Afrocentric Theatre, Music, Culture and Business

Judith Jacobs (The Raunchy Interview) Judith Jacobs (The Raunchy Interview)
Judith Jacobs (The Raunchy Interview)

Ebonyonline.net caught up with the pint sized powerhouse that’s Judith Jacobs (centred bottom of picture)  ahead of BiBi Crew’s latest Stratford Royal raunchfest. We talked eye popping sketches, female empowerment, the Real McCoy and the sad loss of the legendary Felix Dexter.


EOL: So why have the BiBi Crew decided to get raunchy after all these year?

JJ: We have Got Raunchy this time but we have had two other shows this year where we used some of our old sketches. This one however is a totally new show with new sketches.


EOL: What can we expect to see that will make our eyes pop out or blow our minds?

JJ: Lol. Hopefully there will be no popping of eyeballs but maybe crying from laughter and familiarity. We get rude but not tasteless or crude. But we do tark de ting. Lol.


EOL: Will men enjoy it as much as the women, and if so why?

Men will definitely enjoy the show too. They will recognise themselves, a bredren or their misses.


EOL: Let’s rewind a little. For those who missed it first time round tell us how the Crew came into being?

JJ: The BiBi Crew came about as Beverley Michaels saw The Posse [eight man troupe of black actors formed in the 90s] and decided to form a female version. She made a call to us ladies and that was how we got together.


EOL: In these days of empowerment by social media, how important or relevant are female groups be it theatrical or musical these days?

JJ: The female voice is not heard enough and the African Woman voice is even less faint. We have stories too and it is important that our young princesses have different narratives in their lives. We represent some of those voices.


EOL: You were part of the legendary and ground breaking Real McCoy TV show.  Who were some of your co-stars and what is was like being in the show?

JJ: It is amazing how The Real McCoy made such an impact on viewers. I worked with some very talented people. Leo Muhammad and Meera Syaal wrote sketches that on the face of it was honest and challenging the racists actions of people in power yet it got filmed because it was also very funny. I had such fun working on that show. Who knew that it would be talked about still. I don’t even know how long ago we did it but it has to be at least 10yrs now. Of course we were blessed to have the legend, Felix Dexter working with us. He is very much missed.


EOL: You were also part of the pioneering Black Theatre Cooperative, formed in 1979 by Mustapha Matura and Charles Hanson. How historically important was the Coop in terms of the path it paved for Black actors?

JJ: I came to Black Theatre Co-op late as I was working on a TV series, Angels. It was part of the time when African people were putting on their own works as we were not being represented in the way we knew our selves. Farrouk and Mustapha were renowned writers, Farrouk political and Mustapha funny and observant. It was a great time and LWT approached us to come up with a comedy show which we did, No Problem was created. My favourite job of all time. Janet Kay, Victor Romero Evans, Chris Tummings, Fumbi and Malcolm Fredricks will always be my brothers and sisters.


EOL: What are your views on the state of Black theatre today? 

JJ: African/Black theatre does not really exist as we knew it but productions still happen with African casts that are fantastic. Our inventiveness continues using all the social media forums that exist.


EOL: Finally, what can our readers expect from the show and should they bring lots of tissues?

JJ: There is dance, speed dating, dealing with your child when they want to know about sex, sex toys and loads more. Tissues are always good to have for wiping the tears, blowing the nose or for shoving it into someone’s mouth to keep them quiet. Whatever the reason.


22 Oct, BiBi Crew Get Raunchy, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Gerry’s Kitchen, 2 Gerry Raffles Square, London, E15 1BG,  http://www.stratfordeast.com/ for tickets and details.

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