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October 2005
Bouncers Remix
reviewed by Jon Moreno in The Isle of Wight County Press 7/10/05
(reproduced by kind permission of the Isle of Wight County Press)

HILARIOUS, thought-provoking and quite disturbing are some of the adjectives one could easily associate with a gritty performance of John Godber's alcohol- fuelled social comedy Bouncers which opened at the Trinity Theatre, Cowes, last Thursday.

It was a night on the town to be proud of for director Geoff Day and the talented four-strong all-male cast who relished the challenge, occupying the stage as if they owned it on the show's opening performance.

The cast, dressed smartly as traditional bouncers, were playing the parts before the show even got underway - criticising audience members' disrespectful attire and footwear as they entered the theatre foyer.

"Look, another one wearing jeans and trainers. You can come in this time but don't do it again." Wayne Child, who played Les, told me.

Set in an indeterminate North of England city, the play follows a night out for groups of lads and girls who arrive at a nightspot overseen by the group of insensitive door staff.

It charts a typical weekend evening out on the lash, from the build up at a salon and barber shops to the antics inside and outside the club, With a script chock full of brilliantly observed characters and great one-liners and put downs, it was hard to go wrong. It didn't seem to matter that it was full of bad language because Bouncers is an incredibly honest, cringeworthy mirror of the worst traits of our society.

Award-winning Island actors Peter Stockman and Cameron Bowles, together with the talented Child and John Plumbley, satirically characterised all the roles without any costume changes.

As bouncers they were stereotypically mean-looking, wooden and brusque towards the punters. As hammered lads out on the pull they were particularly amusing but, disturbingly I felt deja-vu having listened to much of the similarly inane, drunken patter during numerous nights out as a younger man.

And as the girls,ditzy and armed with handbags at the ready, they were hilarious and clearly gave an accurate insight into the female psyche (judging by the giggles from female quarters of the audience).

Although it did not affect the performance, the audience was disappointingly small when you consider the talent of the cast. Perhaps, as bouncers, they should have been throwing people in.

Stockman, as bouncer Lucky Eric, a man with relationship problems and a powerlifter, provided some food for thought with his speeches about Britain's drinking culture - delivered in a touchingly human way and exposing vulnerability under his hard-boiled shell.

The scenes flowed seamlessly, thanks to the clever use of music and lighting changes.

JON MARENO

 

 

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