Just for laughs

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, August 09, 2014

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There is a Jamaican saying — tek kin teet' kibba heart bun, which is used to decribe making the best of a bad situation.

That must have been what writer Oliver Mair had in mind when he penned his revue Laff it Off, which has its final showing today at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

In the true sense of a revue, Laff it Off satirises contemporary social issues.

For this work Mair draws on slices of Jamaican life and has ihis audience laughing off some of the topical issues of the day.

His topics are wide and varied from the heated exchanges between youth and culture minister Lisa Hanna and her opposition counterpart Babsy Grange, to blind dates, the gully queens in New Kingston, the sliding value of the Jamaican dollar, the ATM withdrawal tax and more are all incorporated into the lighthearted show which is set off my great musical arrangements.

For his cast, Mair has assembled a blend of the experienced with emerging talents, and what results is a balance presentation.

Mark Martin, whom many remember as Bones from the television production Lime Tree Lane returns to the stage and is joined by broadcasters Simone Clarke Cooper and Patria-Kaye Aarons — both of whome started out on stage as members of the Cathy Levy Little People and Teen Players Club.

Rushaine 'Dutty Berry' Berry makes his debut in commercial theatre, adding his flavour to the production.

Mention must be made of rising theatre personality Akeem Mignott whose talents do not go unnoticed in this production. Having seen the young Edna Manley College student on stage and screen one was never aware of his vocal abilities, which come to the fore thanks to the singing required in Laff It Off.

This is also the case for Aarons and Clarke Cooper. The battling divas scene is not only riotous, but showcases the ample pipes of these two ladies.

In these days of austerity, Laff it Off truly gives us reason to do just that.




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