If you're a YouTube user (like most normal people in 2015) you should be well aware of Mandem On The Wall. If not, let's break it down. It's an online comedy series about three youths from London and their daily adventures on their wall. Launched in December 2011 and starring rising actors & writers Joivan Wade, Percelle Ascott and Dee Kartier, the show now has combined views of over 40 Million and rising. In 2013, the boys made the transition from online to TV, starring in E4's comedy drama Youngers and this Saturday, April 11 bring the Mandem On The Wall experience to the live stage at the legendary Hackney Empire for a one night only show consisting of comedy sketches, music and video. After sharing their YouTube experiences to the Industry Takeover audience, we caught up with Joivan, Percelle and Dee who play Failia, Yungah Baby Tinie Winie and Yungah Baker respectively to talk all things Mandem On The Wall including future plans and what to expect from their first ever live show...
Before Industry Takeover, were you aware of Urban Development and what they do?
Dee: We’re fairly new to it, really!
Percelle: When Urban Development approached us to talk, we did a bit of research but after today’s experience, we’ve realised this is a very, very valuable opportunity for a lot of people and I’d definitely recommend it to a lot of people because where else can you get this kind of information? It’s priceless!
Did you get a chance to check out anything else while at Industry Takeover?
D: Not yet! But we’re hoping to check out some of the performers later!
P: Now that we’ve done our bit, we can relax a bit, meet some people and see what else is happening.
D: It’s really good what’s going on here!
J: It’s our first time coming here but next time we’ll definitely be interested in coming along.
You took part in ‘The fundamentals of a creative strategy on YouTube’ at Industry Takeover. Tell us a bit about how it all went...
Joivan: We were talking about our journey, really. The seminar was about YouTube and we were essentially a case study of something living & breathing when it comes to a YouTube project so we were just sharing our journey, how YouTube worked for us, what hasn't worked for us, what to do, what not to do and just sharing our journey.
P: But not just YouTube specifically; we also looked at social media on a whole because we’re very much involved in every aspect of social media. They’re all important to each other and they tend to work hand in hand.
How did you find your first Industry Takeover experience? How did the audience react & respond and perhaps more importantly; did you enjoy it?
J: I think it went really well. You could see everyone that was there wanted to be there. They were genuinely listening to what we had to say and you could see it could benefit them. P: I think there was something of a surprise element as well - I feel like a lot of people weren’t expecting us to say what we had to say because of the characters that we play, people really only know us as those characters. For us, there’s a bigger plan and a bigger objective.
Dee: They don’t expect some wisdom behind what we say! [Laughs] For them, it might be random nonsense but there’s a strategy behind it.
You’re about to embark on Mandem On The Wall Live at the Hackney Empire! What can people expect from the show?
J: It’s going to be a great show, man! We’ve written a completely new show, no YouTube content; it’s all fresh stuff. We’re just giving something to our audience for a live show because we’ve never done one before. It’s our first ever live show and it’s one night & one night only!
P: We’ve got live music as well; we’ve got the very talented Geko in the building who will be performing some of his music, which is really exciting. It’s going to be a night like no other and it’s going to be a part of history; no one has ever brought online content to the theatre and we’re doing that.
What prompted your decision to go from online to the stage?
P: We’ve always had the intention to take our content into a live format but it was all about timing. We just weren’t sure when the right time was. We’ve been very busy with the TV stuff like Youngers etc. But this opportunity came about when Joivan was doing Rudy’s Rae Records with Lenny Henry playing his son Richie. Joivan had a conversation with the writer Danny Robins, who is the co-writer for Mandem On The Wall Live. He passed on the message to Suzie, who was the creative director on that show and ended up being the director of our show! It was a series of conversations that developed into them offering us the opportunity to take our format to the Hackney Empire. As soon as we heard that, we said “Yep! This is the right timing!” We can bring our A-Game to it so let’s do it!
Apart from the live show, what else do you have lined up for the rest of the year?
J: We’ve got a bunch of content that we’re looking to release; we’ve been offered a pilot for Channel 4 for our TV show, so we’ve been working on that.
P: We’ve also set up our own company; JPD3 Entertainment so it’s not just Mandem On The Wall; we’ve got commissioned for a short film called ‘Trick or Treat’ which we’re shooting in May, we’re working with various broadcasters and script deal on different TV shows. We may also be looking at more dates for the live show and a tour in 2016 so look out for us!
Head over to the official Mandem On The Wall website for more information. Mandem On The Wall Live takes place on Saturday 11 April at Hackney Empire. Limited tickets are available now from the Hackney Empire Box Office.
WORDS: Courtney Buck [@BuckTheWorld_]