THE much raved about theatre classic “No Tricks No Business, written and directed by Godfrey Naughton, and first premiered in 2008 is set to return to the National Cultural Centre today and tomorrow, with Sonia Yarde reprising her role as the play’s lead.
Described as a “masterpiece” in reviews from when it was first run from 2008 – 2009, the play examined and added satire to a number of topical social and economic issues prevailing during that era.
“It will make patrons laugh, think, then laugh even louder. It became a massive hit because we spoke of what was happening in the country at the time. We put so many things in the one package it was a powerhouse package for some people. It summarises and it’s funny, but it makes you think deeply when you look around,” related Naughton.
A producer and actor of over 40 years, Naughton believes that the play comes at a time in Guyana when the search for good moral foundation for relationships between friends, family and business associates is as elusive as at no other time in our history.
Issues explored in the play included situations in the country’s health sector, housing sector and extrajudicial killings.
“It was during that time that a lot of the housing projects, people just got lands to build anything, it was a time of disorganization in the housing sector. It was also a period when there were lots of phantom killing; women dying in child’s birth at the hospital, and the situation of the hospitals of persons overstaying because their family just refuses to take them. The hospital became a place to die, and also at the same time with all the phantom killing lots of people died, so much so the body touting racket, of people touting for funeral parlours, became rampant. So we decided to put those situations on trial.”
Sitting down with The Buzz, Naughton shared that a group of artistes decided to do a remake of the play in honour of Guyana celebrating it’s Golden Jubilee Republic Anniversary.
“We decided to do a festival of plays that were landmark play, things that really affected our history over the period. ‘No Tricks No business’ is a play that deeply affected us,” he said.
No Tricks, No Business is themed “Greed Getting the Better of Need”. In Guyana today one’s business acumen, lots of times, is judged by total or near lack of scruples.”
Naughton will also be acting in the play, also a return feature. Also returning is Michael Ignatius, but he will be playing a different role from the one in 2008. Naughton noted that the play was tweaked somewhat to bring some of the dormant 2008 characters to life.
Other actors in the play include Opara Samuel, Donna Sargeant, Janela Adolphus and Kevin Kellman.
In the play, Yarde plays a nurse who refused a chance to live and work in England and now feels that Guyana owes her a living.
This develops in her a rationale for vindicating unethical behaviour, which sees her becoming part of the body-touting racket at a city hospital. But it all comes with a terrible price. The family she is doing it for is almost destroyed.
The play is a lesson on how dire situations can transcend ethnicity, and good, clean Guyanese humour is the vehicle used to carry this weighty drama. Each of the main characters’ stories is skillfully linked to produce one poignant snapshot of life at present in Guyana, while each character represents a stratum of society.
Tickets for the show are $2500, $1500, and $800.