Marys Seacole is playing at the Claire Row Center/Lincoln Theater located at 150 West 65St. It runs one hour thirty minutes with no intermission. The play closes on April 7. 2019.
Mary Jane Seacole was a British Jamaican business women and nurse who set up a “British Hotel” behind the lines during the Crimean War. She was born on November 12, 1805 in Kingston, Jamaica and died May 14, 1881 in Paddington, London, U.K.
Mary (Quincy Tyler Berstine ) tells us about herself. She avoids telling us her age, she jokes about it. Mary was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Her father was a Scottish solider and her mother was Creole. She followed in her mother’s footsteps- who owned a boarding house and was a respected healer. Her mother Duppy Mary (Karen Kandel) walks around the stage saying nothing, her facial expression says everything.
When Mary takes off her period dated dress she is in nurse scrubs.
We are now in a nursing’s home. Merry (Marceline Hugot) is lying in bed, she makes weird noises. Her daughter May (Lucy Taylor) is showing her pictures from a family photo album. Miriam (Ismenia Mendes) May’s teenage daughter is so bored being there. Merry poops in her bed and Mary and the aide Mamie (Gabby Beans) clean her.
Next thing Mary and Mamie are looking out for the children they watch at a playground. Miriam has a baby carriage. She just had a baby and is over whelmed by it.
Mary goes to England to meet Florence Nightingale to help take care of the British soldiers fighting in the Crimean War. Her application is turned down. She wonders if it’s because she is black. Mary still goes to help.
We are back in time again. We meet the women Mary was raised by. She is now fourteen. Merry acts more like Mary is her maid. Duppy Mary says it’s for her best interest.
All of a sudden there are dead bodies all around, ashes fly over everywhere and bloody hand prints on the wall. We must be at the Crimea War. Strange things are happening. It’s as if her life is flashing before her.
It’s an interesting story. It goes back and forth in time. You wonder if the current people we me meet are descendants or just their spirits we meet at different times.
There six actress in the show doing several roles. They all do a remarkable performance. Until Karen Kandel character talks her facial expressions say it all. She is amazing!
If you like history you will like this play. It will make you want to know more about this amazing women Mary Seacole.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.