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Bouncers/Royal Court Liverpool

Peter Grant is swept away by the four doormen of the apocalypse

Written by . Published on July 24th 2013.


Bouncers/Royal Court Liverpool
 

MEET the fab foursome: Ralph, Les, Judd and Eric. Just like their uniform of tuxedos and bow ties, Bouncers is tailor-made for the Royal Court.

In this age of austerity we all need a good old-fashioned belly laugh. For a while, let's forget the Royal baby hysteria, a feel-good factor created by the media, and hark back to a show we can all relate to.

Each of the four door men deliveres their respective alter egos  - male and female - with utter comic conviction and great ad libbing, too

Written by Hull Truck's multi-award winning writer and director, John Godber, this version of Bouncers has been re-worked, updated and backdated to the Grafton Club.

Like many Court shows, scoused up.

Yet it delivers on all counts, as its standing ovation proved.

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Looking around the audience it was splattered with stars of stage and screen - many from the university of Brookside.  At the Royal Court, it's always a party atmosphere on opening night - everyone wants the actors on stage to succeed.

Bouncers certainly succeeds from its vibrant first scene to inventive, funny finale.

I was transported back in time when flares, platform shoes and mullets were the norm.

I was guilty.Thank goodness I don't have any photos, but this show was like rewinding a tape of my nightclub-going days.  And I wouldn't change it at all.

At times I cringed at the oh-so-true dialogue - others I shook my head as did  audience members around me who recognised cameos of themselves in the bitingly sharp script.

All club life is  here: spending hard-earned wages on vodka and lime chasers and copious pints; not being able to get a taxi home and eventually walking it through the 3am rain. Then the morning after.  Why did we put ourselves through it?

Bouncers is a social commentary and it hasn't dated. The four actors clearly relish their roles and portray scores of characters.

It may be an ensemble piece but the structure, directed wonderfully by Bob Eaton, allows them all to shine.

The set design, by Richard Foxton, features a neon light and four silver beer barrels as props. It works splendidly ensuring the audience savour the performances and are not distracted by special effects.

 

Bouncers Royal Court %2811%29 

The unrelenting gang of four look like they are having a  ball acting out these tawdry tales. Quite surreal - one minute you are listening in on  the gents in a toilet, the next  they become girls dancing with their hand bags on the disco floor.

 

“I like the look of your tooth," says one smooth talker to a Grafton granny.

Each of the four door men deliveres their respective alter egos  - male and female - with utter comic conviction and great ad libbing, too.

Good to see versatile Paul Broughton  back again this time as pony-tailed Lucky Eric who delivers various philosophical speeches. Three times a bar room bard, a revelation with his impressive singing and dancing.

Mark Womack, usually seen paying no-nonsense characters, also enjoys the chance to display his comic talents as Ralph.

Danny O'Brien is wide-eyed  Les. Innocent one moment and menacingly batty and  bonkers the next.

And then there's Michael Starke - next year celebrating his 30th year as one of the city’s  most loved actors. His range is superb, whether in a musical or straight drama, and here he stamps his big personality on the part of jaded Judd.

In under  two-hours you are treated to is plenty of one liners and daft dance routines... and the music brings you back to the great 80s.

I remember watching the woefully unfunny Hale and Pace sketches on TV with The  Management. They could have learned a lot from this team.

This show captures the world of security door men and those who came into contact  with them. It’s not for the faint-hearted, some jokes are in utter bad taste.

After all it is about going to a night club and what happens if the lads on the door deemed it OK to let you in.

These Bouncer boys will welcome you all with open arms.

*Bouncers runs until August 17.

9/10

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Peter Coyle

i wish i had been there…it sounds like something joyous and anarchic...the way the article is…

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Couldn't agree more. This is a super piece. Ken would be proud that not a penny of public money was…

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