A taxi was our stage for the latest offering from our #TakeOverStHelens season. Comedian and writer Jack Rooke entertained passengers during hilarious evening cab rides around the town centre.
From 5pm to 8.30 on Thursday (November 19th) Jack rode in a local taxi for six sold out shows performing to passengers with tales of life and death.
Jack, a stand-up poet by trade, delivered a taster of his touring show ‘Good Grief’ during the 30 minute ride. His touching tales of growing up with the grief of losing his father were the focus of the journey, but his warmth, humour and generousity with Soreen made the rides a huge hit.
Come Ride With Me by Jack Rooke was part of #TakeOverStHelens, a three month arts festival in St Helens. #TakeOverStHelens is a Heart of Glass initiative, developed and directed by Scottee.
Q & A with Jack Rooke
How did the shows go?
The shows were brilliant. Apart from realising that I suffer with really bad travel sickness if I sit backwards, it was an amazing experience.
What was the audience respond?
The audiences were really varied, made up of local people from all ages and a good few performing arts students from the college which was brilliant.
It was great to be with an audience who had varied expectations before getting in the cab, therefore the show was a bit of a surprise for both them and myself.
I gave the audience different roles throughout the performance, so one audience member was my mum, the other was my teacher and the other was a family friend. So I felt like audiences could really get into the stories within the show and feel a sense of comedy, even though the subject matter of grief and bereavement is quite dark at times.
Will you be doing shows in a cab again?
YES YES YES! It was a brilliant opportunity to come up to St Helens and do the show. I thank all of Heart of Glass and Scottee especially for allowing me to come up and try something new! Thankfully audiences seemed to like it!
Also the taxi driver Aidy the driver was a star, especially considering he had to hear me do the same 30 minute performance, 6 times in a row! Even my own mum wouldn’t want to hear me ramble on for that long!
What’s next for Jack Rooke?
I’m going to be touring my debut comedy theatre show Good Grief, which Come Ride With Me was an extract from. Hopefully we tour next spring/summer and I’m doing my debut London run of the show at Soho Theatre from December 7th – 9th. And I will definitely be doing come ride with me again!