A TROPICAL tale of street singing, slums and rum is coming to West Yorkshire Playhouse, writes Leon Zadok.
Mustapha Matura's Rum and Coca Cola is actor Don Warrington's first foray into directing. Famous for his role in seventies sitcom Rising Damp and his not-so-fancy footwork in Strictly Come Dancing, his talented cast include Footballers Wives star Marcel McCalla, who plays rookie street singer Slim.
The play sees ageing beach singer Professor, played by Victor Romero Evans, take his protege Slim, a young street boy, on a journey through friendship, hardship, and rum.
Professor teaches Slim the art of street singing and hopes to compose a song sweet enough to offset the taste of rum and take his young friend out of the slums and win the title of King of Calypso.
Marcel, who also starred in Sam Mendes' Oliver Twist and Little Sweet Thing, told Express Life: "The relationship between Professor – Victor Romero Evans – and Slim was something that attracted me to the script.
"Me and Victor met four years ago on a play, so we knew each other. It is as natural as can be."
Also natural are the Trinidadian references, as the production is not short of Caribbean experts – director Don is from Trinidad, as are other members of team.
Marcel said: "We have a great lady doing the music, she is also from Trinidad. It is great to have that first-hand knowledge."
After appearing in television shows like Footballers' Wives, where he played Noah, and BBC3 series, Trexx and Flipside, Marcel has decided to turn back toward the theatre but is finding this play a challenge.
He said: "In rehearsals sometimes I can't keep up with the page, there is loads to find. I am used to being in casts of five or more but it's just me and Victor. I do like to perform live. I find joy out of pain I suppose. Maybe I am a masochist!"
Rum and Coca Cola comes to West Yorkshire Playhouse from Friday, March 5, to Saturday, April 3.
For tickets, contact the box office on 0113 2137700 or visit www.wyp.org.uk