Ron Smerczak creates alter-ego whose adventures are a delight to read! (Review by Caroline Smart)
Ron Smerczak has been a professional actor, writer, director and voice artist for over 45 years and has worked on stage, television and film. He has now taken his considerable talents for writing to the internet and created an alter-ego called Sir Cess Poole whose adventures are a delight to read.
He first stepped on to The Old Vic stage in London in 1965 in a National Youth Theatre production of Antony and Cleopatra with Helen Mirren (now Dame Helen) in the leading role. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art with the school’s silver medal and an honours diploma six years later, and has since appeared in over 100 television productions both locally and internationally, over 50 international movies and 80 stage productions.
Television series include Scandal, Egoli, Isidingo, 7th de Laan, Rhythm City, The Villagers, Zero Tolerance, John Ross, Life begins at Forty, Justice for all, The Diggers and Westgate. He also appeared in episodes of the famous BBC drama series Z-Cars and Dixon of Dock Green.
His movies include Who am I with Jackie Chan, Cry the Beloved Country, The Red Phone, The Mangler directed by Tobe Hooper, The Devils Whore, Dead Easy his first movie role with director Neal Sundstrom, Pets, Traitor’s Heart, Kin, Freefall directed by Jack Horner, American Ninja 4 - The Annihilation, Crazy Monkey Straight outta Benoni and Jock of the Bushveld.
He devised, wrote, directed, edited, and produced two documentary series for the English film company Peakviewing - Ron On The Road and Ron The Recyclist. The five minute insert presentations took a look at the often unvisited back roads of Southern Africa, and examine the growing interest in recycling, waste disposal and organic farming.
He is no stranger to Durban theatre audiences as his stage appearances date back to 1974, when he arrived in South Africa and played the juvenile lead in Terrence Rattigan’s playIn Praise of Love presented by Pieter Toerien. Two years later he was hired by NAPAC for Professor Pieter Scholtz’s production of the restoration classic, The Rivals and returned in the late 80’s to appear in the superb Gulls. He did not perform again in Durban until his nominated performance of King Lear at The Playhouse in 2006.
Making full use of his RADA teacher’s diploma and Poetry Lover’s Fellowship senior gold medal, Ron has toured to over 100 schools in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Cape in the past three years to present his Poetry in Motion, devised to help matric students understand the poetry they have to study for the examination.
Now turning his talents to the world wide web, Ron has created the character of Sir Cess Poole which can be found at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Sir-Cess-Pooles-Diary/315688993692
However, you should first visit the blogspot at http://cesspoolestales.blogspot.com:80/2010/03/from-pool-to-poole.html which presents Sir Cess Poole’s story from birth in the home of musical hall comedy Blackpool, where he tells of his early years as a palm reader and of his training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. The story then moves on through his career as a colonially famous soap star to his latter years as an egotistical, pompous, garrulous, grumpy old man.
Those who enjoyed Ron’s performance in Neil Coppin’s Tree Boy will be amused to read of Sir Cess’s return from Durban after the play’s run at the 2010 Grahamstown festival: http://cesspoolestales.blogspot.com/2010/07/hazards-pleasures-angels.html - Caroline Smart