The smashing new sensation to hit Bahamian television since the Ferguson’s of Farm Road has set to defy the odds and open the market to something special, something new: Bahamian soap opera. The kind of show that will have viewers sitting on the edge of their seats desperately trying to figure whats going to happen next has finally found its way. This is Gippie’s Kingdom. Written and directed by Dr. Ian G. Strachan the series premiered on Wednesday 13th June 2012, with a gala premiere event held at Super Club Breezers.
The ballroom was filled to capacity with a host of special invited guest including local celebrities, sponsors, news reporters, family and friends of the cast and of course the viewers tuned in from home. The guest eagerly streamed in with anticipations high as the stars and production crew glided down the red carpet and held interviews with local media. History was waiting to be made.
With a cast of over 25 characters and a production team of less than 10 individuals, the support was well deserved and a sigh of relief overcame all involved in this most awe inspiring adventure as it forged ahead to the next step. Hosted by well-known vlogger Tracey Ann Perpall, the audience was introduced to first and foremost Travon Patton the Director of Photography, who played a pivotal role in producing the series. He gave a heartwarming speech proving that although difficult, creating an entertaining Bahamian Soap Opera wasn’t impossible.
With a round of applause the audience cheered on the extremely large cast as they lined up on stage, some even below the stage. Patton then introduced the lead character Gippie, played by veteran stage actor Chigozie Ijeoma who commented on the privilege of working with such a production.
Second to the last, Patton called on the Production Manager Erin Knowles, who also plays a news reporter in the series but is wholeheartedly and primarily devoted to her role as Production Manager and Dr. Toni Francis who is the Assistant Director. He thanked them for their priceless effort, dedication, determination and expertise.
The audience, needless to say, continued their applause as Dr. Ian Strachan was introduced and brought remarks and gifts for the sponsors as well as for an audience member who was awarded a night’s stay at Breezers. Dr. Strachan explained that “one year ago an audition was held for Gippie’s Kingdom and one year later it’s on TV, it’s so surreal”. He thanked the stars, the sponsors, the production crew and most importantly his greatest support, his wife Natasha Strachan for being his guide and support from the beginning. With the formalities out of the way, it was time to watch Gippie’s Kingdom.
From the moment Gippie appeared on screen driving the bus, to the shooting, then to the hospital and to the heart attack, the audience was captivated by the realistic representation of issues plaguing The Bahamas. Although there were moments of hilarity, the importance of the night was not lost and as the episode came to an end, audience members audibly asked for more. Yes, history had been made. [Article by: Erin Knowles]
The Gippie’s Kingdom Premiere Night Gallery