Moon on a Rainbow Shawl

Errol John
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ISBN 9780571290109 Format Paperback
Published 16/02/2012 Length 112 pages

About Book

Esther - if yer have yer head screw on right - No matter where yer go - One night - some time - Yer reach up - yer touch that moon.

For the teeming populace of Old Mack's cacophonous yard in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, it's a cheek by jowl existence lived out on a sweltering public stage. Snatches of calypso compete with hymn tunes, drums and street cries as neighbours drink, brawl, pass judgment, make love, look out for each other and crave a better life. But Ephraim is no dreamer and nothing, not even the seductive Rosa, is going to stop him escaping his dead-end job for a fresh start in England.

Set as returning troops from the Second World War fill the town with their raucous celebrations, Erroll John's Moon on a Rainbow Shawl depicts a vibrant, cosmopolitan world that is as harsh as it is filled with colour and warmth.

'A brawling, laughing, bitter sense of life courses through Moon on a Rainbow Shawl. Errol John fills the stage with people of flesh and blood; he communicates the harshness and tension in this steaming, crowded corner of Port-of-Spain. He writes with such warmth and understanding that the problems and characters of a mean backyard in Trinidad assume a validity for a multitude of teeming, troubled places on this planet.' New York Times

  • About Errol John

    Errol John (1924-88) came to England from his native Trinidad in 1950. His numerous acting roles in films included The Heart of the Matter (1953) and Simba (1955), and he took the title role in Othello for the Old Vic Company in 1963. On television he played leading roles in A Man from the Sun (BBC, 1956) and No Hiding Place (BBC, 1961), and in a five-part series written for him by John Elliot, Rainbow City (BBC, 1967). In 1969 he wrote The Exiles for the BBC's Wednesday Play slot; but he remains best known for his play Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, which was a winner in the 1957Observer Play Competition. The play was first staged at the Royal Court in 1958. It was revived at Stratford East in 1985, directed by the author; at the Almeida Theatre, London, in 1988, directed by Maya Angelou; and at the National Theatre in 2012.

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