No time for laughter
-says director of postponed Link Show
Stabroek News
February 1, 2003

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The Theatre Arts Company, producer of the annual Link Show has postponed this year's production pending a dramatic improvement in the security situation.

Director of the company, Ron Robinson told reporters yesterday that it would be very callous and inhumane for his company to host such a programme, which was full of laughter, when dozens of Guyanese citizens were in tears over the loss of some loved one. "Look what happened yesterday (referring to the slaying of policeman Deon Joseph in Sophia on Thursday) there has been too much blood shed. How can we possibly make people laugh, when many are in tears." He said one aspect of his company's mandate was to ensure that patrons felt secure. "And I do not think that anyone can feel safe going to the National Cultural Centre with all that's happening everyday... This is not the time for merriment, but rather a time for deep thinking in trying to come up with solutions for this sickening crime problem."

Robinson also said felt it would be wise for the government to postpone the Mashramani festivities. He suggested that if the situation changes Mashramani and Independence Day could be celebrated together later in the year. The Ministry of Culture yesterday said that Mash celebrations are going ahead as planned. (See other story on page 13.)

He alluded to the decision made by the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha last year to postpone its annual Diwali motorcade. The Link show, scheduled for the end of February or early March would have been the 22nd uninterrupted since 1981. With regards to the Link Tour, Robinson said if everything worked well the tour would be on around September. However he said it was usually the earnings from the Link Show which would help in offsetting some of the tour's expenses.

Further, Robinson stated that at present, to host the show is not a profitable proposition as "the cost for rental at the Cultural Centre is very high."

He mentioned that at present the management of the National Cultural Centre collects a rental for every facility used, including a percentage of the ticket sales and other things.

"This alone is too much for us, the cost is too high and if we cannot get a better deal then we would have to look into other directions, that is find another place to hold our show."

Robinson said at the moment his company's position is for the Cultural Centre to have a flat fee rather than various fees for security, use of the flats and other things.

To this end the company directors are seeking to have a meeting with Minister of Culture, Gail Teixeira to make their proposal.

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