist).

Tickets can be picked up at the National Cultural Centre’s box office or contact LARAMDE on tele: 231-3644/615-5637.

Tickets cost (for the December 4 show for the public) $1,500, $2,000 & $3,000 and for the CSEC students (on December 8) $400.


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