Patrons had nothing negative to say

Director/Producer Maria Benschop (left) with comedians Chris Gopaul (centre) and Leza ‘Radica’ Singh

– about ‘Nothing to Laugh About’ – producer-director reports


A scene from a previous show

DIRECTOR/Producer of the much-loved ‘Nothing to Laugh About’ (NTLA) production, Lyndon ‘Jumbie’ Jones is happy that since the show’s conclusion recently, not one negative review has been forthcoming.

“I mark myself very hard,” he told ‘the Buzz’ on Thursday, and so he makes it a point each time to listen to any comments coming from those who would have seen the show. But this time around, the crowd had only good things to say.

The show was held during the period May 31 to June 3 at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) and saw huge crowds each night.

Splendid performances by Lyndon ‘Jumbie’ Jones (right) and Michael ‘Credit’ Ignatius

The team made an effort to begin on time each night out of respect for those patrons who arrived early and were seated at the required time. On Saturday, though, the organisers allowed some extra time to accommodate those travelling from the East Bank that were held up as a result of the fatal accident in which the victim was a seven-year-old girl. During this time, though, ‘Jumbie’ treated the crowd to some extra comedy that made the wait easy to handle.

The first night saw the team experiencing some technical difficulties, which really put a damper on their show, but by the second night, the performers were again revved up by the crowd to put on their best. The lights at the NCC went completely dead during the opening night, but for the rest of the shows, they were fixed to a standard that was only but tolerable.

For many years, the NCC has struggled with a poor sound system that leaves the audience at a great disadvantage. In the past, the NTLA team has even had to organise separately for additional sound systems to be installed so that their audiences could better hear what was happening on stage.
The team has since written to the Director of Culture about the issues encountered, and was reassured that a discount is being worked out. For this, the team is especially appreciative.

Mark ‘Chiney Man’ Kazim

“I don’t mind paying the NCC rental fees and the usher fees, but the 20 per cent on ticket sales and 14 per cent on VAT… If they take off one of those taxes from the producer, I think a lot more persons will become involved in the arts,” co-producer and director Maria Benschop had told this publication.

Lyndon said the authorities can also do little things to help the producers promote such a cultural show. For one, they can air their advertisements on the government station for free, and even allow them to use the electronic billboard outside of the NCC.

This year’s show featured some of the best personalities in the field of comedy and acting such as ‘Jumbie’, Michel ‘Credit’ Ignatius, Leza ‘Radica’ Singh, Mark ‘Chiney Man’ Kazim, Chris Gopaul, and Mark Luke Edwards.