Friday, April 19, 2024

MAVIS BECKLES: Good entertainment real hard tuh find


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When friends and family who you ain’t see fuh years come in from overseas, sometimes duh does want tuh go out and enjoy some good Bajan entertainment.

And duh doan want tuh see the usual limbo dancing and fire eating dat ya would normally see in the hotels. They want tuh sit back and enjoy a nice show wid Barbadian artistes, not calypsonians telling ya tuh put hands in the air and scream while ya sitting down in ya finery.

Well, I gine have tuh tell ya the truth: I ain’t know the last time dat duh had anything like dat ’bout here. I ain’t know of anywhere I could take people where they would enjoy anything so and it ain’t got one thing tuh do wid age nor being out o’ touch. It is just what it is: duh ain’t got nuhwhere pon this island where mature people could go and enjoy a good cabaret show, or any kinda show fuh dat matter.

Evahthing now is in the clubs or in the hotels. The clubs does have in all kinds o’ teenyboppers. Who ain’t half naked, smoking and half-tipsy and evahbody wid a cellphone in duh hand all during the night.

Some o’ these people would tell you dat if they wanted anything like dat, they could easily get it where duh come from. But it is sad, though.

If you go in tuh a hotel, ya liable tuh hear a few standards and old classics dat ya probably ain’t hear in donkey years but dat ain’t wha’ ya want. Ya want tuh see a nice li’l show evah suh often and be able tuh relax and enjoy the old stalwarts like Richard Stoute, Tony Grazette, Mark Lord, Carlyn Leacock, Wendy Alleyne, who we know out there pon the high seas singing fuh the last umpteen years.

These is only a few o’ the entertainers from the seventies, even the sixties, who we are still blessed wid and who know how tuh perform, entertain, sing and, yes, dress fuh the occasion but year in and year out, ya doan see or hear nothing from these entertainers. Duh ain’t nuh where fuh dem tuh perform. It is only in the month of November when the radio stations does go and dig up, dust off and play a couple o’ songs from dem. After dah month, duh done wid dat ’til the next year.

A arm and a leg

If you did tuh ask any o’ these entertainers why ya cahn hear dem or see dem in any shows or why duh doan put on shows at all, all o’ dem would tell ya the same thing. They would tell ya dat first of all, it gine cost a arm and a leg tuh put on any kinda show ’bout here.

The next thing duh gine tell ya is dat the Bajans ain’t gine want tuh come out tuh support dem, dat duh prefer tuh spend duh money pon all the outside, foreign artists who does come in all year round, do all kinds o’ junk pon the stage but carry ’long all duh money.

Then duh would tell you dat when ya go and approach the businesses fuh sponsorship, they would promise you faithfully and when you got ya hopes up thinking dat duh gine come through for ya, a letter does turn up, politely informing you dat “they are unable tuh give you any assistance at this time”.

Yet still you would see these same businesses big and bold in the ads when the outside artists come in. Clearly, dem would prefer tuh put duh money behind the foreign shows anyway.

I see dat fella Desmond Fowl Weekes from the Draytons Two has been producing the show called Mum, This One’s For You – a show dat does honour mothers from all walks of life who have given good service tuh duh communities and Barbados fuh years – wid-out asking fuh anything in return.

I know it does cost dah man a arm and a leg tuh put on dat show evah single year, fuh the past ten or more years. And lemmuh tell ya: the place does be ram off; ya does cahn even find a seat. But from talking tuh him, I know dat he does come ’way wid a loss evah year. Um ain’t easy.

I see Mark Lord now putting on a show there at the Plantation Theatre and using some o’ the old acts. I pray it come off good but one thing I would say: fuh a island whose main industry is tourism, the only thing we does showcase and sell is Crop Over, hotel rooms and the white sandy beaches. Well, ’gards tuh the white sandy beaches, left tuh the Sargassum sea weed, duh soon ain’t gine got none o’ dem, I tell ya, but it is sad.

 Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans. She has an opinion on everything.


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