Lord Kitchener

The Hollywood Reporter
Film Review: One Hand Don't Clap
By Jeff Menell

Daaay-oh night, calypso music fills the listener with a sweetly unique sound that makes one smile. It tickles the senses, making all thoughts happy ones.
This feel-good music is given center stage in the foot-stomping "One Hand Don't Clap". For 92 minutes the viewer is treated to the calypso beat, and whether or not you can understand all the lyrics, the music will wash over you and cleanse your soul, monů.

Wisely focusing on two of today's biggest calypso stars, "One Hand Don't Clap" brings home the gentle power of its music mostly by showcasing performances, letting the stars wax nostalgic and by maintaining a steady, calming calypso beat throughout the film.

Calypso Rose, a soft-spoken woman offstage but a dynamo onstage, is one of the colorful performers highlighted in the film. She is seen lovingly reminiscing with her mother in one scene, then almost unrecognizable in the next as she wildly struts her stuff while belting out one of her cleverly composed, humorous numbers. She's a charmer.

But the granddaddy of charm, as well as the Grandmaster of Calypso, is the one and only Lord Kitchener. Introduced at a calypso club as "a man with absolutely no respect for his age," this young man in his 70s defies gravity and time as he moves gracefully and energetically across the stage.

All of his songs performed in this film are an absolute delight with the crowd, and are sure to win over new calypso converts. Credited with composing the first calypso song for the steel drum (the only instrument to be invented in the 20th century), Lord Kitchener is generally regarded as one of the most popular pioneers of calypso.

With a total lack of ego, Lord Kitchener (his real name is Aldwyn Roberts) recalls his humble beginnings and his ultimate rise to fame and relative fortune. Practically a historian on the subject, he explains why calypso isn't more popular with the foreign market. "To us it is sweet. We love it. The foreigner might like to hear it, but he can't get into it because when he was born, he was born in the 4/4 time."

It's hard to argue with the man. It's also practically impossible not to like him and be charmed by him. Always in a suit and hat, except during the delightful "Pillow Fight" number, Lord Kitchener is truly a gentleman, a scholar and a one-of-a-kind performer. As a homage to him, and to this soulfully infectious music, "One Hand Don't Clap" deserves a round of applause.