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This report is taken from PN Review 229, Volume 42 Number 5, May - June 2016.

Letter from Trinidad

On Becoming a Belmont Exotic Stylish Sailor
Vahni Capildeo
Christmas brought an experimental Macbeth to one quarter-acre of Port of Spain. The theatre began outdoors, in the sloping driveway. A stainless steel jug sat on a wooden table that someone had painted silver long ago. Night-time: the neighbourhood security lighting glared. A check was kept on the gateway. Whoever crossed the threshold had water poured over them; flowers poured out with the water; the water poured onto the ground. ‘You must be purified of your sins’, the decolonised witch admonished the audience, who were then ushered through an ironically puffed perfume wall of Burberry Brit to change them from the oil-producing state of everyday. A hunting knife and pine bough hung from the lamp ornamented with metal flowers: Birnam Wood and the castle intertwined. A man was bound in lengths of gold tinsel to another lamp, which would be ripped from the ceiling if he moved. A cake was prepared with enough candles for everyone, briefly, to have a wish and watch their breath act upon the flame. The Banquo-banquet would be a general birthday for this line of inheritors. There was one flaw: the KingQueen could not be crowned, except in absentia. Macbeth herself had flu.

‘I can’t go back without something,’ the witch wailed to the unbound victim.

‘All right,’ he said. His journalist hat tipped over his poet-brain.

Another night, they drove into the night.

The houses in this area had careful, smaller gates. They were graciously built and often had been extended by their owners. A certain number of ...

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