Old Court Theatre, Chelmsford
Friday 4th May 2012
A firm favourite with audiences, this ever-popular play is performed at all levels, from professional tours to GCSE drama studios. Written in a multi-role format, four male actors take on all of the many the characters, of both sexes, switching instantly between roles during the scenes.
Set in the 1980s, the Old Court auditorium dazzled with flashing lights and evocative disco music. The seating set in the round leaves a tempting dance floor space, and succeeds in bringing each audience member tantalisingly close to the ensuing action.
The play opens with the four sharply suited Bouncers rapping along to a parody of Rapper's Delight, complete with simple and precisely executed dance moves perfectly pitched by choreographer Catherine Hitchins.
Each of the four actors, Dave Hawkes as Lucky Eric, Barry Taylor as Ralph, James Christie as Les and John Mabey as Judd, were exemplary in their embodiment of their various characters. An impressive use of different accents, facial expressions and movements created tight and specific examples of each character's individuality, flawlessly done by a cast who bounced excellently off each other.
Co-Directors Catherine Kenton and Jenny Almond did a fantastic job of retaining an eighties feel to the production, keeping it retro and tongue-in-cheek rather than dated, and maintaining an energy throughout that made the audience feel enthused without being exhausted. Making great use of the auditorium layout the moments of audience interaction were particularly funny.
Accomplished to the highest standard, performing to sold out houses of happy punters, CTW should be very proud of this production.