‘Bouncer’s’ by John Godber Review


John Godber first presented the show ‘Bouncers’ in 1984 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Since then, many productions all over the UK have been shown with a revised 1990s theme. Queue the cheesy 90s music, Nicky Campbell hosting Radio 1 instead of ‘Long Lost Family’ and DJs with microphones who think they’re hilarious. The play itself revolves around four bouncers on the door of a nightclub and the kind of customers they’ll come across throughout the night. Just four actors portray over twenty different characters such as giggly girls, lads on the pull, drunken customers and smooth DJs.

I love camp humour, a ‘David Walliams’ sense of humour if you will, so I didn’t stop laughing the entire time the actors were pretending to be women. They wore no make-up, no costumes, yet my mind completely envisioned them as women from the moment they started talking – particularly ‘Suzie.’ Their performances as people on a night out were very entertaining but realistic; from handbags being thrown into the middle of the circle while dancing to everyone needing the loo every five minutes. I often find in any comedic situation that the most humorous moments are the relatable ones.

Although this play has been presented and loved all over the UK, I was very pleased to see jokes introduced that were specifically aimed at a Welsh audience. As almost every comic performing in Wales seems to do, there was of course a mention of Caroline Street. (Chip Alley to most of us.) The part I laughed the most at was two characters, both stereotypically named “Dai,” jumping towards the bouncers with theatrical hand movement’s in sync. The clincher was them repeatedly saying in time with their quick movements, “All right butt?  All right butt?” Needless to say, they were rejected from entering the club, so started doing the exact same thing but moving backwards. Go Wales!

I can see why schools are invited to enjoy this production. There were several “speeches” made from the bouncer named Eric whom would go to the corner of the stage with the only light on him. He explains stories of his past, and I think the audience is meant to understand that every person is the way they are for a reason and young people should be careful on boozy nights out. There is definitely a depth and meaning to this play that I wasn’t expecting.

All in all, the four actors were very funny, put on a great performance and deserved the huge cheers at the end. And to top the whole evening off, they had a bar in the studio itself. What more could you want?

I hope you all enjoyed the show as much as I did, Georgia Stacey.

Bouncers Cardiff