The low down on Rundown

2011 looking creative for Cultural Foundation

The popular lightly satirical Cayman show Rundown will definitely take place in March 2011 for a run of at least a week.

Following the emigration of main writer David Martins, the 2010 performance did not happen, but auditions took place in December which Henry Muttoo of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation said would bolster the familiar cast.

“We have a core of five or so and we’ve auditioned as we would like to get a core cast of about 10. It was so we could look at the talent and what they had to offer. The script is being pulled together at the moment with a couple of classic pieces adapted which we’ll build a team around. Rita Estevanovich and me will brainstorm some ideas along with the rest of the cast, and by around mid-January we will hopefully have a working script, before an intensive four-to-five week rehearsal phase.

“Things happen, so you like to be up to date and it develops as you go along. People do get in touch and suggest politics and so on, but I have to keep reminding them that this is funny. Sometimes they want you to say things they would like to say. We do review things and make fun of certain things, a lot of which is topical but some of which could lend itself to any other society’s problems,” said Mr. Muttoo.

He revealed that one of the subjects would be the various languages and dialects heard in Cayman and the misunderstandings that can occur as a result.

Local musicians are also being lined up to assist.

Budget cuts

The arts in Cayman have remained strong despite the economy and budget cuts, said the director.

“The wonderful thing about Cayman is that even when things are falling down around us, the arts actually are improving. The Gallery and the Museum, while not always very visible, are doing a lot of great work on doing stuff. Thanks to our own volunteers, we’ve had a terrific year, better than some years when things were not so bad.

“Sometimes these kind of adversities make people work harder. If cuts keep being made and sponsors stop coming out, that will affect more programmes and affect staff. But in 2010 we had a terrific Gimistory and a terrific Cayfest,” said the director, who added that he appreciated all sponsors.

The other big project was the stabilisation of Miss Lassie’s House, which presented a few issues with wattling which will be addressed in 2011 through fundraising initiatives throughout the year.

“We are attempting to get this house listed on the World Monuments Watch List, which would mean internationally that people would know it was of international significance and in danger. We have a draft that we will get out in January and they’ll make the decision in May. Then we have a slightly harder task of getting it on the World Heritage List – we think we can, but it’s a lot of work. If we did, it would be a little easier for us to access international funding and funding through UNESCO for the upkeep of the 130-year-old house,” he said.

Educating the population of Cayman about the cultural and historical significance of Miss Lassie’s House and the art that was produced there is also a focus of the coming 12 months, he said.

Cayfest

Planning is also under way for Cayfest, which, given a reduction in the Foundation’s funding, will need a fundraising drive attached, he said. During January the planning of the various competitions will commence and information on photography and art competitions will follow in due course, he said, plus the publication of a new journal which will concentrate on the arts in Cayman Brac and the traditions of the island. On a personal level, Mr. Muttoo is going to direct and design a performance of Shakespeare’s The Tempest at Rugby School in England next year, he said.

“We also want to bring the production, with all the students, down to Cayman and host them at the Harquail. We are not sure if that can happen because of the economy, but it would be terrific to do that exchange if it was possible.

“At the foundation we leave a little breathing space because, trust me, people will come with great ideas and we like to have a creative freedom to suddenly slip something in that needs to be there rather than being locked in all the time,” he said.

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