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Bouncers (Remix)


The company of Bouncers. Photo by Richard Smith Photography.


Bouncers (Remix), The Loft Theatre,  from Wednesday 1 May – Saturday 11 May 2024

Review by Ashley Hayward

 

Written by the acclaimed playwright John Godber, Bouncers was originally performed in the early 80’s but here we are transported back to the 1990’s and we witness a typical Friday night through the eyes of four northern doormen at the Mr Cinders nightclub.


The play features some very authentic 90’s music and dance moves but I’m sure that many of the characters we meet are still very much around in 2024.


John Godber is certainly the master of observational comedy and included amongst the many totally believable people we encounter are hairdressers, lads out on the beer and hoping to ‘pull’, a couple of Hooray Henri type punks, young girls out on a birthday celebration, and a typical cheesy nightclub  DJ.


(L-R) (front) Connor Bailey as Judd, (back row) Paul Curran as Ralph, Charlie Longman as Les, MarkRoberts as Lucky Eric Photo by Richard Smith Photography.


Remarkably the play only has a cast of four with the doormen also playing the parts of the patrons. It is a great tribute to the versatility of the actors that all the characters were totally convincing without any change of clothing and just an occasional simple prop such as a handbag.


There are very convincing individual performances from the actors and collectively they make a splendid quartet.

Mark Roberts plays Lucky Eric the elder statesman of the group and tensions bubble up between him and the others particularly when he is teased about his wife’s reputation. He is also the one who seems to possess something of a social conscience and genuinely seems concerned, for example, about the vulnerability of young women.


He and his three colleagues Judd (Connor Bailey), Les (Charlie Longman) and Ralph (Paul Curran) move seamlessly between one role and another and totally inhabit each character. Their movements are very well choreographed and they all give highly energetic, slick and humorous interpretations of their various parts.


Connor Bailey, Mark Roberts, Paul Curran, Charlie Longman. Photo by Richard Smith Photography


Godber’s original script portrays the emptiness of some young people’s lives in that the highlight of their week is a night spent consuming lots of booze and trying to ‘get off’ with someone or possibly getting into a fight. For many, this would seem as true today as it was then.


I understand there are tickets left for future performances and I’m sure that you would recognise and enjoy many of the characters and behaviours on show. You can also be assured that there will be nobody on the door deciding whether or not you can come in – even if, like me, you may be wearing jeans!


 

 

 

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