The Messiah goes high tech

Richard Johnson

Saturday, September 22, 2012

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WHEN Father Richard Ho Lung's 2012 production opens next weekend, patrons can expect another great performance.


This year's musical The Messiah, will see the introduction of video mapping into local theatrical production. It will utilise projected video images to replace the usual painted sets and backdrops.


According to Greg Thames, director of The Messiah, this makes production much more vivid as the images will come alive. The production's run for two weekends — September 29-30 and October 6-7 at the National Arena in St Andrew.


He cited an example: "When Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem for the census, the scenes will change as they visit the five inns where they were told there was 'no room'."


Thames says in addition to stock images, live footage has also been shot to enhance the look and feel of The Messiah.


Meanwhile, the director says rehearsals have been progressing very well and he expects all to be ready for next Thursday's performance which is geared towards schools across the island.


Speaking to the Jamaica Observer, convenor Father Ho Lung says he expects as many as 50,000 patrons to stream into the National Arena over the next two weekends.


"This year's production, with its cast of more than 70 actors, singers and dancers is a retake on the musical Jesus 2000 which was staged a few years ago. It is being presented with new songs and scenes," he explained.


"With the introduction of video mapping, I am pleased and excited to be taking theatre in Jamaica to a new level, not just with the subject matter, but also on the technical level. We continue to bring wholesome values to Jamaican theatre."


Father Ho Lung and his Missionaries of the Poor have been assisting Jamaica's poor and destitute for the past 41 years through the staging of the annual theatre productions. Previous musical have included Moses, Listen, Man, David, Rise Up, Yes! Jam Reggae Opera and last year's Acts of the Apostles.


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