‘Sizzaz Kut’ a sharp slice of late night television
Premieres on Monday
Aiming to satisfy the need for more local content, for Jamaicans by Jamaican, late night television comes alive with the premiere of Television Jamaica’s newest dramedy series, Sizzaz Kut.
Producer and story editor, Keisha O’Meally, explained that the show intends to take its viewers through a range of emotions and reactions, from uncontrollable, stomach-burning laughter to shock and maybe even a few tears.
“ Sizzaz Kut takes the real-life experiences of typical Jamaicans and showcases those experiences through characters that aim to capture and resonate the uniqueness and individuality of our people. From the ups and downs of relationships, the complexities in love and the journey to personal growth. Sizzaz Kut aims to not only entertain, but to give voice to and spur discussions around the very real issues facing our people,” she told The Sunday Gleaner.
Inspired by what O’Meally says are the cries of Jamaicans to produce more authentically Jamaican content, Sizzaz Kut was written in 2015 by Crystal Blake and given the green light for production in 2021. But, like other major productions in the film and theatre industry, there were a few hiccups along the way and the crew had to become very creative to get things ready for viewing.
“The Sizzaz Kut production got under way during the pandemic so an open cast call was not an option. As such, we relied heavily on contacts from our network. People who knew people. Auditions were conducted via Zoom and then we went into table reads and rehearsals with the ‘chosen ones’,” O’Meally said.
“As in most cases, anything that is new comes with reservations, therefore, while new can be refreshing, it is also unknown. It really took the combined efforts of members from the Sizzaz Kut team, the actors, friends, well-wishers and the Television Jamaica (TVJ) brand to bring it all together. TVJ’s generous support of the project is in keeping with their vision of a platform populated with more local dramas for an audience hungry to see stories made by Jamaicans for Jamaicans,” she continued.
As the production team prepares for the premiere on Monday, August 22 at 9:30 p.m. many of the cast members are gearing up to make their first on screen and professional acting debut. According to O’Meally, it was a deliberate discussion to use fresh faces who were searching for opportunities to break out into the industry to give them a platform from which to propel themselves further.
“The beauty about a country that is filled with so much talent is that you are never in deficit of it. It was really about showcasing persons who have a passion and interest to act so that they could grow with the show. We are therefore hoping that when viewers see the new faces on Sizzaz Kut, it will inspire young talent to not just see this field as a hobby but an avenue to have a successful career,” she explained.
Duncan Ellis, who plays Brickle on the show, said he was honoured to be a part of the cast and though this is his breakout role, he is hoping to one day become a revered performer in the Jamaican film and theatre landscape.
“I mean having a chance to be a part of a film that is going to be showcased to all of Jamaica on TVJ is a big deal. Not to mention all my family and friends are going to be watching a whole different character to my own be showcased on TV. I’m a little nervous, but confident that it will be a success,” he excitedly expressed.
“I hope to one day be a household name like Glen Campbell or Oliver Samuels. I hope to be seen one day as one of Jamaica’s best actors capable of performing any genre,” he continued.
Other members of the cast include Shola Collins; Narekah Baker; Latoya Malcolm; Brianna Miller; Colin Lamont; Stefan Reid; Shanese Watson; Tamara Burns; Venton Prendergast; Michelle Bailey; Junior Williams and Jo-Anne Williams.