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ADRIAN GREEN brought the curtain down on the LIME NIFCA Performing Arts Drama/Speech finals at the Frank Collymore Hall with his spoken word piece Hard Work. Not only was it a thought-provoking speech but it summed up what the entire night was – people passionate about their art and being artistic. With over 21 pieces, the production lasted four and a half hours and was filled with exceptional productions of evocative, provocative messages. The saying “A child shall lead them” fit some examples of the young people who were on stage Sunday night. Kudos to Ricardo Reid in My Fren To D En and Leah Sealey from St George Primary School in Tribute To Jeanette Layne-Clarke. Both were highlights of the night, receiving long, loud applause. They were on point in use of voice, interpretation and stage presentation. They also had good visual impact in terms of costume. Reid, a student of Combermere School, is small in stature but commands all eyes as a one-man show. His comical story about his friend Jeffrey, written by Gregory A. Fitt, had an unexpected twist that shook the audience with laughter. A previous winner of the prestigious Daphne Joseph Hackett Prize, he is a natural at his craft. Leah, in Tribute To Jeanette Layne-Clarke was a joy to behold. Her brazen acting had many in tears or laughing at her facial expressions, and her dialogue lent clarity and crispness to the narrative. The Mustard Seed production of The Sleeping Bride and Yardie Boy Theatre’s Demons In Me were productions in themselves – two mini movies. Although quite entertaining, they were too long and both teams should be advised to be careful not to lose the audience in clunky sketches that were shifting all over the place. The piece The Sleeping Bride was cleverly written to be staged in reverse order – the reason for the bride missing her wedding was revealed near the end of the play. The Yardie Boy Theatre group must be commended for dedicating themselves with an insane intensity. They were powerhouses of creative energy and talent – often quite daringly experimental and sometimes very good indeed. Author and director Matthew Murrell must be singled out for the darkness of the piece in both look and mood. Being a plus-sized woman was used to great advantage by Janine White as she poked fun at her weight in her piece This Body Is Not Mine. She interacted with the audience in a question and answer segment and was very expressive with her sassy dialogue. Picking apart the various wrongs with her body parts, she laughed at herself trying to fit into a size small, having problems with her wobbly knees and the mistake of being born with a short neck. She received loud applause for her piece. Blk Noize were a joy to watch. They centred their piece Ne Lingua, on the street corner. Wanting to get into NIFCA, the group had a frank discussion on what it was that NIFCA judges were looking for. Talented they are, but a bit rough around the edges, which played well into their skit as first-timers at NIFCA. What was pretty impressive was that they acted as if there was no audience and they were really on the block. Some parts of the piece sounded like they were making it up as they went along but that added rather than detracted. Well done, Blk Noize! Milton Lynch Primary Old Scholars brought the message of Black Is Beautiful, telling the audience to be proud of their skin. The group could use a bit more practice but they had fun with the piece. The first act of the night was Curtis Crichlow, whose play on words in Caribbean Integration was received with laughter throughout the presentation. He sat down to continuous applause. Looking for bronze, silver and gold were Lamar Coward, who graced the stage twice, Kerry-Ann Waithe, and DJ Simmons, who did spoken word pieces. Carl Padmore brought limbo dancer Cheryl Grazette on stage in his production Limbo Gal – a tribute to her 25 years in the entertainment industry. Shamika Walrond did No How, No Way, Chadene Roett presented Mind Dem Manners, Justin Blackman had Teach Us The Right Thing, chef Damian Reid’s message was in Eat-Mergency and the HMP Drama Group did a skit on It Could Be You – a message about cancer.