By Danielle Palmyre
This is musical theatre which the author-lyricist prefers to call a ‘creole opera’, as part of his artistic research. It narrates the story of a real person, Jacques Desire Laval, a former doctor who becomes a catholic priest before being sent to Mauritius in 1841. He is buried there and the entire multi-faith population venerates him to this day. Action begins with the departure of ship The Tanjore from the Port of London. The journey lasts 100 days until the ship reaches Port Louis. Papa Laval would spend 23 years serving the recently freed slaves. Song, dance, poetry and dialogue allow the spectator to follow what happens during the 100 days at sea and the 23 years of the mission. It is not about religion, more about exceptional personalities and their human attributes. Men and women who could have been of great help in the 21st century.