Leicester Square Hires New West End BouncersDate: 17 December 2009
Bouncers will arrive in the West End next month – though not to control the alleged hordes of rowdy theatregoers on Shaftesbury Avenue, which attracted headlines earlier this year (See The Goss, 3 Aug 2009). A new production of John Godber’s 1977 comedy about nightlclub doormen will open at the Leicester Square Theatre, running in its Basement studio space for a limited season from 29 January to 6 March 2010 (previews from 25 January).
Godber’s comedy was inspired by a club called Kiko's in Pontefract and years of unsuccessful disco-going in the author’s youth. Bouncers had its first performance at the Edinburgh Festival in 1977 before mounting productions in London and touring all over Europe, Australasia and the US.
In 1999, it was voted as one of top 100 plays of the 20th century in a survey conducted by the National Theatre. Its last major West End outing was at the Whitehall Theatre (now Trafalgar Studios) in 2001 in a 21st anniversary production directed by and starring Godber and transferred from his home theatre, Hull Truck, where he’s been artistic director since 1984 (See News, 11 Jan 2001).
Bouncers was the play that made John Godber's name. Since its debut, he has become one of the country's most performed playwrights. His other plays include Teechers, Office Party, April in Paris, Perfect Pitch, Unleashed and Up 'n' Under.
In Bouncers , four actors invoke a cast of 40 as the weekend comes alive. The smooth-talking DJ, the lager-swilling lads looking to pull, and the lipstick-lacquered girls dancing round their handbags. Outside in the freezing cold skulk the ever-watchful Lucky Eric, Judd, Les and Ralph. The new production stars Luke Stevenson, David Bauckham, Simon Higgins and Antony Law, who also directs.