Big Yard: an intriguing look at life in Jamaica

Big Yard, a hilarious and thought-provoking theatrical production starring Oliver Samuels, is a play that should not be missed. Written by Devon Haughton and directed by Shirvington Hannays, Big Yard is set in Spanish Town, Jamaica, where a diverse group of people live in a tenement yard.

The lead character, Merle (portrayed by Samuels) operates a business from his handcart and is also the source of food, supplies and gossip in the ‘big yard’. Daisy (portrayed by Terri Salmon), has aspirations of improving her life. She hopes to migrate after getting married to her fiancé who lives in Toronto. She also has a hidden agenda for living in the ‘big yard’.

Mr. Richards (portrayed by John Phillips), the rent collector, tries to solicit favours from Daisy in return for free rent. He is usually intoxicated, but is very businesslike when he visits the ‘big yard’ to collect rent.

A White Canadian who lives in the ‘big yard’, aptly named Mr. White (portrayed by Tim Wagner) is a Rastafarian who uses his religious beliefs to pacify arguments between Merle, Mr. Richards and Daisy. The play also features two other characters, Spot Lamp (Damian Brown) and Twitter (Tashanta Whyte).

Big Yard’s musical score and story depicts present happenings in Jamaica and includes a touching twist of fate in Daisy’s life relating to her parents.

Big Yard will be presented at the Oshawa Little Theatre, 62 Russett St., Oshawa, on Saturday, August 29 at 7 p.m.; the Bronson Centre Theatre, 211 Bronson Avenue, Ottawa on Saturday, September 5 at 7 p.m.; and the Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Lane, Brampton, on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 27 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 at the door.

To purchase tickets and acquire more information, visit or call 416-631-2324 or 613-226-8085 in Ottawa.

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