Black History Month 2020
Culchahworks explores the relationship between Newfoundland and Jamaica
Newfoundland's famous "screech" can only be made from Jamaican rum, while ackee and saltfish - the national dish of Jamaica - requires salt cod, and cod is not native to the waters off Jamaica's shores. So how did this come to be?
Culchahworks examines this question in a riveting new drama, written and directed by Artistic Director Andrew Craig.
Set in 1923 - the height of the Prohibition era - "Fish And Rum" is the story of two families: one in Kingston, Jamaica, the other in a remote Newfoundland outport. Unknown to each other, the families live out parallel lives of struggle, in an uncertain economic climate. But the families become unwittingly connected through barter: the Newfoundlanders send salted cod to Jamaica, in exchange for rum barrels.
John Parsons, head of the Newfoundland family, one day decides to send lesser-grade cod to Jamaica, thinking no one will notice. Unfortunately, Roxroy James, the recipient in Kingston, does notice, and retaliates by sending lesser-grade barrels. Thus begins a race to the bottom that will have serious consequences for both families, and their communities.
All this is set against the backdrop of widespread political corruption, the fight for women's rights, and of course, rum running. In the end, we see how each individual action has an effect on many. We are all connected.
Told in both Newfoundland dialect and Jamaican patois (with surtitles), "Fish And Rum" offers a fascinating and factual look into life in Newfoundland and Jamaica in the 1920s. Even though the islands are separated by the Atlantic Ocean, their experiences are eerily parallel.
The music in "Fish And Rum" is a brand-new hybrid: a fusion of the traditional music of Newfoundland with the music that would have been popular in Jamaica one hundred years ago - a little-known style called Mento.
Presented in partnership with the Al Green Theatre (Toronto), and in partnership with Memorial University's Student Union, and as part of TD Bank's Black History Month programming (St. John's), "Fish And Rum" is a hybrid theatre/video production unlike any other, that will engage, enlighten, and entertain. Don't miss it! Click the appropriate button below for your city: