Monday, 3 January 2011

BLINGA LINGA: Annual LTM Pantomime keeps the focus on family fun, light entertainment

Reviewing the National Pantomime remains a tricky exercise for me annually. The programme always falls in line with the requisite tenets of a theatrical production, but it is a show more aimed at extended family gatherings than a serious theatregoer seeking stimulation and catharsis. Ever vibrant, visually stunning and beautifully lit, the show is usually a feast for the eyes. The brain, not so much. This year’s show, Blinga Linga, which marks the 70th anniversary of the Pantomime Company, is another slice of community life in Jamaica, exploring the disparity between the haves and the have-nots, among other notable issues.

Prodded by the collaborative efforts of director Robert Clarke, writer/lyricist Barbara Gloudon and musical maestro Grub Cooper, the show is packed with delightful musical numbers and characteristically amusing performances from seasoned members of the cast. But the script is so crammed with subplots – economic woes, romance, delinquent teens, domestic struggles, aging – that it never fully engages. It’s a familiar dilemma Gloudon faces: how to craft a show that satisfies discerning tastes and runs at a tight two hours. The result? Always a mixed bag. Tyrone’s Verdict: B-

WHAT A GWAAN: Members of the Pantomime Company perform scenes from the 2010-11 National LTM Pantomime, Blinga Linga.

1 comment:

  1. Time for new writers now. This country is filled with talent but we are allowing tradition, and possibly the desire to have Barbara Gloudon write for 30 years, suck the magic out the pantomime. It is at best a primary school plot executed by superb and budding actors who for the past few years have gone underutilized.