New Era - Bouncers
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New Era - Bouncers

1st to 3rd and 6th to 10th December 2011.

Here is the NWN review.

In stitches over Godber

Bouncers packs in the crowds at New Era

New Era Players: Bouncers, at the New Era Theatre, Wash Common, from Thursday, December 1 to Saturday, December 3 and Tuesday, December 6 to Saturday, December 10

The New Era Players celebrated their newly-gained public license in fine comic style with their production of John Godber's Bouncers. The play, which sees four male actors assume the roles of various characters in a Mancunian parody nightclub had the packed audience in stitches from start to finish.

In a smartly-directed piece that updated a few cultural references from the original script to great effect (notably a rendition of Take That's Want You Back sung by the actors with their backs to us while in the gents), the talented cast committed to an excellent pace throughout. Their seamless quick changes of character were impressive and managed well by a minimal set and an intelligent use of lighting and sound. Everything was clearly rehearsed to a tee.

Luke Niemiec produced a fine array of facial expressions as the weird yet matter-of-fact Ralph and didn't mind his female counterpart showing a bit of leg to entice the lucky gentleman in the front row. Jack Hepplewhite, too, demonstrated a wonderful knack for playing the fairer sex, as well as perhaps voicing the horrors of the whole audience as his male character was interlocked in a slow dance at 2am with the 'cuddly' Maureen.

Paul German was excellent, displaying a wide range of darkly humorous, madly perverse and frighteningly real characters. His portrayal of Maureen with a slightly curved upper lip was hilarious before he had even spoken. Matt Stevens played the role of Lucky Eric, the moral centre of a pretty moral-less play, with great subtlety and was highly convincing throughout.

However, his starring moment came as the bouncers recalled watching a 'blue movie' which at just the right moment juddered before being rewound, evoking a round of applause from the audience. The play was capped off with a tightly-choreographed and slickly executed dance routine to Michael Jackson's Thriller.

With renovations planned to provide a foyer area and an increase in future advertising opportunities, the New Era Players are certain to be praised on these pages again for providing a warm welcome and great night of local theatre.

DANIEL MORTON