Abaconians gathered at St. John the Baptist Anglican Church Hall on Saturday, September 26 to attend the James Catalyn & Friends Summer Madness show.
For the sixth consecutive year in Abaco, the eighteen members of the Nassau-based satiric group performed in front of a full house. They had the audience in stitches as they identified the ills of Bahamian society; making fun of political corruption, favouritism, lack of parenting, crime, preferred treatment of foreign investors, cost of living and more.
The program was divided into two parts with a short intermission. Each part was comprised of skits acted by two or three performers except for the opening chorus, the performance by the JC Rappers marking the intermission, and the ending song.
The first skit “Time is Time” was about not being on time, with two women entering the stage from within the audience, joined by a third one on stage complaining about their tardiness. Their joviality and commanding presence put all in the room in the mood for what was going to follow.
Before each act, a performer read a prologue explaining what the skit was about. Favouritism, overall lack of respect, society’s loose sexual ways, vanity, lack of service, and taking advantage of the system were a few of the topics addressed.
The Government and the politicians who are usually at the receiving end of the performers’ verbal arrows were also attacked about the lack of government accountability, where insurance money goes, how much did the Junkanoo Carnival cost, the Cable Beach fiasco, the Chinese “invasion” and more.
All of the skits put a silly spin on serious problems in the Bahamas:
- “Der Gubmun Gatty Hep”: A woman who has never paid rent or contribution claiming huge social security benefits.
- “The Bank Account”: How difficult it is for Bahamians to open a bank account; They need to produce document after document, while foreigners do not.
- “Restaurant Help”: Set in Abaco, it outlined the lack of service offered to Bahamians by a waitress who had “Tourists to take care of.”
- “Accountability”: A discussion between two politically opposed men and a Commissioner.
- “The Grape of Wrath”: Snobbery between pretentious women who pretend to be more than they really are.
- “Crime School”: A dialogue between a Principal and the mother of three children who miss classes and had organized a gang within the school; outlining the disinterest of certain adults toward their children’ education and the lack of parenting skills.
- “On the Job”: A confrontation between the employer and the lazy employee taking advantage of her position, spending her day on the job running errands. She did not know she was hired to work, only to show up and collect her pay.
- “Bahamian Barbie”: Illustrated the way some Bahamian women are willing to spend much on personal pampering, but cannot afford it.
- “Der Blind Generation”: People are blind to what is happening in society.
People could not refrain to laugh in spite of the serious implications of the topics, as they listened to the spoken dialect and watched the performance acted with typical Bahamian mannerism.
James Catalyn, the producer and playwright, made two appearances on stage with the JC Rappers and after the final chorus song. He was acknowledged by the cast and applauded by the audience.
As usual, the entire group lined up at the door to greet and thank the audience.