It's relentless, it’s inventive and it’s hugely funny - The Rugby Observer

It's relentless, it’s inventive and it’s hugely funny

Rugby Editorial 2nd May, 2024 Updated: 2nd May, 2024   0

FOR many of us the very thought of a night out clubbing is a journey, and not always a comfortable one, into the past. Evenings spent queuing in the rain to buy your way in to a place where the drinks are neither sophisticated nor cheap and conversation round the dance floor is limited by a pounding disco beat.

A similar trip into the past is on offer in the form of John Godber’s Bouncers at the Loft Theatre. This play solidified Godber’s reputation as a sharply comic observer of our times. Equally at home on theatre stage or student bar, it was then – and remains so in its brushed-up reincarnation – a marvellous mixture of storytelling and belly laughs.

Lorna Middleton’s impressively slick production is as sharp, persuasive and in-yer-face as any doorman ever was. But completely unlike most of the door staff regularly encountered all those years ago, this quartet are quick-thinking and truly multitalented.

Connor Bailey, Paul Curran, Charlie Longman and Mark Roberts share out all the characters from nightclub life – men, women, taxi drivers and DJs among them.

With hardly a beat to take a breath we’re pre-loading pints in the bar, getting our highlights done with the girls, groping through the slow one on the dance floor and standing in the cold outside undisguisedly waiting for something to kick off. It’s relentless, it’s inventive and it’s hugely funny.

The music provides the perfect soundtrack to the universal thought that we’ve all been here before, done that, suffered those consequences. But as anyone over the age of 40 would find when setting foot in a modern club, while a few things stay the same, much has changed.

Godber’s characteristic northern humour is as blunt as it ever was. Expect vast swathes of off-colour banter, unashamedly sexist, homophobic and blue, all delivered by the quartet with a ‘take umbrage if you dare’ brashness.

Balanced against this is the private angst of the close-to-retirement bouncer who, through a series of pleasingly-contrasted monologues, reveals a disgust at the baseness of the mating game played out like this and a deep desire to protect what purity and self-respect he imagines the weaker sex should have.

Social comment it certainly is but the fully empowered, self-determining women who crowd our city centres these days may well feel that that boat has well and truly sailed.

This show will give you laughs, moments to remember, set you dancing in your chair and see you safely home before the evening news – something a night out from our younger days never did.

For details of Bouncers and other shows at the Loft visit




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