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Bouncers – slick, funny and thought-provoking

Ethan Roseman, left, Nathan Roseman, Greg Webb and John Mabey in rehearsal for ‘Bouncers’. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Review: Limelight Theatre’s production of ‘Bouncers 90s remix’ written by John Godber.

Director: Margaret Jesson

Venue: Carterton Events Centre

GRAEME BURNARD

I don’t use alcohol so I am not one to frequent pubs, bars or nightclubs and after seeing Limelight Theatre’s production of Bouncers 90’s remix, currently playing at the Carterton Event Centre, I know I haven’t missed much.

I must add, I refer to the places, not the production, which was one of the slickest, funniest and thought-provoking shows I have seen for a long, long time.

Bouncers 90’s remix, written by Bafta award winning playwright John Godber, and directed by award winning actor Margaret Jesson, is set inside and outside Mr Cinders night club.

Four bouncers, Lucky Eric (Greg Webb); Ralph (John Mabey); Les (Nathan Roseman) and Judd (Ethan Roseman) take us on a journey to meet the medley of night clubbers who frequent their establishment.

Through a very clever interchange of characters we meet lager louts on the pull, a rugby team, girls on a night out, Hooray Henrys, punk rockers and others all played by these four very talented men.

This was opening night and, as such, one can expect some first night nerves and the odd hiccup but apart from two prompts I heard, these boys were right on the mark with their pace, their moves, their dialogue and their scene changes.

Being under the guidance of one of the most experienced and passionate directors in the Wairarapa has its advantage.

On arrival, one enters the night club.

Coloured lights, music, tables and chairs and a bar-selling mocktails immediately brought you into the atmosphere of a pulsating loud place of entertainment.

Later we were taken into the theatre itself where a very simple set awaited us.

A doorway with a curtain of silver strips and four beer crates and that was it.

I am not usually a fan of minimal staging, tending to prefer the old full set experience but in this cast, it didn’t matter.

The doorway was used as inside and outside the nightclub and the beer crates were multi-purpose and were used cleverly as props throughout the evening.

This was a very well-cast production.

Well-established actors Greg Webb, John Mabey and Nathan Roseman were joined by newcomer Ethan Roseman.

Although all roles were equal, I do have to single out Roseman who was very, very impressive in his debut role because this was not an easy role for a beginner.

In saying that, the others were also outstanding in their roles.

The change between characters which was frequent, was very slick, voice dynamics changed with ease and they were quickly believable in each of their characters.

There were some side splitting scenes.

In particular for me, the hairdressing scene when the girls were getting done up for their night out and the Scandinavian porno scene was one of the funniest things I have seen on stage for many a year.

As funny as it was, there is also a very serious side to this story.

The sad nightclub/drinking/sexual culture came through very strongly and I had to keep reminding myself that although we laugh or throw scorn on these characters, these are based on real people who behave in this manner.

Men who go out purely to get drunk and pull a bird, women who also go out to get drunk and get laid, one even having six men whilst being watched in a public bar and the people at the door who have to deal with this behavior.

It is a sad insight into a culture that hasn’t changed in decades.

The issues of binge drinking, sleazy men and women and the exploitation of young girls as sex objects was dealt with in four soliloquies that I found to be very moving and very real.

This was acting at its best.

To be able to move from a comedy scene straight into a long speech is no mean feat.

If you are easily offended by bad language or frequent sexual references then this may not be the play for you but if you want to have the complete theatre experience from the moment you walk in the door, if you want to laugh till it hurts and cry at the pathetic sadness of it all, then I urge you to book tickets to Bouncers 90’s remix.

It is an experience I will not forget for a long time.

The season ends on September 23.

Tickets are available on eventfinda.

 

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