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Evaluation of Live Theatre Performance, Case-Study: 'Bouncers' by John Godber.

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Introduction

Evaluation of Live Theatre Performance Case-Study: 'Bouncers' by John Godber On Sunday, the 26th of February 2006, we went to the Crown Plaza Hotel in Dubai to watch 'Bouncers' a play written by John Godber and produced by Streetwise Fringe Theatre Productions. 'Bouncers' was a comedy that was enacted solely by four men dressed throughout in simple black tuxedos, indicating, of course, that they were doormen. These four men played a variety of at least three different characters each- both male and female- and depicted the typical Friday nightlife scene via snapshots of different people and their contrasting perspectives. John Godber, the creator of 'Bouncers' originally came from the North of England. He obviously based his play around a setting that he was familiar with, and writes about his own experiences. The play is a social comment on the life of the uneducated working class in the UK, but has been performed all over the world. We watched the play in Dubai, a city with a cultural background that is quite different from the UK. This was probably why many of the jokes and puns cracked in the course of the play were lost out on the audience. However, I found it commendable that the actors had kept this in mind and had altered parts of the script to include little trivial things like specific venues in the city of Dubai. For example, 'going to the Mall of the Emirates' was mentioned casually at one point. This appealed to the audience since it not only made the play seem more relevant, but it made them feel special since it seemed like it had been engineered specially for them. ...read more.

Middle

But at the end, Lucky Eric explained that after he had sent the men away, he had turned to the girl. "Give me a kiss, she said." The line was timely and excellent, using the power of repetition; and Eric used it to its full potential. Having reached the anticlimax of his monologue, his voice became soft and almost wounded, his shoulders hunched and his head hung. The last lines of this monologue were delivered with equal power, in a tone of frustration and sadness: "Go home, I told her. Just-just go home." Despite this, I felt that Lucky Eric's monologues could have been slightly shorter. I appreciated that the slow tempo of the monologues was meant intentionally to contrast the fast pace of the rest of the play; and that the slow tempo was meant to create a deeper message. However, they were slightly rambling and Eric tended to repeat himself slightly. Perhaps if he had moved around more then his monologues might have been more effective. He tended to stand still in one spot throughout his speech, and alternate between two or three expressions and postures only. The audience's attention was distracted slightly when these monologues came on. Judd also did a good job in showing his personality- his immaturity and fickleness was depicted in the way sheer boredom made him eager to get involved in fights. He would constantly try to provoke Lucky Eric, teasing him about something that Eric found very painful: the thought of his wife. In the scene where Eric finally breaks and fights with him, Judd turns morose and resentful. ...read more.

Conclusion

They swayed, jolted and panted where the taxi was too fast, and even bounced in their seats where necessary. The movie scene was also well depicted. Two of the actors were playing the characters in the TV itself while the other two were watching the scene. The two watching the scene occasionally 'paused' the movie by raising an arm- and the TV scene then froze. When a rewind had to be done, the TV characters enacted all their movements backwards. I thought that this was very effective. What really makes a play successful is using the medium of acting uniquely and effectively. The play should be able to give you a different feeling than if you had read the story in a book, or watched it as a movie. 'Bouncers' definitely fulfilled this criterion. The variety of techniques that were used, along with the superb acting skills and the physical actions made us feel that the storyline wasn't the only important thing in the story; we wouldn't have felt the same if we had read it in a book. Similarly, the audience interaction in the beginning of the show, as well as the general atmosphere that had been created, made one feel that it was better to have watched 'Bouncers' as a play in a theatre rather than a movie on TV. In conclusion, I was awed by the performance of the actors in 'Bouncers' and was impressed by the script and the directions. The play was a source of inspiration to succeed in my own devised dramas! ?? ?? ?? ?? Drama Coursework Tanya Sen 10JA ...read more.

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