An amateur actress met a veteran actor, and with the expert coaching of playwright, James Ebo Whyte, another classic Roverman Productions Play, “Dear God Comma” was born.
Dr. Effie Aggrey played by Ms. Viva Aderko, first time actress, is a scientist working in an organisation outside Ghana. She is married to Prof. Fiifi Aggrey played by Mr. Andrew Adote, who has appeared on the Roverman Productions stage consistently since 2008. Prof. Aggrey, also a scientist, works in the same organisation as his wife. In addition to all his many academic and professional achievements, he is a Nobel laureate.
Unfortunately, Prof. Aggrey has taken to alcoholism, debauchery and philandering much to the dismay of his wife. It appears he is bent on throwing his life away, which makes no sense, not even to himself.
In a very much unexpected way, the reason is made known to Dr. Aggrey, but it goes against everything she knows, and it breaks all the laws of science she holds in high esteem. She now finds herself caught between a rock and a hard place; trying to believe what she does not believe, and trying to convince her husband to believe what even she does not believe.
In a quest to build herself up, meet new people and most importantly, be under the guidance of Uncle Ebo Whyte, Viva, a chartered banker and a part time fashion designer joined Roverman Productions in January 2016. Never had she acted before.
With no prior training in acting, yet identifying himself as an artist and performer, his pursuit to be identified and known as a decent actor had Andrew joining Roverman Productions in 2008. Preceding this, he had a brief stint with a now defunct theatre group.
As is the case with most cast used by Uncle Ebo Whyte, neither, before joining Roverman Productions had any acting training or experience, nor could be described as professional actors. The difference however is that whereas Andrew has been on the Roverman Productions stage for the past eight years, and has since featured in a couple of movies, advertisements and series, Viva has never appeared on any set, not even as an extra. Her first role ever is a major role, and she nailed it.
Uncle Ebo is committed to building up all members of his group spiritually, emotionally and professionally. An encounter with him, even just once will have one walking away feeling like it is possible to conquer the world in any chosen field. Imagine wanting to be a mechanic. An encounter with Uncle Ebo, regardless how brief it is, would have one walking away with the knowledge that building the next world’s biggest engine is just one decision away. Mind you, Uncle Ebo might have no idea how to change a car tyre.
So then imagine how one would feel encountering Uncle Ebo in a field he has an idea or two about; stage plays. Like Andrew put it, “working with Uncle Ebo is always a challenging, inspiring and growth experience. After all these years, I always walk away feeling like I have learnt something new. And he still challenges me, every single time”.
Did Viva know she could do it; no. There were times she wanted to throw in the towel. Did Uncle Ebo know she could do it; yes. We all have it in us to shine. Did she get any special treatment from him because she is the new kid on the block; no. Whether amateur or veteran, no concessions are made for anyone.
“The Roverman brand has already been made, and there will be no lowering of standards for anyone, old or new,” said Uncle Ebo.
When asked why a new face for a lead role, Uncle Ebo said, “the first time Andrew went on stage was his first time. Everyone will have their first time”.
For Viva, she is ecstatic about this experience, “my first time acting and on no other platform but a Roverman platform. I nearly asked Uncle Ebo to change my role because it was confusing as much as it was exciting. Thank God for the guidance of Uncle Ebo and advise from team members”.
In describing Viva’s performance, Andrew said, “it was her very first acting experience, and it was fun watching her struggle with her role knowing that in the end she would nail it. At a point, the only one who thought she could not do it was herself, but eventually she gained confidence and made the role her own”.
And nail it Viva did. “Dear God Comma” still shows at the National Theatre on June 25 & 26, July 2 & 3, 2016, at 4pm and 8pm each day.
First timers to a Roverman Productions Play will not get the fuss about amateur or veteran. All they will see is an awesome cast put up an even more awesome performance. Regular patrons of plays by Roverman Productions, might ask, “Who is this?”, “Where did she come from?”, and conclude, “She’s good!” in reaction to Viva on stage.
On another stage, never would an amateur be paired with a veteran in a lead role, but at Roverman Productions, not only did it happen, it worked! Roverman Productions presents, fresh face, new talent, old face, proven talent, Viva and Andrew in an original James Ebo Whyte Play, “Dear God Comma”.