Last update: 09-Dec-2013 11:04 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
Norman delights in South
Norman Chambers has a secret, and in true Trini bacchanal style, that secret comes to the fore with scandalous comedy in producer/actor Raymond Choo Kong’s adaptation of the 1970 Broadway theatrical, Norman Is That You?. The play, which is a reprisal of one of Choo Kong’s first adaptations, returned to the Naparima Bowl, San Fernando, over the last weekend, following a ten-year hiatus. Choo Kong and his cast evoked knee-slapping laughter, as uptight, highly conservative father, Ben Chambers (Choo Kong,) struggled to come to terms with reality after learning that his son has been living a secret life, as a homosexual.
Homosexuality is usually a taboo subject with many, but Choo Kong, known for his somewhat bold performances, took the touchy topic, laced it with a healthy dose of comedy, and had south theatre lovers asking for more. The play was set against the backdrop of traditional soap-opera type drama as the opening scene finds Ben, a laundry shop operator, heartbroken after his wife Beatrice, played by Rachel Bascombe, runs off with his brother, Jones. Distraught over the split, Ben goes to live with his son, Norman, only to uncover another devastating secret, Norman has been living with a man, Garson (played by Conrad Parris,) for years.
While the theme of the play was humour, it carried a serious message of acceptance of an individual’s lifestyle choice since, in the end Ben and Beatrice, who returned after her brief affair with Jones, accepted Norman’s (played by Arnold Goindhan) sexual orientation. Choo Kong admitted that the message in the play was not too in-depth, since, “it’s a slice in the day of life of family dealing with the homosexual thing. There were elements of seriousness with the parents.” Parris, who in one scene donned a red silk robe, with heels and a matching feathered boa as he lip-synched, was quite convincing portraying an ego-centric, hopelessly in love homosexual man.
However, Abeo Jackson, portraying a prostitute named Mary hired by Ben to “convert” his son to a heterosexual, had jaws dropping as she paraded on stage in black lingerie. In the final act Norman revealed that he had joined the army and the Chambers’ agree to let Garson live with them. However, they secretly hatch a plot to “set him up” with homosexual twin brothers who reside in their Sangre Grande neighbourhood.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.