Parham Village, Antigua is the setting of David Edgecombe’s 2014 play Lady of Parham which has been shortlisted for the 2014 Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Award for Best Drama.
The Caribbean Award, inaugurated in 2010, is open to writers who are citizens of any Caribbean territory. The Shortlist was decided by an independent panel of writers, critics and experts in the fields of literature, drama, culture and the arts.
Lady of Parham is based on an actual local legend and was told to Edgecombe by Antiguan entrepreneur Pam Arthurton. The play, which was first staged at the UVI Little Theatre in April 2014, tells the tale of five revelers who have come together to form a Carnival troupe but settle for dramatizing the tale of the Parham ghost, the beautiful Sarah Rumsey who murdered her husband’s uncle to take control of the wealth he had planned to use to educate Antigua’s slaves in the late 1650s. Sarah died in a mysterious fire shortly after and since then her ghost has haunted Parham Village looking for someone worthy to tell where she hid the gold.
In the telling of the story, the revelers must confront the demons that threaten to derail their own lives.
Edgecombe has since produced Hubert Harrison, a play based on the life of the Virgin Islands’ civil rights activist and is in the process of preparing for the twenty-fifth anniversary production of his hit play Heaven.
For those who would like to know more about this Antiguan tale, Lady of Parham, published by CaribbeanReads, can be purchased at bookstores in Antigua and in the US Virgin Islands or online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It is also available on kindle.
Winners of the Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Awards will be announced at a prize giving ceremony on November 29.