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Young performers wow hearts of patrons

Thursday, May 19, 2016
The dancers of the Noble Douglas Lilliput Children’s Theatre go airborne. PHOTOs: EDISON BOODOOSINGH

It was a delightful way to spend a Sunday evening; attending Time & Tide Wait for No Man at Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s, by Noble Douglas Lilliput Foundation for the Arts. 

The hall was packed as the young artistes of Lilliput Children’s Theatre (LCT) sang and danced their way into the hearts of patrons.

Directed by 3Canal’s Wendell Manwarren, the programme began with the babies of LCT doing their interpretation of a sailor dance to the music of De Mighty Trini’s Sailing. This item caused much amusement as no two dancers of the large ensemble were in sync with each other. The costume designers were at their best with the little ones wearing sailor and traditional Carnival character costumes. 

The Journey Now Start, performed to the strains of Chris “Tambu” Herbert’s calypso of the same name, was next. For this and ensuing acts, the seniors, inters and juniors held the spotlight as crews of a fleet of ships decided to mutiny, throwing their captains into the brigs.

Despite the best efforts of veteran sound engineer Frank Agarrat and his crew, the gremlins in Queen’s Hall’s acoustic system played havoc as far as audio was concerned. It was a challenge to discern the words of the young actors and dancers for most of the production.

In contrast was the lighting done by Knolly Whiskey, another veteran, and his team. The lighting design, which was spot on through the production, was particularly effective in the Pull Together item.

One of the strong and endearing ingredients of the production was its choice of music. In addition to some powerful rhythms by DJ Rawkus, Lazabeam, Ritzamba and Everald “Redman” Watson, there were some beautiful tracks from the songbooks of David Rudder, 3 Canal, Roaring Lion, Raf Robertson, Aaron Duncan, Andre Tanker, John “Buddy” Williams, Bill Trotman, Etienne Charles, Teddyson John, 5 Star Akil and Bunji Garlin.

As the plot unfolded, the marauding sailors, drunk and lost at sea, freed their captains and eventually found their way to Trinidad. Docked in the harbour on J’Ouvert morning, they went ashore and became immersed in Carnival, mingling with the Trini form of sailors.

In the end, all’s well that ends well and a sailor is a sailor as the curtain call featured John’s hit singe Allez Allez.

Artistic director Noble Douglas, now a 70-year-old grand dame of dance, deserves no end of acclamation, for not just her many years in dance, but for the excellent and positive work she continues to do with the young children of our nation. 

One of the components that stood out in last weekend’s production was “movement.” The stage was kept vibrant and alive for two riveting hours by the perpetual motion of the young performers.


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