Barbadian Comedy returns: Ad Lib/The Gathering at Pablo Donte’s – soon to appear at Plantation Garden Theatre

I have no grouse against anyone having explicit language ina show but what i do have a problem is when there's no warning and young kids appear - I applaud the right for free speech but in context,despite the contentions of certain spoken word promulgators...

When a musical band have a hit on their hands, some have a tendency to stick within that particular formula to keep earning hits – crazy people like Sting or Prince will try all kinds of styles to see what happens regardless if their tune becomes a hit.

While a Broadway play may have the same scenes and the same lines, night after night the delivery is not the same as the actors’ talents would not be apparent  if it was a cookie-cutter approach. When one does a comedy stand-up you have the nest of all possible worlds you can experiment, you can vary you can recycle or introduce new or familiar elements.

For the most part, Dy Browne and Nala, also known as Ad Lib or The Gathering theatre experiment, did this in Maxwell the other night at Pablo Donte’s, a popular South Coast restaurant/bar soon to relocate (I agree, their bathroom needs major renovations, phew!)…

They had a new element called E.O.B – The Ears Of Bim where they took VOB’s Market Vendor and treated him/her to what everyone thought of saying but never actually vocalised. The method in delivering the critique was unique for a Live comedy act – since it was a radio programme they were eviscerating examining, they went off stage and used the microphone to portray thre programme as you experience it…

You only hear it since no one would really have any firm idea how to visualise the five minutes vignettes which usually earn high sponsorship. That was one of the aspects they looked at, how could you put commercials for a programme which recycles old Internet jokes? Why does the vendor need what amounts to yardfowls and sycophants cackling in the background? The vendor in sitting on the fence does not offer any interesting POV’s for issues of the day and you are better off reading Bajan Reporter a newspaper and deciding for yourself!

Here's another routine where audience participation is essential - Dy & Nala play out a scenario where it's usually noisy and the volunteers try to imitate the correct sound effects, this is when a guy likes his waitress and is trying to ignore calls from his possessive wife

This was the highlight of the night, it was promised that “Murder & Mayham” would appear but there was ahalf-hearted joke at mimicking a robbery which I suspect they wanted audience members to either be accessories or seek to preventlike a Neighbourhood Watch, being these were true Bajans? Not one shyt Nothing happened in terms of the crowd emerging as protector nor assailant. This show also promised to look at Crime and Electricity, as serious matters which concern Bajans now, keep reading…

Hands” is another routine that came back which is familiar yet different since no one knows what happens next, this is when either Nala or Dy sit behind the person in question and become that person’s upper limbs for 3 minutes or so as they play the fool act out a given scenario and send the audience into waves of giggles, there was a guy who had a wonderful chance to make all kinds of weird jokes about a Tarantula who went on a date…

There was a healthy crowd in attendance for the show, being there were many new faces, the Gathering did not actually seem repetitive in that sense - but they need to recall even their fans would like to see a new act once in a while?

I am fully aware this show is really for Mature participants, but I was amazed to see a 12 year old boy present, mind you – the father was there, but still? This show has all kinds of references to drugs, sex and other adult situations! Perhaps Ad Lib needs to remind Bajans the show has strong words and events, which could offend some or not necessarily appropriate for younger audiences?

For drugs, there was the mime of an enormous blunt or chronic being inhaled to the point of anaesthetising the dynamic duo apart from the ubiquitous “Ting & Ting” where the phrase ‘t’ing‘ is used in every context to remind Barbados how we tend to overuse the phrase (this segment also portrays marijuana inhalation). It also has sexual connotations when one of the characters is summoned via cell to get home and perform duties! So with a young boy present, I felt a wee bit uncomfortable (yet at 9 I was annoyed my parents would not let me seeBlazing Saddleswhich I did not view until well into adulthood, I was 23 or so –  then I understood)?

This so-called 'Tarantula' lost a brilliant opportunity for a spider joke when Nala did his hands like a figure eight of a woman's shape, but I saw instead a female arachnid with 8 boobs!

Another item which is still somewhat fresh yet fast emerging as a staple is their “Jesus Christ Interview” where the Son Of God applies for a job, the new spin was when the owner of the company who’s about to hold the interview looks at his light bill and? Yup, you guessed it, takes one look at Reddy Kilowatt‘s message and bellows … {World Famous Yet Blasphemous Epithet insert here} That is when Nala appears in a robe as one of the most popular religious figures ever and tries to win the post – it never says why Jesus would want a job, are times so hard even Heaven is downsizing?

The team are getting ready to do a slam dunk jam at the Plantation Garden Theatre in the next fortnight or so, we’ll have more details – however, as we love what is fast growing to be a Bajan version of MAD-TV or Saturday Night Live, I would like for Dy and Jesus Nala to consider if not new routines perhaps taking the concept and revising like a different scenario of “Ting & Ting” maybe the two of them are in a queue at the supermarket or in a line at Sure Pay discussing Electricity and the Budget?

There was no $2 Philosopher from Nala when I arrived but I am sure he could do a poem on Sargassum Seaweed, especially as it was WEED if you know what I mean? Keep it familiar for your loyal fans, but show versatility so if Lorne Michaels is passing through or Piers Morgan is in Barbados again, hey… Then you got your t’ing together, eh?

2 Responses

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  1. I dunno bout U? But I felt it was very nice, thank you. Can’t wait for their Plantation show!

  2. quite radical. Having said that, I am sorry, but I can not subscribe to your whole review, all be it radical none the less. It would seem to everyone that your comments are generally not completely validated and in actuality you are generally your self not really entirely convinced of your own assertions. In any case I did enjoy the same show you supposedly watched.


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