Review: Bouncers at The Liverpool Royal Court

Posted on 10 September 2015
By Chris High
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The main things about observational comedy are that, A), they have to be funny – obviously – and B) they have to be exaggeratedly accurate and with Bouncers – currently running at The Liverpool Royal Court Theatre – writer John Godber, Director Bob Eaton and the entire cast have absolutely nailed both elements brilliantly.

1985: Clubs up and down the country are governed not by petty things such as licensing laws or the police, but by those tuxedo clad enforcers that rule the doors. Here though, the four disparate characters in charge of The Grafton range from the whimsical to the psychotic with fabulous comic dexterity, whilst mixing their roles with the plethora of “guests” – male and female – who dare venture up to the Disco once the pubs have shut.

From beauticians to chinless wonders, all are treated with ill disguised contempt and what ensues results in two hours of solid comedic gold, laced with just enough sentimentality and pathos provided, mainly, by the superb Paul Broughton and his emotional reflections on what he has seen during his time working the doors.

The set is simple – four beer barrels and a neon sign – but what they manage to turn it into is nothing short of remarkable, with Danny O’Brien – particularly as the jilted birthday girl – hamming it up gloriously, Michael Starke bringing all of his facial elasticity and overall exuberance to the fore and Andrew Schofield being, well, Andrew Schofield … that is to say, superb.

It may be a Royal Court favourite, but whether you have seen it before or not – and bearing in mind each new actor brings a different dynamic to proceedings – then to see it again is a must. For those who haven’t, what are you waiting for? Go book your tickets now while you still can!

Bouncers
The Liverpool Royal Court Theatre
September 4 – October 3
Writer: John Godber
Director: Bob Eaton
Producer: Royal Court Theatre
Cast: Paul Broughton, Danny O’Brien, Andrew Schofield, Michael Starke
Running Time: 2 hours
PR Rating: **** Quality Comedy