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Arts & Culture Last Updated: May 31, 2017 - 10:09:32 AM


Strachan’s new play “Honourable Member” takes on politics
By Dionne Benjamin-Smith
May 31, 2017 - 9:42:17 AM

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Bahamian writer and director Ian Strachan.

Writer and director Ian Strachan is bringing a new play, “Honourable Member,” to the stage from June 8th through the 11th at the Dundas Centre’s Winston V. Saunders Theatre. Strachan’s Ceiba Arts theatre company made waves last year with “Gun Boys Rhapsody,” a moving drama about crime and violence. This time he sets his sights on Caribbean politics. It’s his fourth play set in the fictional nation of “I-Land.”

The play is a portrait of a Caribbean Prime Minister, Winston “Fergie” Ferguson, played by Dion Johnson. Fergie is a master communicator and a wily veteran when it comes to out maneuvering his rivals. “I was blown away by Dion Johnson’s performance in ‘Sizwe Bansi is Dead’,” says Strachan. “The role of Winston Ferguson is extremely demanding. He’s on stage for all but one scene. Dion has been up to the task. I think people will be truly floored by his performance.”

“Honourable Member” boasts quite a cast of acting talents. Chigozie Ijeoma, Leslie Tynes, Matthew Wildgoose and Greg Deane are just some of the veterans bringing this comedy/drama to life.

“I know we just had a big election and people are eager to see the stories that have made big news in the country over the last few years raised on the stage,” says Strachan. “They won’t be disappointed. The play does touch on quite a few of the big headlines over the last 5 years. But people will also get a lot that they don’t expect. I’m trying to tell a story that can stand on its own two feet long after this particular moment in our history. So it’s a real story, with a beginning, middle and end. With a real, complicated hero, who’s trying to achieve something hard. And if we do our jobs right, you will love him and hate him all at once.”

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Strachan says audiences will find lots to laugh at in this show but it deals with some very serious issues nonetheless. For instance, the play asks whether someone can really have power without being corrupt in one way or another? And do the people really want a leader who tells the truth all the time?

“I think one of the main things I wanted to do with this piece is just address what I believe are some of the misconceptions people have about the way power really works in these third world micro-states. I have a history of being very critical of politicians. I tried very hard not to be as judgmental and to show the very human side of these individuals. Because they are human. They are flawed. And so are we the people.”

The Ceiba Arts production of “Honourable Member” runs Thursday June 8th through Saturday June 10th at 8pm and Sunday June 11th at 6pm at the Dundas Centre. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Dundas Box Office or by calling 393-3718 or 470-1963 or email ceibalearning@gmail.com.

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