Four decades after John Godber’s Bouncers was first staged at the Fringe it remains one of the most popular and performed comedies in the English language.
Godber himself has tweaked the script in the intervening years, but this new adaptation by Maurice Bessman, and whose success has seen it graduate from the Royal Court studio to main stage, is a whole new ballgame.
This is a Bouncers that’s knocked back a few Jagerbombs and it’s definitely not going home until it’s pulled. The aptly-named Boisterous, a new theatre company dedicated to nurturing the talents of creatives from the BAME community, has taken the play’s basic structure and storyline and created a startlingly vibrant and energetic Bouncers for a new generation.
The spotlight on the extremes of sexual relationships, lairy drinking culture, and a certain shadowy threat of violence remain. But the issues are dressed in 21st century language and references, along with complicated haircuts and Jimmy Choos.
Director Miriam Mussa and movement director Zain Salim (who also plays Ralph and ‘Sexy’ Suzy) have suffused proceedings with crisply-executed choreography, and not just the nifty dance moves the cast breaks in to including the crowd-pleasing routines of the prologue and epilogue.
The quartet of actors – augmented on stage by a live set from DJ Spykatcha – switch with pin-sharp precision from badged ‘door supervisors’ to giggling girls to lads on the lash and back again, against the simple backdrop of a sparkling brick wall which is illuminated in different colours to signpost the various protagonists.