Review – Bouncers @ Theatre Royal, Wakefield

First performed 37 years ago in 1977, Bouncers is still relevant today. Multi award winning writer John Godber has created a masterpiece with Bouncers, using his own knowledge and experience of the 80s nightlife of the Wakefield areas. Whether you are from that era or you are younger and currently clubbing your way through Saturday nights, Bouncers will be hilarious. Many members of the audience will have a reminiscence of those good old days, whereas the young’uns glance to their mates and think “we do that!” Or maybe they’ll shake their heads in horror as they imagine their parents back in the day…

The bouncers – Ralph, Les, Judd and Lucky Eric – tell the tale of one night in a Yorkshire disco. From the girls and guys getting ready beforehand, we’ve got the cheesy DJs, the late night kebab man, all the drunken antics of a night out and of course the taxi ride home, all under the watchful eyes of our Bouncers. Four highly talented northern actors take the stage, three of whom have been in a production of Bouncers before, and multi-role playing is in order for this extremely clever script by Godber. Some of the funniest moments of the night are when big burly bouncer type men pick up little sparkly pink handbags and totter to the front of the stage. The transitions between characters and scenes are just fantastic, and the sudden change in accent or tempo aided by some lovely lighting really makes this production special.

With stunning performances by all – and of course stunning directing by John Godber himself – it felt almost as if the play had been written for these four actors. Rob Hudson as Lucky Eric brings a certain sentimentality to the humour with his speeches about the helpless young people, however Bouncers is a true ensemble performance and in this first rate cast Hudson is joined by Adrian Hood, Dave MacCreedy and Chris Hannon, all of whom bring that little something special and different to the play.

Simple but marvellous, Bouncers is a genius play which will bring you a wonderful evening full of 80s music and memories. A must see for all!

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