Calypso is a musical genre known for its social commentary and humour. For local calypsonians, no topic was hotter on their lips than Julian Willock, who has made headlines on multiple occasions since being appointed Speaker of the House of Assembly this year.
The very song that helped King Paido earn victory at the recently-concluded calypso competition was ‘Wa You Answer For’, which chronicled the historic court case between Speaker Willock and Fourth District Representative, Mark Vanterpool.
King Paido, who won the Best Lyrics and Best Social Commentary awards used his song to ask why Willock responded to Vanterpool’s resignation letter if it was addressed to the Clerk of the House and not specifically to him as the Speaker.
Meanwhile, it was the crowd-favourite of the competition, Michelle ‘Lady Liberty’ Harrigan, who’s song ‘Speaker Wig’ really brought the comedic element to things related to Willock’s time presiding over the House.
Is the Willock’s wig to command authority?
Her song questioned the purpose of the Speaker wearing the symbolic wig which dates back to the 17th century in Britain history. She used her song to further question whether the wig is worn to make Willock appear more authoritative in the House of Assembly.
Speaker Wig — which won Harrigan the Most Humorous award, as well as the second runner-up spot of competition — saw the use of actors on stage to support the performance.
One actor representing Willock could be seen donning his increasingly popular white wig, which even legislators have used to make light-hearted quips in the House.
The actors were seen dramatising events that have occurred in the House such as a quarrel between the Speaker and Opposition Leader Marlon Penn.
The acts were assisted by short videos and pictures as well as a board with words and phrases that have been said in the House such as ‘silence’, ‘recess’ and ‘I am not a child’.
This type of social commentary utilised by calypsonians appeared to have been well-received by patrons, as they laughed during certain events of the performance and gave a large applause at the end.
Though the wig is a part of the attire for the Speaker of the House, it is largely uncommon in local parliamentary practice.