Occasional blogger and sometimes freelance writer, hammering away in the West Midlands.
Comedy actor hits the (G) Spot
Under the banner of Yaadyboy Entertainment, actor/writer Ricky Rowe has produced a string of highly successful comedies, including Dutty Money, She Want A Man and, most recently, Samson And De Liar, which united him with stand up comedian Tony 'Paleface' Hendriks.
His latest Yaadyboy production is The G Spot, which visits Birmingham's The Drum on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 November 2013. But before then, he takes to the stage as a Jamaican bus boy in the stage adaptation of Trevor Rhone's hotel-set '70s comedy, Smile Orange, which can be seen at the same venue on Friday 8 - Saturday 9 November 2013.
Can you tell us a bit about your character in Smile Orange?
I play Cyril the young clumsy bus boy from the Jamaican country.
Smile Orange was written by Trevor Rhone, who also wrote The Harder They Come. Obviously, Smile Orange is very much a comedy, but do you think there are any similarities to the two stories?
I have never thought of making a comparison to both, but in some respect I would have to say yes. Even though one is a comedy and the other is a drama peace...
And both central characters resort to desperate measures to get what they want...
Smile Orange deals with a man with his own skills, which is to con and deceive whoever he can to get his own fame. This is clear in one scene where a tourist who was drunk falls into the hotel pool and drowns, after losing all of his money on a crab race which was set up by the lead character Ringo, when everyone around him sees this as a tragedy he sees the incident as an opportunity to get a promotion.
Smile Orange was written 40 years ago - are the themes of tourism and exploitation still relevant today?
Forty years that's before my time so I can't really comment on what the working conditions were like back then. But somethings never change - people still work for minimum wages, you still have the Ringos who are willing to give the female tourist everything with a Jamaican flavour, and there will always be a clumsy bus boy.
The play reunites you with Tony Hendriks, who you worked with for the first time in Samson And De Liar back in the spring: How did you two get on, and any more plans to work together again soon?
Working with Tony Hendriks on Samson And De Liar was an experience I will never forget. As you said it was our first time working together but not the first time we have tried doing something it just didn't happen before. But Samson And De Liar was perfect, I had this script for about two years, but at the time I was busy with another production, Dutty Money, so I never really had the chance to look at it. But this year when I had some time I said I wanted to stage it, it's a two hander, something I have never done before so I started thinking of who I wanted to work with and Tony was the first name that came to mind, I gave him a call and he quickly agreed to it, we sat down put some new ideas together and we just did it, Tony is a great laugh never takes anything too serious I guess he 'as done everything being older and all, he's like a can of drink that 'as been put down for sometimes when you open it be prepared to get wet. He doesn't hold back.
We do have a couple of other [ideas] that we are working on - we have a project call Good Cop Bad Cop which we want to do so. If I can finish everything else I have doing [laughs].
Comedy actor and writer Ricky Rowe stars in The G-Spot
You're also out with a second new show - The G Spot
The G Spot is a sexy and saucy comedy, which looks at the relationship between Geraldo a young shop worker who is in love with Lily, his childhood sweetheart.
Your previous Yaadyboy productions Four Bulla An A Patty, She Want A Man, Dutty Money and Samson And De Liar were all great successes. Did those successes take you by surprise?
I wouldn't say surprise because I have been doing this for a minute... to know what it takes to make the audience laugh, am more honoured of the success because I really work hard on all of my productions and want them to do well. So am very thankful for the success I hope it continues.
You mentioned you were working on another show at the moment - can you say a bit more?
At the moment it's in the early stage but as soon as its ready I will definitely give you an exclusive on it! [laughs]
You've visited Birmingham many times - what do you like about the city?
The city of Birmingham is a great place, it's like my home away from home it as [it has] everything I look for in a metropolis - great culture, great shopping (cause I love to shop) and the people are very much always willing to give an helping hand. I had an experience recently where I was in Birmingham. I had a meeting around by The Drum, after the meeting was over I wanted to get back to the train station, I got lost in the centre, a nice little Indian lady saw me asked me if I was lost, I said yes. I told her I wanted to get to the train station, and she just volunteered to take and she did will never forget.
You've described yourself as "a born performer" - when did you first realise this?
I realised this very early - maybe from [when] I was ten. I remember watching TV and telling my mother that one day she's going to see me on television, it was destined for me to become a performer as my entire family are performers - not professional but just the way the go about their day to day life always smiling always telling jokes ... I just embody all of their energies within me.
What are your plans for the future once these two shows are over...?
My plans for the future are to continue writing and producing good quality productions that my fans can enjoy and to grow my company Yaadyboy Entertainment so that the name is recognisable. I have a good team on my side that looks out for me Angela and Michell King, just want to big them up for the work that they do and together we are going to make brand Ricky Rowe global!
* Smile Orange runs from Fri 8-Sat 9 Nov 2013, 8pm, with tickets £17-£22. The G Spot runs from Sat 23-Sun 24 Nov 2013, 7.30pm, with tickets £9-£12. Both productions take place at The Drum, 144 Potters Lane, Aston, Birmingham B6 4UU. For tickets and more information: Tel 0121 333 2444 or see: www.the-drum.org.uk