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Roverman Productions' Andrew Tandoh-Adote candidate for Actor of the Year

Andrew Adote2 Andrew Tandoh-Adote is a stage actor

Tue, 5 Sep 2017 Source: Kwame Gyan

Before I give my take on Uncle Ebo's latest play, may I take a moment to share my thoughts on one of the leading actors within Roverman Productions.

Andrew Tandoh-Adote has featured in virtually every play I have seen from RP. He has also played lead roles in most of them. This also means that he's been cast in a variety of roles and I can confidently stick my neck out that he has been excellent.

Ask any actor and they will tell you doing stage plays is a 1000 fold more difficult and challenging than shooting for film and television. Unlike film, stage thespians do not have the luxury of 'cut, let's take it again'. It is live on stage and when you fluff your lines you are in big trouble. And mind you, stage actors more often than not act to script. Rarely are they merely given scenarios and told to act. If you watched a stage play today chances of hearing the same lines next week is as high as Mount Everest. I am certain some of our known movie stars will not survive this stage. If you can do stage as brilliantly as these folks do and so regularly, then you can do film with less effort. This is what makes the guys at Roverman unique.

And this is what makes Andrew Tandoh-Adote a fantastic actor. I have seen him cast as an aging conniving assistant coach, a pastor whose three children did not belong to him, a kayayo in the market, a politician, and a host of others and for this quarter, he is an Italy based Ghanaian international who speaks horrendous English accentuated with heavy Italiano.

Andrew performs this role with so much ease and dexterity as though he was type-cast for it. Beyond the lines that he renders with so much verve, he carries himself in a way that lifts his role to life and it's easy to tell he makes his colleague cast members better as he easily carries them along in The Comeback.

Any proper awards scheme in the world will recognise Andrew Tandoh-Adote as a fine actor deserving of an Actor of the Year accolade. He does 4 stage plays a year, plays a lead role in at least three, and performs awesomely in all, and to add up, does all this on STAGE - beats my mind why he is not Ghana's number one actor.

I daresay over 80% of our movie stars will not survive the stage. The truest actor is the one on stage.

The Comeback: Now my thoughts on The Comeback.

As we already know, Uncle Ebo focuses on a fusion of drama and dance to tell our everyday stories in a largely comedy infused manner. He does not produce an Ola Rotimi or William Shakespeare kind of work (not yet I think). His focus, from where I sit, is to produce a drama the whole family can watch and laugh about whilst picking life lessons.

Now, his latest play is the story of Jojo Ronaldo. A Ghanaian international whose career seems to have come to an end. He returns home to nurse his latest injury and attend to what he thinks are investments his brother has led him to gather with the money he sent home only to realise he has been working for others to reap of him. It's a good story line made even more hilarious by Jojo' s butchering of the English language and the creation of his proverbs. Whenever he starts "our elders say....." then it means he is about to translate a local proverb into his own kind of English in a way that that will initially confuse you until you translate the proverb into a local language.

Roverman Productions experiments with a mixture of digitized stage settings using LED screens and the usual sets. I am not sure how the digitized stage panned out but it was a good try. I may be a conservative when it comes to building stages and I will go for plywood and nails any day over screens and lights.

The Comeback is a well scripted play that was well enacted as well. The stories are as usual well told with the nuances that we are all used to in our society. What the play does is to remind us of the realities our football players go through and their unwillingness to pick up lessons from those before them.

Perhaps Roverman Productions will make available a video of The Comeback to our footballers. It is a play written for them. And there is enough humour to keep you laughing out loud throughout.

Columnist: Kwame Gyan