“Laff Till yuh Fraff” opening night at Richmond Hill School Queens New York
Richmond Hill, NY, December 12 2009: Mahadeo Shivraj Productions presented their 6th annual revival of the Laff Till Yuh Belly Bust series. This production is a blend of short comical skits exemplifying the cultural realties of Indo Guyanese lifestyle as it experienced in Guyana and United States.
The production included veterans to stage who personified their roles with brilliance. For the most part, the skits were brief, to the point and packed a punch with well delivered lines that indeed made you “laff till you belly bust.” The themes covered included domestic violence, adultery, deportation and cultural conflicts experienced by Guyanese new to American culture. Satire was aimed at well known Guyanese personalities such as President Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana and his quest to save the rain forest; Tony Shafik the Guyanese real estate mogul; Romeo Hitlall the Guyanese mortgage banker, Geeta Bisram the Guyanese bhajan singer/television host, Dheeraj Gayaram the indo Guyanese dancer and Terry Gajraj the Guyanese chutney artist.
This type of theatre has been around in the Guyanese community for an extremely long time. What Shivraj has done with this production is continue a style of satire enabling a long standing tradition to be kept alive. However, he has enriched it by utilizing current affairs and adapting it to the identifiable behaviors we share as a culture within our community. For instance, saving the rain forest has become a President Jagdeo’s personal quest, or so it seems. What Shivraj has done is portray Jagdeo as holding the forest hostage for money.
This production has tremendous potential to expand from its current form. While it is good for laughs, it carries a thread of somberness when immersed with present realities. Large doses of comedy allow the realities to be tolerable and “laff till yuh belly bust” does just that. I would recommend this production to anyone in the Guyanese community who has experienced Guyanese life in Guyana and can relate to the everyday experiences that add color to our lives as Guyanese.