There were some walking along Henry’s Lane who were still laughing after the show had finished. One woman complained of pain in her side from the two and a half hours of constant chuckling. Another was adamant she was going back to the St. Gabriel’s School’s auditorium next week. In a nutshell, writers, producers and actors of Laff-it-off 2013 have a comic gem on their hands this year. Set against the background of the usual Nook and Cranny Bar, or in this instance, the Nook and Cranny Shore
Wellness Centre, the main cast of Crispen Hackett, Ishiaka McNeil, Peta Alleyne, Toni-Ann Johnson and Simon Alleyne, went through a number of hilarious skits that touched on topics ranging from politics, sports, religion, the media and inter-personal relationships, to health, wellness, crime and security, among others.
All the while intervals between skits were filled by video sketches that were well thought-out and equally hilarious to what unfolded on stage.
The propensity of many to find God only in times of trouble was delightfully portrayed by Alleyne as, afflicted by chest pains and fearing a heart attack, she confessed to sins ranging from cheating on her husband to poisoning her neighbour’s cat. Of course, whether by divine intervention, or a shift in her position, the echoing sound around the hall was evidence that the flatulent problem rested in the intestines and not the heart.
A video skit showing how three husbands made themselves and their spouses happy would have touched a very sympathetic chord with many men in the audience, especially because of one husband who used all his savings to take his wife on vacation trips from country to country — and left her in one of them.
There is a bank robbery scene in the 1975 movie Dog Day Afternoon that is excruciatingly funny. The bungling duo of Simon Alleyne and McNeil are comparable or perhaps even more ridiculously funny as their robbery goes awry.
But perhaps the tour de force moment for the night comes in the bodybuilding/fitness scenario where McNeil, Hackett (a gift to theatre) and Alleyne pose against each other, dance, and simply created pure bedlam at St. Gabriel’s. Seeing is believing.
An appearance is made by the “ghost” of the late “Prime Minister David Thompson” who gives “Prime Minister Freundel Stuart” some general election and other advice. Classic stuff.
The skits are well paced, the music appropriate, the acting very plausible, costumes adequate and the enjoyment, first rate.