(4 / 5) Absolutely outstanding!
4 men, bouncers, take us through the trials and tribulations of life on the door.
It’s funny, it’s much harder to write about something worth seeing, worth talking about. Why is that?
Is it because we are naturally more gifted at criticising than complimenting? Well, here goes.
Let me think: anything I don’t like? Nope. Anything anyone around me doesn’t like? Not that I can tell. An awful lot of cringing though; a lot of us are wincing at the characters as we see ourselves enacted, exaggerated, ridiculed – our past lives revealed in all their glory..
How do they know how women behave in the Ladies? Eurgh that is painful to watch. But we laugh till our sides ache. I am sure the men in this packed audience feel the same about themselves. I can see eyes narrowing and teeth bared in the grimaces of ‘ooh I’ve done that’.
Some really nice touches – the bouncers are in role at the doors of the Institute and the bar is open, with plastic glasses to take our wine in with us – a la nightclub!
The set is deceptively simple and lights and action flick cleverly between scenes, from dance floor to pavement to lavatories.
The bouncers are mimics, their grasp of personalities male and female perfectly belied in their body language, mannerisms, speech and form.
But it is not all lads on a night out, girls on the razz, bouncers doing a job; there is a darkness to all this light bouncing off the glitter-ball of life.
There are some very clear messages. Some clearer than others and pronounced with some pathos through our senior bouncer’s speeches (he makes 4). Lucky Eric, he isn’t.
It’s about tempers and frustrations, sadness, loss, the impact of antisocial jobs on our lives, the careless sex after careless imbibing of the demon drink.
It is using humour to make us listen and think. It is a play which shows us how so little has changed, each generation must find its way through the social challenges of finding, and keeping, a partner.
It tells us about the power of alcohol to affect our emotions, our sense of personal responsibility and our sex drive. It is about the consequences of actions taken under the influence.
We are forced to reflect on the nice girl, Susie, eating her pizza whilst being humped against a wall at the back of the club. Not so funny.
It winds down, like the party it is, to the point where we are all ready to go home.
Laughter, reminiscence and social commentary – the simple bear necessities of life have come to us. There is much to talk about.
Deserves to be on the London stage. The Abigail’s Party of Blackwood!
Gareth John Bale
Writer John Godber
Director Richard Tunley
Designer Hilary Statts
Lighting Designer Robin Bainbridge
Running October to November, please check Black Rat Productions website for details.