Thursday, 11 October 2012

Melican at the theatre: Shakers by John Godber and Jane Thornton.

Last night I visited the Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch, my local theatre.

I used to attend this venue as a young child on school outings and for pantomimes, but nowadays find I tend to visit to watch something a little different. Because it’s a local theatre I find I’m a lot more open to just trying out what they’ve got on and recent years have seen me watch Shirley Valentine, Busting Out, the Rocky Horror Show and the Vagina Monologues to name a few.

This time I was here to see Shakers. A play set in a nightclub, where the audience are told how things really are by four young women who work there.

The four waitresses – Adele, Carole, Mel and Nicky are played by Natasha Moore (who was also in the Rocky Horror Show), Lucy Thornston, Laure Pitt-Pulford and Rachel Dawson. In fact the whole show centres around these four and there are no other characters or indeed props onstage, bar the nightclub set/scenery.

At first I was unsure when I realised the lack of other scenes and actors/actresses as it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. However, I was soon pleasantly surprised and having a good giggle.

Although the show is only running for two weeks we had been able to get tickets in the third row, so had a great view. This also meant we could clearly see all the mannerisms of the characters and their faces, which was fantastic.

I was really impressed at the actresses acting out of different visitors to the club, in particular when they became some of the male punters. The stance, expressions and general mannerisms were spot on and I found myself in hysterics (this seems to be a regular occurrence now when I attend this theatre!)

What really wowed us was how quickly the cast switched from being ‘City boys’, ‘posh yuppies’, ‘arrogant cheating bigwigs’, ‘young Essex girls partying’, ‘canoodling couples’ and lots more, and then turned round and became their main character of a nightclub waitress.

There are also some deeper moments in the play when the characters come to the forward of the stage and give us an insight into their own private lives and how they’ve ended up doing this job. I found each of them very moving.

Overall I really enjoyed the show, yet again another production from the theatre which challenged my expectations and left me experiencing a range of emotions and witnessing some great acting skills. I’m now looking forward to see what I can go and watch next!

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