The story by Kellie Magnus about the Jamaica Pantomime in the current issue of Caribbean Beat makes me think I really must get across to Kingston and take in the 2005 production. It is years since I last saw the Pantomime. That was back in the days when Michael Manley and Edward Seaga were battling it out for control of the Jamaican heart and mind. Their radically different ideologies were heaven-sent material for Pantomine satirists. The writing, the acting, the make-up, the timing, the roars of appreciation from the audience . . . more than 20 years later I can see it in my mind. And it was satire as sharp and sophisticated as anything I have seen in New York or London.
For some reason, people tend to think that satire and comedy are easy to write, and the real challenge is serious drama or tragedy. Not so. Comic writing of all sorts is very hard. Here at Caribbean Beat we always have room for writers who can produce good comedy. Strange, in a region that laughs so much, that so few writers try to capture the comedy of daily life. Whenever a really funny piece of work lands on the editorial desk here, we feel like throwing a party in thanksgiving. Meanwhile I am booking my flight to Kingston.