Blinga Linga's set impresses - Another good Pantomime from Gloudon
Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
If Aristotle were to see Michael Lorde's set for the Little Theatre Movement 2010-11 National Pantomime, Blinga Linga, his list of what it takes to create drama would be forced to change.
Because, on Sunday, at the Little Theatre, on Tom Redcam Drive, Lorde's set was, in itself, a character, as it spoke the language of detail, style and naturalism.
The cast and crew was made up of a list of familiar names.
They lead a story set in four main parts. First, there is the Blinga Linga Mall, then there is an open yard called 'So-So Whatta Gwaan'. There is also the mansion of 'Don Dadda' and a setting which represents somewhere on a road.
There is an easy-to-follow plot, composed by Barbara Gloudon, which tells the story of Don Dadda, a wealthy man, his unloved daughter, 'Blingalinga', and their not-so-wealthy tenants who live in So-So Whatta Gwaan.
While Don Dadda and Blingalinga live the lives of a king and a princess in their mansion in Nuff-Nuff Whatta Gwaan, his tenants struggle to make ends meet.
One month, due to an economic downturn, worsened by preparation for a hurricane that never comes, the tenants cannot pay their rent.
But Don Dadda does not yield to their request for an extension of the due date. So the tenants, with the help of Miss T, also a tenant and former schoolmate of Don Dadda and her niece Shanice, use an unorthodox way of getting Don Dadda to change his mind. Not only do the tenants try to get Don Dadda to extend the due date, they also try to get him to apologise for his attitude and to return property he "stole" from an elderly 'Count Calabash'.
In usual pantomime style, the characters, with their odd characteristics and names were used to generate humour. These include Calabash and his sidekick 'Lawda Massi', 'Tick & Tin' and 'Madda Young Gyal'.
Director Robert 'Bobby' Clarke and his cast were able to capture and reinforce the oddities of these characters quite well, like the shuffling walk of Calabash, played by Cadine Hall, the sassiness of Madda Young Gyal, shown by Faith Bucknor, the buffoon, Shakespearean-like character Tick & Tin, played by Clayton Lynch, the empty-headed Blingalinga, created by Jacqueline Higgins, and the greed and narcissistic qualities of Don Dadda, role played by Ray Jarrett.
However, Clarke may have to reconsider partnering a mature looking Higgins with the younger Jarrett as father and daughter. In other areas, his directorial decisions worked.
The catchy Grub Cooper-composed Text Me, with Gloudon's lyrics, will be the anthem of a number of persons after viewing pantomime 2010-2011.
While Symonne Coombs' props were quite impressive, there was inconsistency in the phones for Blingalinga.
Anya Gloudon-Nelson's costumes complemented the set and were appropriate for the respective characters. Don Dadda and Blingalinga's costumes gave as much 'bling' as their wealth and status. And the maturity of Miss T (Doreen King) was reinforced in the designs and colours.
But Lorde's set will keep the audience talking for some time. Except for the visibility of the crew in the dream scene, the set was stunning in beauty, staggering in complexity and extravagant in all regards, from the fruit-bearing breadfruit tree near a house in So-So Whatta Gwaan, to the dangling chandelier in Don Dadda's dining room. But, as the saying goes, to see is to believe.