Bouncers

Fast paced, slick production with bags of humour.
1st December 2018 Witham Public Hall
By Guest Reviewers Sue Rogers & Steve Rogers

Bouncers, written by John Godber in 1977, is set in a Night Club on a lively Friday night in the eighties. The play is very accessible rather than demanding on the audience. Four Actors are required to play multiple roles: Bouncers, the ‘Lads’ on the beer and out to pull, the ‘girls’ glammed up for a night on the cocktails, and may other parts. The play has a lot of comedy in it, much of which is ‘laddish’ which may not appeal to the whole audience but underlying the vulgar humour sharp observations about the drunken behaviour of people on a night out.
The four Actors are a great team ably playing each Bouncer very differently showing individual Backstories and a wide range of other familiar caricatures conjuring up memories from the clubs in the 1980’s. It was an energetic, quick fire performance by all and definitely with no time to rest.

David Slater played Lucky Eric, the more mature member of the group, who has three different monologues. So many lines for David to learn but as usual he did not disappoint. David skilfully and convincingly portrayed the serious, sober and philosophical side of his Character whilst a Bouncer and also conveyed the humour and excellent comic timing of the characters Baz, Maureen and a Buxom Swede.

Barry Hester played Judd, the younger porn-loving, light-fingered Bouncer who was keen to pick a fight. Barry played the younger Brute convincingly and still managed to make the audience feel sorry for Plain Elaine. His energetic performance of the Flamboyant Hairdresser was one of the highlights of the Play.

Kevin Richards played Les, the Bouncer with a somewhat darker violent nature keen to pick a fight with the clubs Clientele. Kevin contrasted well with the other Bouncers and ably showed his range of acting skills and comedy in the many cameo parts including Kev the Lad, Rosie and the posh Student.

Gareth Barton played Ralph, the less aggressive Bouncer described by Eric as Mr Inner Calm. He was able to show a more thoughtful and sensitive side whilst still portraying the tough exterior of a Bouncer. His adept accents added authenticity to the many characters he played and his renditions of Sexy Susie and Nobby the Swedish Postman perhaps earned him the biggest laughs of the evening.

The minimal set, lighting and cleverly chosen sound bites from the 1980’s were used to good effect to quickly transport the audience back in time and into many different locations. Costumes consist of the traditional DJ and black Bow Tie and the fact that this ‘Bouncer attire’ was completely inappropriate for most of the characters portrayed only added to the humour. The use of the added white handbags was particularly clever and made the plot relevant to the Essex audience.

Congratulations Reject Theatre Company on a fast-paced slick Productions with bags of humour. Highly recommended