Roverman Festival of Plays; a festival of fun not palanquins

When you hear the word festival, you most likely will envisage a colourful display of umbrellas, palanquins, creatively designed drums, or muscular men and endowed ladies dancing as if they want break the earth.

The Roverman Festival of Plays is, however, a festival of teary laughter occasioned by flawless stand up drama, produced by the all time famous theatre production company, Roverman Productions.

Written by iconic playwright, James Ebo Whyte, the plays are laden with humour and life lessons in equal measure.

One man who has played key roles in 16 of the 20 Uncle Ebo Whyte plays, Andrew Tandoh Adote, spoke to about this season’s festival of plays especially the plays to be staged this weekend – Apartment N1 and Men Run Women Cry.

Two plays, What’s my Name? and The Last Flight were staged last weekend. “I never regretted buying this ticket. All my life, I have never laughed nonstop for two hours before, but for the last flight I did..Lots of lessons learnt from the play. I pray to God I become like Tracy in 2014, so I get this promotion …Amen,”  one patron who watched the Last Flight wrote on facebook.

Roverman Productions produces a play every quarter in the year. At the end of the year, all four plays staged packaged in the Festival of Plays.

But last year, which marked the fifth year, five plays were put into bouquet thus producing a 5 plays for five days to celebrate 5 years of Ebo Whyte’s original plays.

This Saturday, Apartment N1 shows (first show: 4pm; second show: 8pm) at the National Theatre.  

On the eve of the vetting of Mr. Ken Nti, a minister designate, he gets an urgent call that makes him rush to Apartment N1, an expensive dollar-rated apartment occupied by Serwa, a sexy student from a poor home. Thirty minutes later, he dashes out without his shirt and goes home to lie to his wife. The next morning, Serwa is found dead. So, when Ken should have been in Parliament for his vetting, he finds himself in the grips of the law and a bitterly disappointed wife.

What really happened at Apartment N1? And why is a senior police detective losing her mind over what she is discovering in her investigations?

Apartment N1 explores the issues of love, duty and fidelity.

It will be followed by Men Run Women Cry  on Sunday 5 January 2014.

Becky walks into a beauty salon to be made up. It is the happiest day of her life since she is getting married to the love of her life, Yohan. Unknown to her, Yohan is hopelessly professing love to a girl he has just met and has followed her to the same salon.

What has come over Yohan all of a sudden? Is it love at first sight or something more sinister? Will the day be saved for Becky or will she leave the salon with her dreams of a blissful marriage shattered? Things get pretty twisted when the one who is trying to save the wedding is on the verge of losing her own marriage to her insecure and verbally abusive husband. Many are the things that can make men run and women cry.

Asked which play is outstanding for him, Mr. Adotey said it was a difficult assignment.

Each play, he said has its own unique qualities and lessons for each person.

Sometimes the laughter and cheers can get loud and loud, how do you stay focused? He was asked, to which he responded, “It is the frequency of the rehearsals; we make sure we pack in a lot of rehearsals before the show actually comes up so all the things that will make you as a character laugh on stage, you’ve already experienced them at rehearsals.”

Touching on the flawless execution of the plays on stage, Adotey said, “It is just the work we put into it; we do it over and over again; we are always working towards improvement; it is a lot of work and a lot of improvement.”

Responding to a question on how life at Roverman Productions has been like, Andrew Tandoh Adote said it has been a great blessing.

“It has a lot of great memories; a lot of experiences; a lot of self-discovery. Through meeting with Uncle Ebo Whyte and Roverman Productions, a lot of blessings have come into our lives; for me personally, the realization that you can do whatever you put your mind to.”

He said even though it the company six months to prepare for the first play, Unhappy Wives, Confused Husbands in 2008, the renowned playwright announced after the play was staged at a packed National Theatre, that a play would be produced every quarter.

That seemed impossible, but didnt of hard work, the track record has been kept and standards and quality of plays have surpassed expectations, he stated.

The dramatic twists and unpredictable nature Uncle Ebo’s plays keep patrons returning to the National Theatre every time.

He said the attendance at this season’s festival has been phenomenal so don’t miss the fun. You have missed The Last Flight and What’s my Name but you can still grab a ticket for only GH¢50 per play and catch the train this weekend.

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