Marie Laveau and Steel


| 2016

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When black New Orleans madam and voodoo priestess Marie LaVeau attempts to wrest control of her brothel away from its white financier, she unleashes a racial and religious storm that threatens to consume the city. With his customary feel for character and language, Derek Walcott expertly navigates the territory between two very different sides of New Orleans - one Christian and the other animist. Using song and humour, "Marie LaVeau" brilliantly lays bare the absurdities upon which the Old South rested. In "Steel", Walcott employs verse, song, and the vernacular to narrate the story of the Bandidos, a group of panband musicians in Trinidad, as they struggle among themselves, do battle with the police, and fight against the weight of their colonial history. Set to the rhythm of the steel drum, this is a paean to the people of the West Indies - their hardships, their triumphs, and their sense...

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