Buy your tickets fast and bask in the pleasure of one of the most innovative stage performances in Belfast for quite some time.
Fast and furious in the company of the Fab Four – that’s one way to describe ‘Bouncers,’ the dynamic, riveting show hosted by Belfast’s The MAC theatre in a co-production with Big Telly, at ‘The Lumiere Club.’
Dressed only in black tuxedos and bow ties, multi-talented actors – Ciaran Nolan, Conor Grimes, Martin Maguire and Chris Robinson – tease and tantalize their audience into fits of uproarious laughter with impressive body expressions and vocal acrobatics that transform them into a host of diverse characters – including solemn, hard-talking nightclub bouncers; bold as brass Sexy Susie and Plain Elaine and Co. preparing for a raucous night on the tiles; and even a disco DJ and some drunken revellers.
All the action takes place during one single night as the bouncers man their positions until 2am closing and creative lighting technique by Ciaran Bagnall’s turns the stage into an illuminated cavernous space where rising hopes crash on the rocks of reality.
There are so many enjoyable scenes in ‘Bouncers,’ it’s difficult to choose the best. Suffice to say, you’ll laugh out loud at the antics of men in a barbers’ shop opting for Vinnie Jones, Elephant Man or Jason Donovan haircuts; the colorful chit-chat of women in a hairdressing salon as they primp and pamper in the hopes of meeting Mister Right on the dance floor; and a hilarious slow motion sex shower scene.
But it’s not all just fun, frolics and black humor.
An added dimension to the show is provided by the insightful, hard-won philosophical monologues, both pointed and poignant, voiced by cynical, world-weary Lucky Eric, one of the senior night-club bouncers.
Aside from fine versatile acting performances, direction by Zoe Seaton and choreography by Sarah Johnston is simply superb, so intricate a tapestry have they weaved the Fab Four must have faced one helluva challenge mastering their individual and group moves so precisely, with Garth McConaghie’s vibrant ‘80s soundtrack pulsating throughout.
Playwright John Godber is a script master of blunt yet poetic language, and phrases such as ‘bathful of Bacardi,’ ‘floating on a cloud of Estee Lauder,’ ‘talc on the genitals’ and his description of used condoms as ‘dead Smurfs’ are both comical and insightful.
Aside from on-stage neon-lights The MAC has also created for added audience comfort and ambience some special cabaret-style seating options close to the stage, with tableside service.
Such is the high caliber of both script and acting in ‘Bouncers’, you’ll leave the theatre with much to laugh about and even more to muse upon concerning the human condition. The audience’s rousing standing ovation was fully deserved.
My advice: if you haven’t already seen ‘Bouncers,’ treat yourself now – you’ve only got this week to do so.