Wednesday, April 24, 2024

It’s double the laughter


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MORE THAN 50 years of side-splitting comedy will be celebrated when two long-standing outfits come together for a one-off pre-Independence show.
For the first time in the history of the two organisations, Laff It Off and the MADD Comedians will be teaming up for Laff It Off Gone MADD at the gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex on November 28.
According to Laff If Off producer Ian Estwick and MADD’s Keith Browne, the two outfits, which have 25 and 28 years under their belts respectively, have bonded well and fans are in for a great show.
“We find that we have a lot of synergy together. Their comedy is a little different from ours and we feel that that’s good because it will complement the show and add diversity. MADD is 100 per cent comedy all down the line, whereas we mix comedy with theatre.
“So that is something people can look forward to. And what is also interesting is that we have incorporated MADD into one or two of our skits, so you will see the two of them on stage together,” Estwick disclosed.
According to Browne, the experience has been equally gratifying and rewarding for MADD.
“The way they rehearse is totally different from the way we rehearse. They actually go through the paces of the whole act, whereas we sit down and talk among ourselves, make each other laugh. Most of the time we rely on improvisation and even a lot of ad libbing when we’re on stage.
“We just try to get the key points of the skit together and then do a lot of ad libbing after that. But this is a lot of fun, though,” Browne told WE during a recent rehearsal.
He even said they would try to do the “script thing” for their next production, even if they do not stick to it.
“. . . We actually did a script [at one point], but when we got on stage we just throw it out the window and just did a lot of ad libbing then and improvisation. ’Cause it’s more fun for us that way,” Browne explained.
For this pre-Independence comedy treat fans can expect to see about 17 new pieces mixed with some of the old favourites. Some videos that will “crack you up” are going to be interspersed with the onstage presentation, Estwick said. A few songs, one of which will be performed by Smokey Burke, have been included as well.
Unlike other comedy shows that would have been held previously, this production is of 100 per cent Bajan talent, which includes Mac Fingall, Trevor Dynomite Eastmond and Odds N Ends.
“This is 100 per cent Bajan comedy. And our aim is to show that we better than them. Not as good as, but better. So people coming to this show will be guaranteed seven o’clock until 10 o’clock, it will be side-splitting laughter right down the line,” Estwick stated.
“I think that it’s a show that’s really needed in Barbados right now, and I think it will have a lot of spin-off benefits,” Browne added.
Without giving too much away, they said the alleged incident between Admiral and Gabby, and perspectives of the political landscape will be among issues getting their special brand of treatment.
Laff It Off fans have got quite a few laughs at characterisations of the late Prime Minister David Thompson in the past, but the last laugh was at Laff It Off 2010.
“When we did our Crop-Over show the late Prime Minister was ailing at the time, and we thought that it would be inappropriate to do any skits about him. So we didn’t. Now in death we don’t intend to do any on him. But there is a new Prime Minister, and Opposition Leader,” Estwick said with a smirk.
Even though the show is still over a week away from being rolled out, already calls were from Boston, Canada, New York, Trinidad and St Lucia.
“These are people that just heard about it, they don’t even know what the show is going to be like. They just heard that MADD and Laff It Off will be onstage together and said they would like us to come,” Estwick said.
The combined Laff It Off Gone MADD cast is as follows: Peta Alleyne, Chrispin Hackett, Toni-anne Johnson, Troy Special, Kevin Hinds, Eric Lewis and Keith Browne.


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