The Bouncers have finally arrived in Wolverhampton and are ready to face our nightlife. I saw the show in Bradford a little earlier in the tour and I'm going back for another session of hilarious antics with the boys... and girls.
Just as last week's The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice was directed by it's playwright Jim Cartwright, this current production of Bouncers is also directed by it's playwright - John Godber. Bouncers tells the story of three groups - four boys, four girls and four bouncers at the Asylum club. The cast of four, Don Gilet, Ace Bhatti, William Ilkley and Ian Reddington play all the parts. This is a new 'remixed' version of the original that brings the club right up to date with a mix of Cheryl Cole, Rhianna, The Wanted, David Guetta, Stooshe and Nicki Minaj.
The play begins rather dialogue heavy but the characters soon emerge from the text and their comic charisma takes over. Eastender's villain Ace Bhatti in particular makes a very convincing female! The stereotypical characters that everyone recognises are all there and we follow them from the salon that afternoon to the back alleys full of pitta bread and condoms in the early hours of the next morning.
Of course the play isn't all giggles - Ian Reddington as Lucky Eric provides a series of monologues played out throughout the night that strip away that "tough-guy" persona that bouncers have. There isn't much he hasn't seen in his years on the door and Ian Reddington is perfect in switching to a more subtle and reminiscent tone to reveal his fear for the safety of the young girls. All four of the lads are skilled in switching from one character to another and with only minimal use of props and no costume changes it is quite obvious who's on stage.
This is the first time that Bouncers has been performed on such a large scale. The play, written for smaller, intimate venues is more than capable of filling our bigger theatres. The set by Pip Leckenby is very spacious and simple and sits along the perimeter of the stage allowing the actors to fill the empty bit in the middle. Even though there are only four of them, at times the feeling that the space is crammed with other raving teenagers is quite evident.
Even though this new remix has plenty of modern day references some of the script remains in the 70's and the lack of consistency is at times a little questionable. There's a laugh every 30 seconds (depending on your humour) timed on John Godber's watch. Honestly, I think that at times the humour is a little forced but when it's naturally funny it's hilarious and Bouncers does make an entertaining, enjoyable night out at the theatre.
You can also read my blog post from when I met up with the Bouncers boys the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford here: http://scottbirdonline.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/bouncers-uk-tour-banter-with-boys.html
You can see the show at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday 6th October and tickets can be booked here: http://grandtheatre.info/WhatsOn_focus.asp?ShowId=626&sC=page10£5 Standby offer for 16 - 25 year olds is available at the box office, 15 minutes prior to each performance depending on availability.