Hilarity to the baller

What do Mia Mottley, David Thompson and Errol Barrow have in common?

Not much, really.

But “they” seemed to be singing from the same hymn sheet when the latter two made a posthumous “appearance” at this year’s hilarious Laff-It-Off production, which opened on Sunday night at the Nook and Cranny Bar, or more specifically, the Ann Johnson Auditorium at the St Gabriel’s School.

Old talk!
Old talk!

Under the theme Out Ta De Baller, this year’s installment touched on several subjects, from politics and education, the economy, gender issues and the current Nigerian student impasse, to questions of sexuality and religion. The numerous skits were interspersed with several comical ditties rendered by a cast that included newcomer Janine White.

But it was perhaps the squeeze which “Barrow”К played by McNeil and “Thompson” spoofed by Hackett, placed on “Freundel Stuart” (Simon Alleyne) that would have resonated with many in the audience both along theatrical and political lines. After listening to several administrative shortcomings, including an inability to muzzle his Minister of Education and direct his Minister of Finance, an exasperated “Stuart” asks his two late leaders for advice and in unison, as though reading from a Mottley script, they chimed: “Call the election”.

'Freundel Stuart' is caught in the middle between 'Errol Barrow' and 'David Thompson'.
‘Freundel Stuart’ is caught in the middle between ‘Errol Barrow’ and ‘David Thompson’.

One annual activity also lampooned was the practice of parents trying to get their children into schools other than where they are allocated following the Common Entrance Examination. One amusing vignette saw a mother (White) trying to get her child (Hackett) into Harrison College and qualifying to be considered as “dumb” and “dumber” as they made a case to education officer (Peta Alleyne). After mother and son outdid each other for stupidity, the officer asked the lad what was the capital of Barbados as his avenue to Harrison College, to which he responded “B”. An exasperated education officer had to consent to sending him to Crumpton Street after they asserted that the answer was correct since she had not asked what was the capital “city”.

The trio of Alleyne, McNeil and Hackett brought the proceedings to a riotous conclusion with their appearance in “drag” as “ladies” of the night on the job.

The 'ladies' on the job (l to r) Simon Alleyne, Crispin Hackett and Ishiaka McNeil.
The ‘ladies’ on the job (l to r) Simon Alleyne, Crispin Hackett and Ishiaka McNeil.

Their discussion was uproarious, ranging from dwindling customers to unsuitable business locations, to preferred feminine attire. But fans in the auditorium really burst into uncontrollable laughter when after getting at least three clients on the night, Alleyne and NcNeil had to explain to Hackett that customers actually had to pay for “her” services.

A burglary gone awry.
A burglary gone awry.

It was fun from start to finish.


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