The highly anticipated St Lucian premiere of Derek Walcott’s O Starry Starry Night certainly lived up to the hype. Seemingly conjured up by the Nobel Prize winner himself, the skies were clear and the night crisp as his latest piece opened up to a packed house at Samaan’s Park on Thursday night. The specially invited guests, which read like a who’s who of St Lucia, enjoyed a champagne gala which featured an art exhibit and the musical stylings of Mamai Kweyol, prior to the main event.
And it was worth the wait. The story is set around the friendship of renowned artists Vincent Van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin as they reside together in the French town of Arles in 1888. Brian Carter-Green does a brilliant job of conveying the madness of Van Gogh as he sinks further and further into the depths of debilitating paranoia. Wendell Manwarren is equally as riveting as Gauguin, a man exasperated by his beleaguered comrade’s continued freefall. St Lucians should be especially proud of local actress Natalie LaPorte, the lone female in the cast, who more than holds her own as prostitute Lotte, who becomes Ganguin’s lover.
It all unfolds masterfully as the pair of painters fight, spend an absurd amount of time at a local café, and yes, practice their craft. Fans of Walcott will definitely not be disappointed by the latest addition to a legendary career.