Laughing It Off
When one attends a satirical show with the title Laff It Off, it is expected that the hilarious treatment of various issues will generate lots of laughter.
However, what transpired last Sunday night at a special staging of the 2017 edition of the popular Barbadian theatrical production, surpassed expectations.
The staging was for specially invited guests, sponsors and the media. The cast, performing to a packed audience, did not disappoint.
Themed We Like It So, the Laff It Off crew got their season off to quite a rollicking start at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
With a cast including Peta Alleyne, Toni Ann Johnson, Ishiaka McNiel, Janine White and newcomer Angello Lascelles, several topical issues that affected Barbadians over the past year were explored.
Among them, the water crisis, the Combermere environmental issue, violence in our schools, the formation of a new political party, potholes, who wants to become the next Prime Minister, housing issues, garbage collection woes, and the Imart issue involving the so-called ‘one eyebrow girl’.
There was even a Donald Trump impersonator who left the audience in stitches.
A portrayal of Minister of Housing Dennis Kellman’s controversial Facebook live videos, acted out by McNeil who graced the stage in only a towel, was definitely one of the highlights of the night.
In the ‘live video’, McNeil addressed various housing issues. Impersonating Kellman, he remarked: “We said we would provide houses. We never said we would put people in them.” The audience roared with laughter at that point.
A House of Assembly scene was another hit with the audience. Lascelles, who played Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, did an expert job depicting him, down to his mannerisms. It was a joy to watch.
The potholes and water issues could not be left out. And though the scenes were comical, they made it evident that the country is going through tough times. For example, the script made reference to the island’s 49th anniversary of Independence, rather than the 50th which was observed last year. The suggestion was that the country is heading backwards.
Addressing rowdy behaviour by school children, the cast drew attention to many issues. In the song Boom Tick Tick, the cast touched issues ranging from guns in school to school children with a seeming insatiable appetite for brand name consumer products.
The Donald Trump impersonator was spot on. His hand signals were superb and his repetition of ‘it’s going to be huge, you’re going to love it’ was just as if you were watching and listening to the real man.
The reference was to a fictitious plan to build a 166 square mile golf course in the country.
As usual, music formed a big part of the set. This year, it included a tribute to ten-time calypso monarch. Red Plastic Bag
Overall, the set is a must see. A lot of jokes, much laughter and a chance to kick back and relax is always a good idea. It will leave you thinking of all that’s going on in the country and the world once you’ve finished seeing it.
Well done to Ian Estwick and the entire cast and crew.