Last week we commented on the huge popularity of stand-up comedy on the Guyanese stage, and the way it sells tickets over and above all else in the local theatre. This is a marked trend in contemporary Guyanese theatre, but these trends change over time. Sometimes they are ephemeral like fashions, sometimes they are more sustaining. However, trends in the theatre take years to develop, and it is, as usual, interesting to consider what contributes to them.
Remember that we are talking about the popular theatre and there are other types such as the classical, the tragic, forms of social realism, the historic, the post-colonial, the post-modern and various forms of the experimental. Out of all of these, the only ones to have had periods of dominance are the comedies and social realism.
We need to remember then, that the popular theatre has prevailed as the most dominant type on stage in the Caribbean since its meteoric rise in the 1970s. It is the popular play that has most been able to score at the box office to the point where great fears have been expressed about the survival of most of the other types mentioned above. Social realism has sustained, but within the general theatre of realism, comedy – or rather, comic plays have been the most dominant.
In Guyana, following the ….