'Link Show 22' postponed

Guyana Chronicle
February 4, 2003

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'LINK SHOW 22', scheduled for staging this month, has been postponed because of the current crime situation in the country, according to Mr. Ron Robinson, Chairman of the Theatre Company, which produces the annual show.

He said at a news conference Friday that the decision was made after careful and determined deliberations between the Board of Directors of the Theatre Company and the actors.

One of the concerns of the Theatre Company was the risk to those patrons who would have to travel long distances to attend the event.

"Travelling will put them at greater risk, and we have to make a statement that as actors we are also human beings who are sympathising with those who have lost love ones," Robinson explained.

"If the situation does not improve it will be the first time in 23 years that there will be no 'Link Show' during any given year," he added.

"We hope that the situation will improve. We hope that we will be able to present the 'Link' for the public because it has become one of the institutions of theatre in this country," he said.

Noting that it is an event to which Guyanese both local and overseas looked forward to, Robinson said the Theatre Company intends to present the 'Link Show' overseas.

But this depended on the garnering of necessary resources.

According to the entertainer, under normal circumstances, proceeds from the shows staged in Guyana would offset the expenses for the North American tour of the 'Link Show'.

"We feel that it is not our place to be laughing and causing people to laugh when other families are mourning the loss of husbands, sons, brothers, breadwinners and loved ones," he explained.

"We do not think that with the best of intentions, we can go on stage and create laughter and merriment while others are in a position of grief. It is not a time for us to make money or to do a production that makes people laugh when other people cannot laugh at this time because they are in mourning," he said.

Robinson also stated that the producers are trying to meet the Minister of Culture Youth and Sport to request that she reconsider the current cost of utilising the National Cultural Centre, Georgetown.

He pointed out that the management of the Cultural Centre recently issued a statement that producers must pay a rental of $40,000 per performance.

Robinson noted that while this sum is the basic rental, the statement failed to mention that each group also has to pay $11,000 for the service of ushers; $10,000 for the bill board; $3,000 for the bar; $2,000 for permission to video tape; and $1,000 for a Security Guard.

Given the current economic situation, Robinson argued, these costs are much too high. He said the Theatre Company is willing to pay up to $120,000 per night as a flat fee.

He further argued that if the managers of the Cultural Centre cannot come to a reasonable compromise for use of the facility, then it is unlikely that the Theatre Company would be staging the 'Link Show' or any other production there.

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