Tales of a night out on the town — 1980s style

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  • Photo courtesy of Michael Swain
Bouncers cast: Owain Johnston-Barnes, Robbie Godfrey, Donna Nicholson and Jenny Burrell-Jones

    Photo courtesy of Michael Swain Bouncers cast: Owain Johnston-Barnes, Robbie Godfrey, Donna Nicholson and Jenny Burrell-Jones

‘Bouncers’ delivers an exuberantly crazed night out on the town, 1980s style.

Four black-suited actors play the titular nightclub bouncers on top of around 20 other roles it’s a triumph of performance.

The latest offering from the Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society comes with the sharp Northern accent and slang of its author, British playwright John Godber. But the anticipation, the frenzy and the alcohol-induced shenanigans of a Friday night’s dancing and drinking are familiar to anyone who’s had a rough night out.

It is a testament to the skills of director Robbie Godfrey, alongside fellow actors Jenny Burrell-Jones, Owain Johnston-Barnes and Donna Nicholson. Four people morph from a quartet of rapping bouncers into a gaggle of coquettish girls getting dolled up for their big night out, followed by their male equivalents and any number of different characters and scenarios, across 90 or so minutes.

A quick turn of accent and gesture makes the transition seamless. Clever switches of lighting and music change the scene from a barbershop to the inside of a taxi. The boredom and squabbling of four bouncers contemplating their night outside the club’s front doors can just as easily change into scenes of dance-floor groping or the jostling for drinks at the bar.

Instead of just spinning off into chaos, the play neatly follows the sequences of dressing up, heading out and going wild. It is also divided up by a series of four anguished speeches given by older bouncer Eric, competently played by Mr Godfrey.

Other highlights include a menacing performance by Ms Nicholson of a doorman spoiling for a fight, an off-the-wall rendition of a sexy bimbo by Mr Johnston-Barnes, and Ms Burrell-Jones’s pitch-perfect play of a yob cutting loose on the dance floor and ending up with the wrong girl.

The grungy minimalism of the stage suits the quick changes of setting, helped by expert handling of the stage lights. It is fast-paced and gaudy, often somewhat scatological but just as often philosophical, and unrelentingly hilarious.

For the record, BMDS doesn’t recommend the show for under-15s.

‘Bouncers’ is showing tonight and tomorrow from 8pm at the Daylesford Theatre, and runs February 21 through 23 next week. Tickets are $25 from the BMDS website or the Daylesford box office, which is open 5.30pm to 6.30pm on February 19 and 20, or one hour before performances.

Useful website: www.bmds.bm

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Published Feb 16, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm)

Tales of a night out on the town — 1980s style

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