The Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool
July 19 – August 17
Author: John Godber
Director: Bob Eaton
Producer: Royal Court
Cast: Michael Starke, Paul Broughton, Danny O’Brien, Mark Womack
Running Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Bouncers written by John Godber is a clear demonstration of comedy acting, direction and production at its exemplary best.
The cast from first to last are full of verve and energy, taking on a cast of characters that must easily amass to 50+ with such skilled ability it becomes a master class in comic acting. Mark Womack in his second appearance at The Royal Court is barely recognisable in some of his roles, particularly as the club’s smooth talking DJ, whereas Michael Starke is slick and superb as both the nice but dim Judd and the love-hungry man eater dancing at 2 AM and on the prowl.
Paul Broughton’s disillusioned Lucky Eric provides great emotion through three brilliantly scripted monologues describing his personal observations whilst working the doors of the pubs and clubs of Liverpool; emotion which is offset by the near-mania and drive of his drunken reveller intent on getting into the club at no matter what class. Danny O’Brien, meanwhile, is as deeply unnerving as the sadistic Les as he is as Rosie, the birthday girl all of which is pulled off – if you’ll forgive the phrase – with fantastic aplomb.
The lighting, music and minimalist stage set add much to the atmosphere, but it is John Godber’s script that has been added to so phenomenally well by the exquisite direction of Bob Eaton that truly shines. Add to that the sprinkling of silver dust provided by the cast and you are guaranteed a great night out. Filled with one-liners of hilarious quality and acute observations of a 1980s Friday night out that will stir memories and cringes in equal measure, Bouncers is a show not to be missed.