Cast Iron, a one-woman show about an elderly Barbados-born woman in a Winnipeg nursing home reliving her early life, opened last night at the Tarragon Extra Space. One of the noteworthy things about Lisa Codrington’s first play, produced by Nightwood Theatre in association with Obsidian theatre company, is that it is written and performed in the Bajan dialect. [You can see what it looks like written in this Eye article.]
Don’t let that scare you off from going to see Cast Iron, though: You don’t have to be fluent in Bajan like Torontoist (who speaks over 126 dialects and can lift a car with his bare hands) to get the story. Anyone who speaks English will understand most of it and get the rest intuitively. It’s definitely worth seeing for a real stomper of a performance by Alison Sealy-Smith (pictured), the stellar actor who won a Dora for her work in Djanet Sears’ Harlem Duet and was recently seen in Sears’ The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God. (The sage-like Sears was in the house last night encouraging her friend.)
Having recently seen Da Kink in My Hair and Cast Iron, Torontoist just has one question: Why are many local black women poets opposed to capital letters in their names? There’s Cast Iron’s multidisciplinary director ahdri zhina mandiela, and then trey anthony, creator and star of Da Kink (recently extended to March 26 at the Princess of Wales), and d’bi.young who delivers an incredible performance in Da Kink. Are they just trying to make it difficult to write posts about them in Microsoft Word or what? Stupid AutoCorrect: Clearly, like national daycare, an oppressive tool of old white guys!
Opening Night Stats:
Number of cellphones that went off: 1.
Number of people who awkwardly stumbled out of the theatre via the stage near the beginning of the play: 1.