Comedian, performer and campaigner Jack Rooke is coming to St Helens to do his thing in a back of a black cab!
On Thursday, November 19th Jack adds his talents to #TakeOverStHelens with Come Ride With Me, a comedy show in a taxi. Jack’s paying the fare and packing the cab full of food, so it should be a ride to remember!
Jack, from Watford, is the resident on-air expert in bereavement for BBC Radio 1’s ‘Surgery’ and hosts award-winning stand-up poetry night Bang Said The Gun.
The shows are 30 minute taxi rides around St Helens with the first ride at 5.30pm. You can get your ticket to ride online now. It’s just £6 per performance (3 per cab = £2 each). CLICK HERE TO BOOK
We chatted to Jack about his inspiration for the show, how he got involved and why he’s excited to involved in #TakeOverStHelens
What gave you the idea of the show in the taxi?
I’ve always wanted to do the show in a cab, but I didn’t think that was a thing. Obviously Scottee, being Scottee made it a thing, and that’s where Come Ride With Me was born.
Why a taxi?
My whole childhood was spent in the back of a taxi, which unless you’re the child of a Russian Oligarch or something, usually means your dad is a black cabbie.
I went to everything in my Dad’s cab, even just down the shops. The school-run was great because I would get out of the taxi and pretend I was one of the middle class kids, who could afford to get a cab to school. I think after my Dad’s death at 15, a black cab to me just feels like the ultimate childhood memory. If I get in one now, I totally flood back with memories.
How different is it going to compared to your usual shows?
Well my usual show has projections and a coffin full of comfort food, so for this, it’s going be pure storytelling. No fancy lights or music. There will however be as much food as I can provide in the cab, so do not worry!
Tell us a bit about your comedy?
It’s not stand-up as such, it’s comedy storytelling shall we say. I really hate a lot of spoken word and theatre because I think a lot of it has lost the essence of how important it is to be accessible and tell a story. There is so much snobbery in spoken word and theatre, so for me I call myself a comedian because I like making people laugh, I like entertainment but I also think comedy is the most powerful way of creating change, especially with a topic like grief which I talk about predominantly in my work.
How did you get involved with #takeoverStHelens?
Scottee asked me, I think because I was ranting about the London theatre scene. I’m so excited to perform in St Helens – TakeOverFest is a brilliant idea and project.
How and what inspires your work?
I think everything I’ve ever done artistically can be boiled down to loneliness. Exploring what it is to be lonely, to be surrounded by stuff and people but be alone.
Which sounds like the most depressing thing in the world, but really I see my work as a campaign against loneliness, to realise that it’s such a waste for someone to feel so isolated. I think loneliness can often sustain in peoples lives more than happiness does. I hope my work re-tilts the balance and encourages people to think about happiness in a broader sense.