When playwright, Uncle Ebo Whyte announced he was going to stage, A Crazy Ride, a stand up comedy show to celebrate his Roverman Productions’ 10th anniversary, there had been scepticism about whether it would as good as his other productions considering he was not known for his comedic skills.
However, those doubts were cleared at the National Theatre on Saturday, September 1 when the 64-year-old credited with reviving theatre in Ghana, gave a great performance with the spotlight on him.
With an entrance that sought to portray how young male artistes introduce themselves before a performance, Uncle Ebo hit the stage holding his crotch just like how many young artistes do whiles giving shout outs to all who cared to know, that he was ready for the night.
His “yo yo” demeanour on stage drew roaring laughter from patrons who were surprised by his youthful antics but that was just one of the many “crazy” things he would do in the two hours he was on stage.
For 10 years, theatre fans have enjoyed humour packed plays from Roverman Productions and Uncle Ebo has been comfortable directing affairs but this time, he exhibited his comedic skills as he humorously let guests into his life, sharing some of the memories including escapades and challenges encountered.
Born and raised in South Suntreso, a suburb of Kumasi in the Ashanti region, he told the tale of how he, (then known as Cassius) retired early from boxing at the age of 14 when he was mercilessly beaten by an opponent despite being the “area champion”. It took the intervention of his mother to save his life.
Uncle Ebo jokingly teased that his happy mood and emotions don’t always reflect on his face and people must accept that. “Look at me now, I’m very very happy but look at my face. This is my face, I just don’t know why I just can’t express my happy mood on my face,” he said.
For him, being in the spotlight has been both a blessing and curse because he has had to endure some of the negative aspect.
For instance, he had to hold on to his “sweetness weapon” just when he was about to pass urine at the road side because someone shouted his name from a moving van.
He talked about some of his wild escapades and gave men tips on how to apologise to their wives when they offend them because wives don’t score their partners “high marks”.
That isn’t all, he gave the men tips on how WNN (Women’s News Network) operates and why no matter how they play their cards well, their sexual escapades are always found out.
“It takes just a phone call and before you know, your wife knows all about where you have been”, he said to cheers from the audience.
Among the many issues Uncle Ebo touched on were the “secret” behind Asamoah Gyan’s one Goal project in tournaments and the differences in men and women.
He also used the occasion to defend his support for the legalisation of weed by his own interpretation of a bible verse.
In two hours of witty tales laced with music, Uncle Ebo almost marred the happy ending when he told patrons of how prophecies about his death early in the year motivated him to host a one-man show to thank God for his life.
Uncle Ebo did not hold back on stage
According to him, he made a vow to take that bold step if he spared his life.
“From all the prophecies and dreams of death, I promised myself that if I survived my birthday, I will do something I have never done to honour and thank God and to celebrate life and the result is A Crazy Ride. It is also to thank my loyal patrons for sticking with me over the past 10 years,” he said.
Apart from a little hitch at the beginning of Ebo Whyte’s initial introduction, Crazy Ride was another successful production from Roverman Productions which had solo performances from Animwaa Anim-Addo, Edem Adimado and Ernestina Awuah Twumasi, an Acapella group as well as choreography.