'While [Mixed Company] constitutes a celebratory commemoration, it is itself a laudable act of salvage and transmission... an unusually lively reading experience... Maskarade's colourful, symbolic theatricality recalls Sean O'Casey or early Lorca. Bedward is classically balanced between prayer and cross-questioning; home truths bite with a bitter wit. Finally The Creatures describes natural amorality in the bird and the lizard, while in man's voice rises "the tide of a lifetime breaking loose".' –The Times Literary Supplement
In 2012 Jamaica celebrates the 50th anniversary of Independence. Mixed Company is a collection of three of the finest early Jamaican theatrical works, written for the most part before the dawn of Independence.
Written in 1954 (The Creatures by Cicely Waite-Smith), 1960 (Bedward by Louis Marriott) and 1970 (Maskarade by Sylvia Wynter), the plays are examples of works conceived with a Jamaican audience in mind, a Jamaican audience conscious of the melting pot in which it lived. Each offers a unique perspective on the spirit of a people who held on to traditional beliefs and customs in the face of colonial opprobrium as the populace struggled to gain its political, social and cultural independence.
Yvonne Brewster is the founding member of the Barn Theatre (Jamaica) and Talawa Theatre Company (UK) and has worked in theatre, film, television, radio, and universities as a director, lecturer and actor. She is a Fellow of Rose Bruford College, Central School of Speech and Drama and the Royal Society of Arts, a Licentiate of the Royal College of Music. She received the OBE for Services to the Arts (1993) and an Honorary Doctorate from the Open University (2001). She edited three collections in the Methuen series Black Plays.