Gimistory full of songs, tall tales

Under a full moon, with a cool breeze blowing through the seagrape trees surrounding the stage, singers, poets and storytellers at this year’s Gimistory entertained young and old during the show’s first performance. 

Throughout the week, the performers at Gimistory, the Cayman Islands International Storytelling Festival, are appearing in all the districts of the Cayman Islands, but they got the show on the road at the West Bay Public Beach on Saturday night, 24 November. 

Emcee Blacksage from Trinidad and Tobago introduced each performer and kept the audience laughing between each act in the event, organised by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, which showcases storytelling through music, poetry and prose. 

This is the 15th year of Gimistory, which has been bringing local, regional and international performers to outdoor stages in parks, beaches and private yards in the Cayman Islands since 1998 – all for free. 

Among the performers at the West Bay show were the Great Gabby from Barbados, David Bereaux and Steve Neaves from Trinidad and Tobago and Ken Cosbie from Guyana. But Cayman showed there was also plenty of local talent, with strong performances from Lady Rabia, Auntie V, Valeska Borden, Hylton Grace and Kevin Creary. 

A highlight in Gimistory is the “extemporaneous” or “extempo” performances. This year, Blacksage and Gabby faced off performing a calyspo number they improvised on the spot. 

As well as free admission, attendees at Gimistory also get to taste some fine local fare. Judges rate the food and at the end of Gimistory, will rank which district has the best fry fish, frittas and swanky. 

North Side and East End had their shows on Monday and Tuesday. The next shows will be at Nurse Josie’s Seniors Centre (on the same road as the Mission House) in Bodden Town on Wednesday, 28 November; Little Cayman School (daytime) and Cayman Brac Heritage House on Thursday, 29 November; in Camana Bay (Young at Arts – all youth) on Friday, 30 November; and at Smith’s Barcadere (Smith’s Cove) on Saturday, 1 December. All shows begin at 7pm. 

If you have trouble finding the venue, look out for the “tall man”, a long, skinny wooden figure, at the entrance of each site. 

 

For more information, e-mail [email protected] or call 949-5477. 

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