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The narrative of Carnival Messiah is led by seven minstrels who are ostensibly a bunch of travelling musicians/troubadours with a trunk full of costumes and other goodies which they use to create a variety of characters and scenarios.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the minstrel is a traditional carnival character. In Carnival Messiah these minstrels have been bestowed the fantasy role of Urban Griot, that is, calypsonian, musician and storyteller -- they are the Keepers of History, the Praise Singers.

Their drama is placed firmly within that of Trinidadian traditional folk theatre and characterised by their generous use of satirical humour - picong, grand-charge and fatigue -- conveyed through the copious use of various European comic methodologies including Commedia del' arte, Bouffon, Fantastique, Grotesque and English pantomime, all legitimate theatrical legacies of Caribbean colonialism.

The main elements of these comic forms include farce, double entendre, raucous comedy, social caricature, improvisation with very little basis in the written script, paying particular attention to nuance and detail and a presentation style where action takes precedence over character, where physical skills are at least as important as verbal skills and verbal skills are of a very particular genre played within local Caribbean frames of reference. Watch more http://ning.it/1c9zJ6T

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Comment by Rita Seethaler on December 22, 2015 at 2:22am

This is brilliant! Does anyone know if the whole show is available somewhere (for sale on DVD, on YouTube etc)?

We would love to see the whole show !

Thanks for any tips.

cheers Rita (Marysville and Triangle Community Steelbands, AU)

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