‘Remembering The Brink – Oil and a Whole Lotta Gas’ – at Theatre Guild

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The Theatre Guild of Guyana is in its 70th year.  Guyana’s treasure and the oldest theatre in the English speaking Caribbean will be re-opening its doors this Independence day May 26th  with the grand premiere of its brand new production “Remembering The Brink: Oil and a Whole Lotta Gas”after a small hiatus for re-structuring and refurbishing.

The production will for the first time see the arts grapple with the big questions provoked by the new oil and gas industry in Guyana, such as what might this mean for oridnary Guyanese?

What changes are we likely to see, what might Guyanese do to make the best of these opportunities and of course what to do with the money. Though it tackles big questions,   the production still manages to be hilarious.

It is styled as a comedy revue based on the Guild’s historical productions of  “The Brink” which it produced in the early 1960’s prior to Guyana’s independence in 1967.

“The Brink” was the Guild’s best selling satirical review which saw its last production in the 1970’s. “The Brink” is the grand father to the Theatre Company’s highly successful series upon which it was based “The Link Show” and which later spawned other rib-ticklers such as “ Nothing to Laugh About”.

Malcolm Defreitas as Minister Long Beard from The Ministry of Dreams

The Theatre Guild’s production gestures to the historic origins of its own Brink with this new production by invoking the memory and intent of it — “Re-Membering the Brink”. The producers  even incorporate some old material from Brinks in 1964 and 1967 in this new show.

However, “Re-membering the Brink- Oil and a Whole Lotta Gas” seeks to innovate around the old idea of satire and to move towards what may be very timely and urgently necessary in Guyana: the unpacking of the complex arena of oil and gas for the populace. It may be seen as complementing but not focusing on issues which have already been in the public domain for some time.

Rather its focus is on simplifying, edifying, introspection and reflecting the present and future of Guyana not only with Oil but other topical issues – hence “a whole lotta gas”. The production focuses on what we can learn through fun and laughter?

“Oil and a Whole Lotta Gas” is set as the Brink shows of old, in a fictitious country named “Oiligamey” . The show was created by the Theatre Guild’s Workshop- an ensemble of 39 old and new Guild members in response to numerous calls for a popular response to the issues at hand.

Thirteen rollicking comedy sketches are interspersed with  music and dance pieces. Theatre goers will be delighted to see some of their older favorites such as Godrfey Naughton, Simeon Dowding, Sharon Taylor, Colleen Humprey and Malcolm Defreitas, alongside new stars like Clinton Duncan, Mosa Telford, Keon Heywood, Jennifer Kendall, Kanini Fyffe, Frederick Minty, Kim Fernandes, Sherwin Adams and Kelton Jennings.

The cast also features a number of new exciting talents such as Jairo Rodrigues, Natasha  Azzeez, Shivina DeMendonca, Garrian Yannick Moses and Ronaldo Thomas. Set and costumes by award winning designer Neilson Nurse.

Re-membring The Brink: Oil and a Whole Lotta Gas” opens at The newly refurbished theatre Guild playhouse on May 26th with a premiere performance and runs through the 29th of May from 8pm each day.  There will be two free matinee performances for children on May 30 and 31st underwritten by local oil company CGX Energy.

Tickets at 5000 (premiere gala on May 26th) and 1500 and 800 for the adult shows from May 27th to 29th are on sale at the Guild in Parade Street Kingston, E-networks (Camp St and Giftland) and from members of the production. Ticket bookings can be made via email to [email protected] or by calling 22 54033. (Press release from Theatre Guild)

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