New Vic Theatre – ‘Bouncers’ by John Godber
Written by Hitmix Local News on 30 March 2023
Bouncers – by John Godber
Review by Jane Lythgoe for The Hitmix
Even before the play started, the bouncers were in … looking slick, walking up and down the steps and checking that the audience were behaving … getting us in the mood for the story of a night out back in the 80’s – the complete story – the anticipation of getting ready, the hassle of getting there, the night itself and of course throwing out time including chips and a taxi home. The hope and anticipation of every teenage weekend. Great memories.
Just four actors Frazer Hammill, George Reid, Lamin Touray and Tom Whittaker took us through the whole thing – playing the parts of doormen, the girls, the boys, a cheesy 80’s DJ and various other parts. They slid from character to character with ease, often separating scenes with clever use of a dance routine – always perfectly in step. Four great actors working together in harmony with obvious camaraderie – they pulled it off to perfection. It is always highly entertaining to see men portraying women – expertly over-exaggerated – the only prop used was a diamante clutch! Brilliant – especially when combined with a beard!
There was a lot of laughter throughout – in fact real squeals in places, as people were reminded of those hazy lost days of youth – the ‘navy’ video scene was hilarious as were the toilet scenes. The four bouncers Judd, Les, Ralph and main man Lucky Eric, looked after ‘Mr. Cinders’ night club, standing on the door, winding each other up, letting in who they wanted to, always hoping to get fixed up themselves at the end of the night. A few deeper moments were thrown in with ‘speeches’ from Lucky Eric offsetting the hilarity with moments of melancholy. Girls and boys out ‘on the pull’, drinking and spending a lot more than they intended. The night never works out as planned …. But there is always next week!
The set was minimal – four barrels and that was it – but that was all that was needed as four very well-cast, larger than life personalities filled the space – some great lighting and excellent 80’s music were the icing on the cake!!
It is not difficult to see why Bouncers was voted as one of the greatest plays of the 20th Century in a National Theatre poll. It is a fabulous, hilarious walk down memory lane – a story of the relentless hope and anticipation of youth and superbly performed by four great actors – a 5-STAR performance for sure!!
You can see Bouncers at The New Vic Theatre … but hurry … it is only on until Saturday 1st April … and you REALLY don’t want to miss it!!