Bouncers is still, rowdy, rough and ready, riotous and relevant more than 40 years on
and live on Freeview channel 276
First getting an airing at the Edinburgh Festival in 1977, since then, numerous productions capturing the warts and all scenes of a night in the life of a Yorkshire disco have aired to audiences and rapturous acclaim up and down the land.
As a Yorkshire lad born and bred and a keen fan of live theatre, somehow, in all that time, I’ve never managed to see it.
And having thoroughly enjoyed the latest touring production which has just completed its run at Doncaster’s Cast theatre, I’m really not sure how.
For Bouncers is still rowdy, rough and ready, riotous and relevant as it ever has been nearly five decades on from its debut.
Les, Ralph, Judd and Lucky Eric are the mainstays of the door of down at heel club Mr Cinders (aka, any nothern nightspot during the late 70s and early 80s).
Sticky dancefloors, warm, cheap beer, the smell of fag smoke and cheap aftershave and sex and violence never too far away, Bouncers instantly transports you right back to your youth and trying to get into Karisma, Ritzy, Rotters, Seventh Heaven or which ever other Doncaster venue you frequented back in the day.
Hilarious, vulgar, frenetic and highly physical, the play has become an international sensation, gathering awards from around the world.
Backed with a pumping 80's soundtrack, the new production takes us back to the glorious highs when disco was king, and everyone lived for the weekend.
With just four actors playing a myriad of characters, it’s a fast paced romp through the seedy underbelly of nightlife/
Yorkshire actors George Reid and Frazer Hammill (Doncaster born) were joined by Coronation Street’s Lamin Touray and newcomer Tom Whittaker, and each and every one fulfilled and played their roles with a mixture of camp, comic perfection, menace and pathos, depending on whichever character they were portraying at the time.
As much a social commentary on Thatcher’s 80s Britain, Godber’s masterpiece shows no signs of looking tired, despite its advancing years – and the audience, many of whom let out laughs of knowing recognition at the scenes quite clearly enjoyed the ride on a rollercoaster of nostalgia,
I just wish I’d not left it so long to try and get in. Perhaps my shoes were too casual and I wasn’t wearing a tie.