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Friday, December 20, 2013

Barry Reckord, Jamaican playwright, died he was 85.

Barry Reckord was a Jamaican playwright, one of the earliest Caribbean writers to make a contribution to theatre in Britain  died he was 85..


(19 November 1926 – 20 December 2011)

Biography

He was born Barrington John Reckord in Kingston, Jamaica, where he grew up in Vineyard Town with his three siblings: two brothers, Carol and Lloyd, and a sister Cynthia.[2] He attended Kingston College and after matriculation went on to study theology at St Peter's College in 1948. He left the island in 1950 after winning an Issa Scholarship to Cambridge University, where he read for a degree at Emmanuel College, graduating in 1953.[1][5]
He began writing plays as a student and several of them were performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London, sometimes directed by his brother Lloyd Reckord.[1][6] He also wrote television dramas, including for the BBC In the Beautiful Caribbean (1972) and Club Havana (1975),[3] and a book about Cuba, Does Fidel Eat More Than Your Father (Praeger, 1971).[1]
In 1973 he received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship to Assist Research and Artistic Creation.[7] Also in 1973, Reckord was awarded the Silver Musgrave Medal by the Institute of Jamaica.[1][2]
After living most of his adult life in Britain, mostly with his companion Diana Athill, in the last few years of his life he returned to Jamaica, where he died.[1]

Legacy

On 23 September 2012, a celebration of Reckord's life and work held at the Bush Theatre, Shepherd's Bush, London, saw the launch of the Barry Record Bursary, open to black, Asian and minority ethnic artists, and designed to encourage new playwrights. As Michael Billington commented in The Guardian: "It's good to see Reckord at last being given his due. But one way to celebrate a playwright is to encourage his successors."[8]

Selected plays

  • 1953: Della (Ward Theatre, Kingston, Jamaica)
  • 1954: Adella (London)
  • 1958: Flesh to a Tiger (Royal Court, London)
  • 1960: You in Your Small Corner (Royal Court); adapted for Granada Television's Play of the Week strand, 1962
  • 1963, 1971: Skyvers (Royal Court)
  • 1970: A Liberated Woman (Royal Court)
  • 1973: Give the Gaffers Time To Love You (Royal Court, Theatre Upstairs)
  • 1974: X (Royal Court, Theatre Upstairs)
  • 1975: The White Witch of Rose Hall (Creative Arts Centre, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica)
  • 1985: The White Witch (London)
  • 1988: Sugar D (Barn Theatre, Kingston, Jamaica)

Bibliography



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