Tobago Drama Guild Wows Toronto Audiences With “A Calabash of Blood”

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The Tobago Drama Guild (TTDG) kept its 2022 promise to return to Toronto in 2023 with a new offering to excite the Trinidad and Tobago and wider Caribbean diaspora. This year, the feature presentation was “A Calabash of Blood” by Eric Roach.

Set on a slave plantation on the eve of Emancipation, the play exposes the intrigues and shenanigans playing out at the Great House, juxtaposed against the African hopes of freedom from the plantation.

TTDG assembled a stellar cast of actors, dancers, musicians and singers and director THABITI drew out powerful, nuanced performances from them all. They pulled together to masterfully navigate the sensitive topics and extraordinarily complex emotions of that period. The whole play is enlivened with music and dancing from beginning to end. Many patrons commented that it was a magnificent production deserving of a life beyond its two-night run at the Trinidad and Tobago Consulate General in Toronto.

Speaking about the experience, Administrative Director of The Tobago Drama Guild, Cherryll BWT said, “In keeping with its mandate to highlight the works of our Tobago icons, TTDG resolved to complete the trilogy of the late Eric Roach’s plays. After a successful run of “Belle Fanto”, we trained focus on “A Calabash of Blood”, deliberately choosing to enact the presentation within the seasons of Independence, Emancipation and Republic Day. Since the performance of Blood Money in 2022, The Tobago Drama Guild has grown a diaspora audience, appreciative of quality theatre. The alliances forged, particularly through the patronage of the Acting Consul General Tracey Ramsubagh-Mannette, have facilitated the resounding success of the play, that culminated in a standing ovation on the final night. We appreciate all of the goodwill and look forward to continuing strong ties.”

Copping the Best Actress Award Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition this year, Cherryll herself delivered a tour-de-force performance as Mamba. The diaspora in Toronto is quickly learning to factor The Tobago Drama Guild into their summer plans or risk missing some of the most powerful performances of the year.

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