Maxwell “Bashy” Grant has been entertaining audiences for over 40 years
Some may know him as Maama Man among other aliases from his character plays over the years. Maxwell Augustus Grant is recognized as one of the stalwarts of Jamaican theatre, entertaining many theatregoers for over 40 years with his unique talent.
“Theatre in Jamaica can be nice because you have the market for it. But you must not dilute the content or the dialect. People want that experience.” – Maxwell Grant in an interview with the Jamaica Star.
In an interview with the Jamaica Gleaner Grant said, “I enjoy theatre. It is no big money, but you have to utilise what you get. As an actor in the theatre, you don’t get a pension. Once you in theatre and you are consistent, you try get a little house and have something for yourself, because it won’t last forever.”
Since 2013 he has been working on the international scene with Theatre World International where he has acted in plays such as Delilah Meets Granny, Bad Livin, and Barbershop Bangarang.
“I love it. There is more respect. You work with different people and people with integrity, people who know what they want.. It [working with Theatre World International] is far different. You earn more and the people I am working with show more respect than when I was working at Stages… It was really great working over there, a different atmosphere where people were more appreciative of your talents, but my fans and colleagues in Jamaica asked me to return…” – Maxwell Grant.
Although Grant has experienced struggles locally with theatre, he remains loyal to Jamaican theatre and has dedicated decades to mastering the art within his country. Highlights of his acting career includes Maama Man, Man Fi Get Bun, Once Is Enough, Serious Business, Passa Passa, and Bashment Granny among other hits.
“Theatre in Jamaica can be nice because you have the market for it. People in Jamaica love to laugh. Stages [a production company] used to draw crowds of 8,000 and 16,000 patrons, so it shows that people enjoy these things. Once you have what to offer them, they will come to see… During the time when I just started, you getting $30 per night, but it was fun. After we leave Ward Theatre, we run fi get bus. Back then it was fun. In recent times, it has become a cut-throat business” – Maxwell Grant.
Maxwell ‘Bashy’ Grant portrays Pastor Joe Magnus in the international staging of David Tulloch’s Bad Breed in Baltimore, Maryland (July 15, 2017) and Washington, DC (July 16, 2017) alongside a stellar cast that includes Terri Salmon, Micheal ‘Stringbean’ Nicholson, Akeem Poyser and Daniella ‘Teeta’ Gordon. The play has been circulating through theatres in Jamaica since last year and the comedy-drama will be featured in an impeccable manner while tackling issues including father-son relationships, love triangles and marriage among other themes.
Grant also loves working with young actors to carry on the next generation of theatre; he imparts his knowledge and experience to them. He does not intend to retire any time soon, as the sixty-nine year old believes that he still has a couple more years to commit to theatre, be it locally or internationally before he hands in the towel. Either way, he will always be known as a legend as his contributions and service for his time in theatre is nothing short of great and will remain relevant beyond the sands of Caribbean time.
By Alexandra Daley
Don’t miss BAD BREED