Closing curtains; goodbye to theatre’s Joey Clarke
Joey Clarke passed away from a massive heart attack on Monday night as he was receiving medical treatment. Clarke, a playwright and actor, moved to Belize in March 2009 and married Senator, Lisa Shoman. He staged a number of successful plays that revitalized theatre. Tributes were flowing in today from the many who worked along with him on stage. News Five’s Marion Ali has this story.
Local theatre has been dealt another blow by the sudden passing of renowned playwright, director and actor, Joey Clark. Clark’s plays, “Treasure”, “The Best Medicine” and “Devilish” received rave reviews. Two of Clarke’s protégés, Clyve Myers and Jackie Castillo, say that despite challenging moments, it was an honor to have had worked along with him on his production called, “Treasure”.
Clyve Myers, Actor, “Treasure” stage play
“As an amateur for me it was frustrating because I wasn’t used to somebody just wanting something to be his way so bad, but at the end of the day when we did the shows I saw exactly what he was striving for.”
“As hard as it was to work with him because we’re two very strong-minded people, was his wit. He had a wittiness about him that would transcend itself from off the stage. He’s a renaissance man, you know, he was someone that looked at things outside of the box but also wanted everything around him to reflect who he was and what he represented as an artist.”
The forty-seven year old playwright moved to Belize less than two years ago and since then his contributions to the arts in Belize have been noted among many in his field, and his death just days after notable actress, Carrie Fairweather, has left a void in the industry.
“It’s a little bit sad to say that in less than two weeks Belize lost two very great writers, which is something in the essence of art and theatre, even in small plays and like that, Ms Carrie Fairweather, she was a writer, and Joey Clarke, a wonderful writer.”
“He simply wanted us to be moved, he wanted us to bring out that inner actor or actress that we had in all of us.”
Notwithstanding the late night rehearsals and many hours on the stage going over the script to a point of almost perfection, Castillo and Myers say they have worked under one of the best.
“Actually I am proud of myself and I’m proud of the work and the efforts he put into making that successful. It was an honour working with him and he will truly be missed.”
“Subliminally, the messages were always there. It was an interesting thing to see for a young person like myself to interact with someone who’s had experience like street plays from Jamaica and things like that. It was very interesting to see that from Joey Clark and that is what I’m going to remember.”
Marion Ali for News Five.
Clarke was born in England in 1963 but was raised in the Caribbean and moved to Belize in March of 2009. He was only in Belize for a couple months when he staged two plays, The Promise and Lesson for Lovers, both of which were finalists in the Belize Theatre Company’s playwriting competition. He was also a well-known director, playwright and performer in St Lucia, Trinidad and Jamaica. Clarke’s play “Best Medicine” premiered in December at the Biltmore. It is being produced for television by this station and will be aired in the weeks ahead. Clarke will be laid to rest on Saturday.