Windrush Caribbean Comedy Week
Star Rating: ****
22nd June 2018
Produced by Entertrainments and the British Library
It’s Friday night so it must be library night. For the second time this month Mr Cee continued his mini comedy tour of London libraries, this time at the prestigious British Library. Well not quite inside the Library, but within the gorgeous marquee on its St Pancras grounds which provided a wonderful setting for a terrific night of Windrush comedy.
This was the finale to a week long run of 5 consecutive nights of comedy featuring Mr Cee as the regular Compere, with Aurie styla, Quincy and in a last minute change to the line up, Special P.
The shows were put on in partnership with the British Library to mark the 70th anniversary of Windrush and highlight the variety of comedic talent in Britain with origins in the Caribbean. The 22nd June 2018 date was highly significant for it marked 70 years to the very day since the SS Empire Windrush landed at Tilbury Docks in East London.
You could see there was great camaraderie amongst the acts who all go back a long way, many of whom were trained by Mr Cee at The Comedy School, where he is a major force behind the School and training a good many comedians who now perform regularly on the comedy circuit.
The youngest act of the night by some distance was Aurie Styla (Jamaican), who delivered a barnstorming set with his trademark high energy, confident delivery style as he sought to find hidden meanings to many much loved songs including Destiny’s Child’s ‘Bills, Bills, Bills’ and Mystikal’s ‘Shake Ya Ass’. Some of our favourite nursery rhymes didn’t escape his attentions either.
His musings on relationships and romance were thought provoking and stimulating, especially when he got the audience involved in sharing their thoughts. It made for great entertainment whilst also striking a chord in how universally men and women view romance.
On a lighter note I loved hearing about the cheeky ingenuity and entrepreneurship of his 5 year old nephew Ryan and young friend Reece.
St Lucian, Special P, entertained the audience with his very expressive and forceful delivery laced with some wicked punch lines. The joke about seasoning was unexpected and particularly funny, original and relevant for a night celebrating the Caribbean presence in Britain. He also shared some strong views on the current crime wave sweeping London, proposing that the parents of children who murder should be given 3 year sentences i.e. as a method of placing greater pressure, onus and responsibility on them to take full responsibility for the actions of their children. On a night set to a near constant cacophony of sirens and helicopters on and above the busy Marlyebone road, this was not just a radical proposal, but serious food for thought indeed.
Quincy, originating from Barbados, gave the packed audience plenty of belly laughs about the strife of life as a single father raising his young boys to become men and the impact of that regarding how he moderates his behaviour and conducts himself, knowing he is their father and role model for the type of men they are likely to grow up to be. Whilst he played it for laughs, it also showed that he had and continues to take his parental responsibilities seriously. I don’t know if he’d go so far as to endorse Special P’s harsh recommendation, but I would suspect he need not fear that penalty as it was clear he has raised his children well enough to not get caught up in perpetrating the trouble on the streets of London that we are hearing about all too often these days.
He also had a lot to say on relationships as well as reminiscing on the journey his parents took many years ago by leaving Barbados to live in London.
Entertainments Organiser and Compere Mr Cee hosted kept things moving along nicely throughout and was particularly funny with his well considered strategy for handling any big lottery winnings should he be fortunate enough to strike it lucky.
The joke about the age of birthday girl and co-organiser Janice lead him to a hilarious explanation regarding why R Kelly has found himself in hot water so often with underage girls.
This was a fantastic end to a week of Caribbean influenced comedy that featured Dane Baptiste, Felicity Ethnic, Glenda Jaxon, Marlon Davis, Kane Brown, Athena Kugblenu, Annette Fagan and Wayne Dibbi Rollins. Not only was their wonderful comedy, but the British weather played its part by being swelteringly hot and tropically Caribbean.
- Review © Tiemo Talk of the Town
- Gig photographs © Tiemo Talk of the Town
- Songs in a Strange Land – British Library – Free. Open until 21st October 2018
- The Empire Windrush and Tilbury Docks – Thurrock Council
- Mr Cee celebrates 20 years in comedy with a one man show ‘They Call Me Mr Cee’ at Millfield Theatre, London N18, on Sunday 21st October 2018.
- Come Mek Wi Larf – Windrush Comedy Special in Willesden- Tiemo Review – 9th June 2018