‘Four Bulla & a Patty’ is a bellyfull

February 01, 2017
Dorothy Cunningham
Volier Johnson

I'm not a theatre critic so this is not a review. But I had a fun time last weekend watching a play called 'Four Bulla and a Patty', and I have to share the experience with you.

The evening was really special for me because it was the first in a long time I managed to see two venerable veterans like Dorothy 'Miss Zella' Cunningham and Volier 'Maffie' Johnson onstage in the same play. But it was more than just an evening at the theatre for me, it was a memorable reunion.

Yeah, man, because sitting right next to me watching the show was my beloved long-time friend and schoolmate from both Excelsior and School of Drama, Claudette Pious. Claudette is a hard-working community worker and social activist, and is founder of 'Children First', although many people only know her as the actress who plays 'Miss Lickle' in the Lasco Mackerel advert.

She is also the kind-hearted promoter who decided to give a 'buss' to an unknown up-and-coming duo by allowing them to be my opening act on a comedy show. And now, 25 years later, that duo, 'Ity and Fancy Cat', is perhaps the most popular comedy act in the Caribbean.

You know what made the evening extra, extra special for me though? Four members of the Four Bulla and a Patty team are people who I had the pleasure of teaching several years ago. Yes, peeps, actress Lakiesha Ellison, light and sound operator Dwayne Hutchinson, assistant stage manager Michael Swaby, as well as the writer/director/producer and actor Ricky Rowe were all youngsters participating in the Area Youth project founded by Sheila Graham.

And I'm honoured to know that, along with my friend, pastor and partner-in-comedy Winston 'Bello' Bell, I had a hand in influencing and guiding their careers as theatre practitioners. Trust me, it was really a fulfilling experience to see my former students working as professionals alongside the veterans like Volier and Dorothy and established entertainment personalities like Rodney Campbell and Edna Manley College graduate Toni-Ann Johnson.

Mi nah lie, mi proud till mi nearly buss! And the play is hilarious. It's a fun farce with some comical characters, including a donkey called Cassie, a mean-spirited shopkeeper, an alcoholic farmer and an unlucky man who dies from a Viagra overdose.

Peeps, Four Bulla and a Patty is a bellyful.


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