Bouncers & Shakers

Date 10th June 2022
Society Bishop Auckland Theatre Society
Venue Bishop Auckland Town Hall
Type of Production Play
Director Kayleigh Adams & Charley Stamp
Written By John Godber & Jane Thornton

Report

Author: Helen Abraham

Bouncers and Shakers is a comedy play written by John Godber and Jane Thornton which takes a satirical look at British nightlife in an unnamed Northern town where the named “Bouncers” the security team and the “Shakers” cocktail waitresses take on a kaleidoscope of colourful characters frequenting the town centre.

It’s funny, tongue in cheek, nostalgic and touching in parts.  The four characters in each Act take on multiple characters throughout so strong acting skills are required from the eight strong cast.  All cast members have to take on a multitude of different personalities.  The play is split in two parts, the bouncers and the shakers with the male playing parts taking on Act one “Bouncers” and the females taking on the “Shakers in Act 2.

The acting skills required by every member is really quite significant.  They all have to switch between young people getting ready for a night out, lecherous older men, hairdressers, chavs, snobs, brutish thugs and many more as well as showing the very real struggles of individuals taking on customer service and security roles.

I was very surprised to learn at the conclusion when chatting to some of their members that some of the individuals on stage were brand new not only to the group but to the stage.  You were all absolutely brilliant!  The direction was also split with Kayleigh Adams directing “Bouncers” and Charley Stamp making her debut as a director for “Shakers”.

The Bouncers were Adam May as “Les, David Stothard as “Judd”, Liam Mulkerrin as “Ralph” and Malcolm Stamp as “Eric”  Malcolm was in character as Eric from the second we entered the building, keeping a stern eye on the audience as they arrived.  The timing and delivery of all of their respective characters were excellent with some superb character personification seen from everyone.  The monologues delivered by Malcom were really quite humbling and poignant.

The Shakers were played by Amy Thurley as “Adele”, Emma Westwood-Fulcher as “Mel”, Kayleigh Adams as “Carol” and Ruth Stapleton” as Nicki”.  I understand Amy stood in at very short notice, thank you Amy.  They were again all absolutely excellent in their timing and delivery.  They had great expression used to tell their respective stories and I loved the costuming.  They covered some gritty subjects extremely well.

All in all I loved it!  Well done to you all at BATS!  Some great productions you’re delivering and I suspect this is only the beginning.