Biography

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Jamaican playwright, born in Kingston, Jamaica; he studied drama at the Rose Bruford College in Kent. In 1965 he founded ‘Theatre 77’, which performed at the Barn Theatre in Kingston, for which Rhone wrote The Gadget (1969). His published plays include Old Story Time and Other Plays (1981), which also contains Smile Orangeand School's Out, and Two Can Play and School's Out (1986). Set in a ‘third-rate’ beach hotel, Smile Orange (1971, filmed and directed by Rhone in 1974) is a deceptively gentle satire on the insidious corruptions of the tourist industry, while School's Out (1975) draws on Rhone's experiences as a schoolmaster, and questions many current assumptions about education. Rhone's most popular play, Old Story Time (1979), in which ‘Pa Ben’, the old story-teller, recounts forty years of Jamaican life, reveals the playwright's comic vision at its most luminous. Rhone's realistic comedies about Jamaican life all combine serious social criticism with buoyant humour, and are acutely sensitive to a wide variety of dialects and modes of speech. If: A Tragedy of the Ruled (1983) and Hopes of the Living Dead (1988) are both historical allegories set in turn-of-the-century Nigeria. He also co-authored and produced the internationally successful film The Harder They Come (1972).

"Trevor Rhone, the award-winning Jamaican playwright, director and actor who brought his island’s culture to the world as a writer of the groundbreaking film 'The Harder They Come,'..." New York Times

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