Laff It Off a must see

Amid the mirth –– and there was plenty of it –– there were many messages to be learnt in Yuh Got Tuh Pay as the Laff It Off crew got their 2014 season off and running in excruciatingly comical fashion at St Gabriel’s School on Sunday.

With a main cast that included Simon Alleyne, Chrispen Hackett, Ishiaka McNeil, Toni-Ann Johnson and Peta Alleyne, several topical issues, ranging from the current economic crisis, political governance and business enterprise, to inter-personal relationships, health, crime and religion, were explored.

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Ishiaka McNeil as he performed Yuh Got Tuh Pay with Simon Alleyne.

Whether fact or fiction, the perception that Barbados’ esteemed leader hardly speaks was a source of much hilarity for the audience. In one scene, Simon Alleyne, playing the role of political leader admirably, attends the office of the dentist for a procedure and is pointedly told that he is not in Parliament and he will have to open his mouth if he wants a successful extraction.

As usual music formed a great part of the entertainment and whether the cast reworked a standard or came with an original, not only were they humorous but they all carried some underlying message. One dilemma, depending on which side of the political fence one is positioned, was brought out in This Train.

This train is bound for elections, this train,

This train is bound for elections, this train,

This train is bound for elections,

The only problem is that we aint got no selections

This train, this train.

 

Toni-Ann Johnson (left) is finding getting into hospital a rather difficult task, made doubly so by “Nurse” Peta Alleyne.
Toni-Ann Johnson (left) is finding getting into hospital a rather difficult task, made doubly so by “Nurse” Peta Alleyne.

The crew again evoked laughter with their Who Shall Lead Us? written by Peta Alleyne.

Shall we trust in Freundel’s measure? As we see no hope, no good,


He is quiet, silent, voiceless,


His big words are understood
He is sleeping,

Chris still eating


Who to vote for if we could.

Nevertheless, a few politicians were spotted in the audience. But not many. The effect of the economic crisis was brought out in their Better Must Come which though hilarious, was instructive.

Barbados, we can do better than this Barbados,

we can be better than this Lawd,

what the hell have we done?

Barbados: Better must come!

. . . Big business tun ship wreck


De new poor is de middle-class


Rent and mortgage, ketchin dem a…


 

Ishiaka was a riot with this depiction of a popular television presenter.
Ishiaka was a riot with this depiction of a popular television presenter.

The Nook And Cranny Bar will never be the same. And for those who believe, or promote the idea, that hard times mean of necessity that Barbadians might turn to crime, one prison scene with the cast all behind bars, in a crowded cell, and being very cautious with their orifices, served as a reminder [at least one] that there are many prices one might “got tuh pay” for deviant behaviour.

McNeil left the audience in stitches with his very recognizable portrayal of a television presenter/interviewer while bedecked in “African attire”. Not only was he convincing, but some in the audience were overheard to suggest that he probably looked an improvement on the original.

Peta Alleyne brought down the Ann Johnson Auditorium with her portrayal of a nurse, perhaps at the QEH, receiving a patient and going through a list of items which she should possess before being admitted to a ward. These ranged from bandages and food to toilet paper and a bed. This particular skit was one of several highlights of the night.

Each year one ponders if the producers and directors of this show can surpass the previous. Last year was excellent and this year it’s equally or arguably more riotous.

A must see, indeed.

Take a bow, Ian Estwick, Cecily Spencer-Cross, and crew.

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