Liverpool charity Genie In The Gutter and the writer Carolyn Edwards today announce the final cast member to join the company of their brand-new production One Man’s Story, which is being premiered in a special fund-raising event in Liverpool this week!
Celebrating the life of the late New York musician “Bongo” Eddie Folk, this true-life tale will be staged at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on Friday 7 September as part of celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the charity.
Playing the role of “Bongo” Eddie Folk is Phil Kaila, a role that has taken much time to fill as the company wanted to ensure the actor had all the qualities of the character.
Phil is best known as an international Salsa champion winning numerous awards both in the UK and internationally, he has also been a Salsa teacher for over 20 years. He won the Title of IDO European Cup for both Salsa and Bachata in Latvia in 2007, followed by the IDOWorld Champion Salsa Shine Title in 2008 held in Nauders, Austria.
Phil Kaila said: “In this show I’m playing Bongo Eddie, the legend that has left lots of memories in the United States and the UK, particularly in Liverpool.
“I feel honoured to be asked to portray Eddie and enable people to experience his life story through me. Carolyn, who has beautifully written the story, has constantly told me that I look and smile just like Eddie. There are even similarities in our characters – we enjoy the same music, play the same musical instruments. The One Man’s Story cast are telling Eddie’s story, but I’m here to depict his everlasting presence.”
The production is directed by Jen Heyes and features live music, dance and theatrical performance.
Phil Kaila will join a talented cast of Carolyn Edwards, who will be playing herself, Simon Lennon, Rachel Hartley, Billy Joe Rowan, Olivia Jones, Willhem Hernandez, Talisha Thomas-Lindsey, Michael Askew and Leah Griffiths.
The uniquely presented production has a fresh, new and exciting approach, being innovative from its creation through to its delivery.
One Man’s Story tells the transatlantic tale of the late “Bongo” Eddie Folk, the Brooklyn-born percussionist from Kid Creole and the Coconuts who came to Liverpool, had his much-loved son here, and made the city on the Mersey his home, before meeting and falling in love with Carolyn Edwards, founder and Director of Genie In The Gutter. The production features live music, dance and theatrical performance.
It explores his against-the-odds rise, taking its audience from his upbringing in 1950s Brooklyn to his success as a world-class percussionist and vocalist, including a 30-year career with Kid Creole and the Coconuts, and the years he spent living in Liverpool.
“Bongo” Eddie was a patron of Genie In The Gutter, which supports people in recovery through creative and performance arts. One Man’s Story will involve clients both on stage and behind the scenes, working alongside a fantastic team of theatre professionals.
The show has been written by Genie In The Gutter’s Carolyn Edwards, and it also charts their love story – along with her grief at his death from cancer in 2016, and the creative awakening she has experienced since.
Carolyn Edwards said “We could go to the ends of the earth and back and we wouldn’t find a better person to embody and play Bongo Eddie. The resemblance is uncanny and it’s not just in looks – his eyes and his smile – but also in his personality and mannerism. It almost feels like Eddie has come back to life.”
ONE MAN’S STORY
Friday 7 September 2018 at 7.30pm
Tickets from £17
HOW TO BOOK
Online: Visit www.liverpoolphil.com
By Phone: Call 0151 709 3789
In person: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BP