Playboy of the West Indies

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Playboy of the West Indies is a play by Trinidadian playwright Mustapha Matura, a Caribbean version of Synge's The Playboy of the Western World. Playboy of the West Indies opened at the Oxford Playhouse in 1984 and subsequently toured the UK, finishing at the Tricycle Theatre in London. The original cast included Joy Richardson (as Alice), Jackie de Peza (Ivy), Frank Singuineau (Jimmy), Jim Findley (Ken), T-Bone Wilson (Mac), Mona Hammond (Mama Benin), Rudolph Walker (Mikey), Joan Ann Maynard (Peggy), Tommy Eytle (Phil), and Jason Rose (Stanley).[1]

The play has also enjoyed much success in the United States, most notably at The Court Theatre, Chicago; Arena Stage, Washington, DC; New Jersey and Yale Rep. The Court Theatre Chicago's production was nominated for four Jefferson Awards.[1] There was an extremely successful revival of the play at the Lincoln Center, New York, in 1993, directed by Gerald Gutierrez.[2]

Mustapha also wrote the television adaptation, screened on BBC2 in 1985.[3]

The play has been called a "marvellous adaptation",[4] and in 2004 it was revived at the Tricycle Theatre and the Nottingham Playhouse, in a well reviewed production by Nicolas Kent, who first directed the play 20 years earlier.[5] Peter Hepple in The Stage stated: "Whereas Playboy of the Western World is recognised as a serious play, despite its comedy overtones, Mustapha Matura’s Trinidadian version is all good humour. Possibly this is because its setting, a small fishing village, may have some significance to West Indians but to us it is simply a colourful background for this clever adaptation."[6] Michael Billington wrote in The Guardian, "As comedy, Matura's version is hard to fault: he keeps all Synge's surprise entrances and adds to them his own 1950 period texture and joyous Creole dialogue...."[7][8][9]


  1. ^ a b "Playboy of the West Indies By Mustapha Matura", National Theatre Black Plays Archive.
  2. ^ "Shows | April 14 - July 25, 1993: Playboy of the West Indies", Lincoln Center Theater.
  3. ^ Playboy of the West Indies Archived 2014-03-15 at the Wayback Machine., London: Oberon Books.
  4. ^ Charles Spencer, "Caribbean riot of love and grief", The Telegraph, 8 December 2004.
  5. ^ Adam Scott, "Playboy of the West Indies, Tricycle Theatre, London", The Independent, 14 December 2004.
  6. ^ Peter Hepple, "Playboy of the West Indies" (review), The Stage, 9 December 2004.
  7. ^ Michael Billington, "Playboy of the West Indies" (review), The Guardian, 7 December 2004.
  8. ^ Pat Ashworth, "Playboy of the West Indies", The Stage, 10 February 2005.
  9. ^ Steve Orme, "Playboy of the West Indies" (review), British Theatre Guide, 2005.

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