Both of the plays in this volume vividly personify the aftereffects of British colonialism on West Indian society, while emphasizing, with humor and compassion, more universal matters of hierarchy and identity. First produced by Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival in 1979, REMEMBRANCE is the story of an elderly black teacher and writer, Albert Jordan, who cannot reconcile his anachronistic love of British culture with the evolution of his family and community in independent Trinidad. Jordan's reminiscences in the first act show us a younger man reciting Thomas Gray's "Elegy" to a jeering classroom; hilariously repulsing the attempts of an art-collecting Yankee to buy the roof off his house for the mural painted thereon; courting Esther Hope, a British officer stationed in wartime Port of Spain, and then, afraid to face the consequences of his unconventional deams, retreating when she agrees to marry him. The memory of Esther Hope is resurrected in Act Two - pitted against Jordan's wife's waning patience - as is the even more painful recollection of the killing of his son by the country's police. In the final scene Walcott masterfully renders Jordan's inevitable self-scrutiny - an evasively eloquent and mockingly tyrannical man's capitulation to emotional turmoil. PANTOMIME is a fast-paced comedy with a cast of two: a retired English actor who has bought a hotel in Tobago, and his recalcitrant and witty black handyman. In the hope of entertaining future guests, the Englishman proposes that the two work up a satire on the Robinson Crusoe story, in which the roles of Crusoe and Friday are reversed. The play was produced by both BBC Radio and London's Keskidee Theatre in 1979.
Used availability for Derek Walcott's Remembrance
January 1980 : USA Paperback