Reid leads cast to capture emotions in Strength of a Woman – November 3rd and 11th, 2007, South Florida

Audrey Reid, the highly acclaimed star of the movie Dancehall Queen and Third World Cop returns to South Florida to appear in Andrew Roach’s true-to-life comedy Strength of a Woman, scheduled for the North Miami Beach Performing Arts Center on Saturday, November 3 and the Coral Springs Center for the Arts on Sunday, November 11.

Born in the East Kingston ghetto area of Franklin Town, her parents moved when she was ten to the almost equally rough district of Vineyard Town. While attending Vauxhall Comprehensive High, Reid left high school when she became pregnant with her oldest daughter in the tenth grade – an almost archetypal tale of Jamaican female teenager. Determined to turn adversity to advantage, Reid almost immediately became a member of the Jamaica School of Drama’s evening course, landing a part in the National Pantomime. The renowned Jamaican actor, Ed “Bim” Lewis, then gave her a role in Obeah Wedding. “That’s when I knew what I wanted to do,” says Reid.

More offers followed and she appeared in productions such as Village Rooster, Con Man, and Some Like It Hot. Her career soared when she joined the theatrical troupe, Oliver Samuels and Friends, with whom she toured the Caribbean. In the USA and UK, meanwhile, Reid played in a variety of productions, including Boy Blue, Full House, Boops, Scandal and Irie Neighbor. She also performed in Oliver Samuels’ Jamaican television series Oliver at Large.

The success of her roles in the movies have not kept her from the stage and she returns in Strength of a Woman to play the character of Rose a no-nonsense Christian woman and housekeeper who works for an uptown family. Her young son, Johnny (Chris Daley) becomes an object of lust for her boss’ manipulative wife, Sharon (an engaging Deon Silvera). Rose strongly disapproves of Sharon’s intentions and things take a turn for the worse.

Reid leads the cast well, capturing the emotions, body language and perseverance of a woman who is torn between her allegiance to the church and the crisis she faces as a mother trying to save her son. Her talent is evident in Strength of a Woman; the tight mother-son relationship she shares onstage with Daley is one of the highlights of the play. But as is the case with many ghetto families in Jamaica, the mother is forced to wonder if her child is really as innocent as he appears to be.

In the play Reid is strongly supported by the superb acting of Volier Johnson, Deon Silvera and Sheldon Shepherd. The action is explosive from the get-go, particularly in scenes where the husband, Lloyd (played with vigour by Volier Johnson) clashes with his wife and her young lover. But when the situation really gets out of control, there are unexpected and life-altering consequences.

Strength of a Woman is presented by Riddims Marketing and Jamaica Awareness, Inc. and is sponsored by Western Union, People’s Telecom and Air Jamaica. Tickets are available at selected Caribbean outlets or the Coral Springs box office.