Jamaica Farewell (3 stars)

This article is from 2014

Jamaica Farewell

Solo Fringe performance presents thrilling journey across political turbulence and street violence

Jamaica Farewell is a solo performance by Deborah Ehrhardt in which she recounts episodes from her childhood in her beloved Jamaica and her conflicting desire to one day move to America, the place she thinks of as the land of opportunity. During the turbulent 1970s, when Jamaica’s political twists and turns translated into violence on the streets, Ehrhardt glimpsed her chance to chase her dream.

Based on a true story, this production presented by SoHo Playhouse Inc, engages a subtle approach to the telling of the story, with the emphasis on Ehrhardt’s performance of her own material. Ehrhardt’s storytelling is wonderfully energised and the material itself is thrillingly-paced and dripping with detail.

It's the power of the story itself that keeps Jamaica Farewell engaging: despite the energy, charm and wit of Ehrhardt, the theatrical framework used to support her performance lacks the focus to drive home the emotional impact of the story. Ehrhardt’s tale is thrilling to hear and she appears at her best when relishing the candid spirit of storytelling.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 25 Aug, 4.15pm, £10–£11 (£7–£8.50)

Jamaica Farewell

  • 3 stars

How expensive is a ticket from Jamaica to America? A cool million dollars. See what happens when the audacity of youth comes smack up against the impossibility of escaping from the war-torn class struggle that seized Jamaica in the 1970s. With all the surprise and ingenuity of the best make-believe tales, the true story…