Thrilling night of theatre

Any lover of theatre would have been in heaven last night at the National Independence Festival Of Creative Arts Theatre Arts Finals.

The discipline brought the curtain down on what has been an intense and talent-packed performing arts finals over the last four nights. I myself, as a lover of theatre, felt last night’s showcase was the best of the four nights –– all biases aside.

It was exhilarating to see performers, from various age groups, puttin their all into their performances as they competed for gold, silver and bronze medals. I will be bold enough to say the judges should just go ahead and give Janine White and Adrian Green the gold medals. These two were absolutely phenomenal and their usage of words was simply amazing.

Janine in her first of two performances delivered The White Hibiscus. She was exceptional in this piece which spoke to loving a man too much when you should be loving yourself. Indeed, the audience loved it.

Janine’s second piece I’s A Bajan was comical, but carried with it very strong and serious message. Janine was fully in character as a “Bajan woman” addressing many weighty issues. Patrons couldn’t get enough of it.

Adrian Green delivered one of those acts that make you wish you could experience it over and over again. His piece Too Small addressed many of the issues facing Barbadians today, seeking to explain why Barbados was simply “too small” to allow such things to be.

Adrian Green delivering his  Too Small.
Adrian Green delivering his Too Small.

There was no mistaking that Green belonged in the Professional category in which he did perform, and that he deserves to be considered for the Governor General’s Award Of Excellence.

The HMP Drama Group were also impressive. They offered two performances –– the first, Tell Me Wuh To Do, highlighting bullying and making it clear it was not to be tolerated; and the second, Daddy, as comical as it was serious, stressing the importance of fathers being actively involved in their children’s lives.

The crowd loved both acts of these HMP men, who demonstrated great talent.

Richelle Adams was another standout. Her soliloquy Images addressed being the victim of domestic abuse as a teenager, and overcoming it.

Richelle Adams (lying) was dynamic in her piece Images.
Richelle Adams (lying) was dynamic in her piece Images.

Sixteen-year old Jennifer Burrows is one to watch for the future. In fact, she is already making strides in theatre. Her Tribute To Jeannette Layne-Clark was one the late broadcaster, journalist and author would have been proud of.

DJ Simmons should also be commended for his two performances Feel I Ain’ Know Wuh Gine On? and Last Saturday Night, both well written and executed.

Performing creditably too was Darryl Jordan Secondary School student Tia Phillips with his I Doan Put Sugar In My Tea.

The Ellerslie Secondary School is also to be commended for its presentation of Speaking Of Mothers.

Dancin’ Africa closed the show with a mixed media performance that was absolutely fantastic. It was a joy to watch the young dancers enjoying themselves as they dramatized Listen. Their piece, addressing bullying, showcased their versatility in dance, song and acting.

An outstanding Dancin’ Africa.
An outstanding Dancin’ Africa.

The Olakunde Steel Orchestra, judging in the music category, offered Paradise Garden and Me.

Also rendering Me commendably was the Harrison College Steel Orchestra.

Other performers were speech-makers Hasani Wilson with Ms Kadooment and LSD with You Cut Me –– who are to be commended.

Overall, the NIFCA performing arts finals –– dance, music and theatre –– were well executed, notwithstanding a few hiccups here and there. Talent aplenty was displayed, and the Gala should make for a very good showcase on November 23.

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