SmithTranslate Chaucer’s Middle English into a vernacular she has called “North Weezian,” and her “WifeOf Willesden” is Alvita, Jamaican-born BritishWoman in her 50s who wears fake gold chains and adorns herself with fake jewelry Jimmy ChooTalks and heels in a mix of LondonSlang and patois. HerThe tale is in the form of JamaicanFolklore, set in 18th century. LikeHer progenitor was Alvita has also been married five times and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.
InThere was some back and forth between her religious beliefs AuntieP about sex, religion Alvita tells her: “It’s true Paul” He didn’t want us having sex for fun — / But it weren’t like: commandment number one. / Auntie, what you call laws I call advice.”
ReferringTo her character Clare PerkinsWho plays Alvita, said, “She’s striving for personal happiness.”
“She’s always reinventing herself and she’s always right there, in the middle of her life,” Perkins added.
TheTransformation of AlysonOf BathIn AlvitaOf Northwest LondonFor Smith, a significant leap. InHer introduction to the script, published by Penguin this month, she wrote “Alyson’s voice — brash, honest, cheeky, salacious, outrageous, unapologetic — is one I’ve heard and loved all my life: in the flats, at school, in the playgrounds of my childhood and then the pubs of my maturity.”
Smith doesn’t seem to overthink the prominence of Northwest London in her work. “If you grew up close to the streets, it just means something to you,” Smith said. “It was never an intention when I started, but there’s just something about the neighborhood. It really entertains me.”
WhileThe play is, in one sense, a celebration for the setting. Rubasingham, it’s also about acknowledging the hardships that the area has endured during the pandemic.
Source: NY Times