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Box Theatre Company - Bouncers

by John Godber, 21st to 24th June 2000. A vision of 90s urban nightlife.

Review of Bouncers from the Newbury Weekly News, 29/06/00

This is from the Newbury Weekly News.

Girls pull it off with teamwork

'BOUNCERS', performed by the Box Theatre, at New Greenham Arts, June 21 to 24

What's this? What's this? 'Bouncers' performed by women? Good on yer, girls. It's a difficult enough piece for the boys, but they have it easy by comparison. Playing burly bouncers should be a lads' night out for them, while you have to work harder to achieve the necessary blokedom. And when they play the tarts, well, anyone giggles at a man mincing around with a high-pitched voice for fun; you need to get it exactly right if it's to work. Respect due. I'd now like to see 'Shakers' performed by men. I have a sneaking suspicion it wouldn't work as well, for all the wrong reasons.

'Bouncers' required versatility, energy, pace and teamwork from the performers, qualities clearly possessed by the foursome in the Box Theatre Company's production of John Godber's play. It would be quite wrong to mention any single cast member; even though I did have my special favourite (I imagine most people did, but not necessarily the same one) I'm not going to reveal her here. Sanna Nobbs, Lucy Marigliano, Tracy Donnelly and Beth Park worked so well together that joint and equal praise is demanded. All were accurate in all their varied characterisations and all know how to make the most of jokes. Timing and delivery were used to maximum effect and - less often seen - reactions were exemplary. Sometimes it's only the visual response to a line which makes it funny.

The fifth star of this production was the director, Duncan Mack. As well as getting the most from his cast the staging was incisive and effective. The split-level was well used and he employed four chairs in a minimalist way, resisting the temptation to use them when not actually needed. I liked the happy idea of upending steps to make a bar or urinals. Strangely, the programme did not credit the lighting and sound designers or choreographer, but I do.

Clever too was the decision to have cabaret seating for the audience although I did think that since we could have drinks at our tables we might have forgone an interval in what is essentially a one-act play. For me it interrupted the flow of a very impressive entertainment indeed.


There's another review under HADCAF.