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Bouncers – john godber essay

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** ‘ Bouncers’ starts off with the ‘ Bouncer’s Rap’, this introduces us to the play, it shows Eric singing the verses and the most part of the rap, while everyone joins in during the chorus and then has their small input throughout the rest of the song.

I found the rap quite significant because it immediately gives us a sense that Eric is the most important character in the play and so the audience can see this from the start.* Then we quickly jump to the radio station for a short while, I thought this was quite important because straight away hints the multi-role play that goes on during the play, and it gives the audience a little taste of what to expect.* We then jump to the ladies at the hairdressers. This introduces Maureen, Rosie and Suzy, Elaine joins them later on. Eric becomes Maureen, Ralph becomes Suzy, Les turns into Rosie and Judd becomes the hairdresser, Cheryl. To start off, Eric and Ralph are getting ready to go out to celebrate Rosie’s birthday, Judd is the hairdresser and she is chatting with Eric about music and then their plans for the night.

Les then enters the hairdressers late and finds she is unable to have her hair done so she leaves to a different hairdresser. The Ladies then carry on talking about clothes and the night, whilst Ralph almost gets burnt by the hair dryer.* We then switch to the lads at the barbers. This scene introduces us to Jerry, Terry, Baz and Kev.

Eric plays Baz, Ralph becomes Jerry, Les turns into Kev and for the moment Judd plays the brusque barber. We see Ralph reading a dirty magazine whilst Eric is about to get his haircut and the barber is making jokes about the cut he will give him. Eric and Judd have a small conversation about Eric’s plans for the night and Ralph makes the odd comment about his magazine. Les then arrives late and the three have a quick chat involving the plans for later and then Judd switches from playing the Barber to playing Terry.

* We now move to the Lads getting ready to go out. The four lads are at their separate houses applying their finishing touches Eric and Ralph give themselves pep talks and then they check they are completely ready to go out. They then all hop on the bus to meet each other and head down to the pub.* The Lads are now at ‘ the Taverners’. They are at the bar starting to slip in a few pints before they head down to the club.

The bar is very busy and there is a lot of pushing and shoving going on. The lads keep ordering their pints and then drinking them in quick succession, they also start to order crisps and then whiskey. They then keep drinking and gradually get more and more intoxicated, and then somebody spills beer all over Eric’s suit. The lads then quickly visit the toilets then decide to split into groups to avoid trouble with bouncers and then they head off after Judd pulls the short straw and is paired off with Eric.* We then move to the girls in the pub, this is the parallel scene to the lads at the pub.

They play same characters from the hairdressers only this time Judd plays the part of Elaine. At the start they each introduce themselves properly, they then move to get some drinks fro one another and the scene ends as they are arguing about which song to put on the jukebox. I found this to be significant because even though it is a small insignificant argument, it portrays the conflict and clash in personalities that we see with the Bouncers and the Lads* The Bouncer’s then make their proper entrance to the play; they each do a small mime and then join up at the front of the stage except for Eric who joins them later on. The bouncers greet each other in a very monosyllabic way; they then talk about what happened to them each the previous night. This ranges from girls, food and trouble. Eric starts to talk about powerlifting, they then move on to what they will expect later in the night.

The conversation then moves on to the topic of homosexuals, Les then admits he doesn’t mind them but gets slated for this by the rest of the group. This is quite imperative to the play because it shows the peer pressure that goes on around the group; it also shows a conflict in personalities because Les is the only one who doesn’t mind the homosexuals. Finally Ralph and Eric nearly get into a little scrap. Again showing the clash of personalities.* We then go to a flashback by the bouncers to an incident involving a college rugby team called ‘ Zulu Warriors’.

Les, Judd and Eric become the students and Ralph remains a bouncer. Ralph starts to narrate the situation which starts off with Les and Eric attempting a beer race, Judd then follows however he fails the exercise and has to take his trousers down to the Zulu warrior song, this then causes Ralph to confront them. The Students don’t take it seriously at first and then they get quite offended, to end the flashback Ralph hits one of the students.* Lucky Eric now delivers his first speech. This is introduced by small talk by the other bouncers involving sex and women.

The speech addresses the matter of young girls entering the club and flashing themselves because they feel they have to. I found the speech to be a very important aspect of the play because it shows that Eric is concerned about the matter at hand; this shows that he may have had a past experience involving a woman that has thrown him off. The speech also shows he is older and more mature than the other three, by more than the audience may have realised up until now.* The bouncers then finish the speech of by again talking about sex and women. The DJ then has a speech and we move on to the girls in the club.

They quickly give a quick update of themselves. There is some small talk and then we discover that Les has just seen her boyfriend kissing another girl. She gives a monologue on the situation; the other girls input ideas on what to do but Les remains upset. The section ends as they decide to dance.* We then go back to the bouncers, Ralph and Les play two Liverpudlians called Jock and Birdie, Eric and Judd remain as bouncers.

Ralph and Les attempt to enter the club but the get refused because Eric and Judd claim that stag nights are prohibited.* Ralph and Les now become Brian and Mark, two yuppie types. They give themselves a quick introduction and then attempt to go inside but Judd and Eric refuse to let them in and Judd starts to take a threatening approach, Ralph and Les then decide to go to ‘ Tiffs’ and hail a taxi.* We now see Ralph and Les switch to two punks called Ashley and Ruffage.

Ralph and Les try to get into the club but Judd and Eric refuse to let them in because of the way they are dressed. Judd spits on Ralph and as the two are walking away they speak of writing a song about the incident called ‘ Fascist Pigs’.* Eric and Judd now switch to two of the lads, Terry and Baz, whilst Ralph and Les turn back into bouncers. Eric and Judd towards the bouncers chanting. At first Ralph doesn’t let them in and uses the excuse that it is members only.

However the lads are wise to it and eventually Ralph reveals he is just kidding and then with the help of Les, the lads are granted access.* I believe that these three little change of roles are quite significant because it shows what the bouncers are like to a various array of characters, and how they act when they are on the job. The role changes also coincide with what Eric says during the rap at the beginning of the play. ‘ We four will try and illustrate .

.. happens late’* We then jump to the lads inside the club. They are all inside the toilet together after letting the audience know how many beers they have had.

Les starts to describe the nastiness of the toilets, and then they start to read the writing on the wall for a short while. Eric then catches a glimpse of Ralph’s genitalia and the three are disgusted by its freakishly large size. Judd and Eric then switch back to bouncers to announce the interval.* The DJ (Ralph) then has another speech before he starts to get hassled by Eric, who is playing a very drunk heavy metal freak. Ralph then calls the bouncers to deal with the situation and then Les and Judd arrive to clear away Eric.* The bouncers then talk about a porn film that they will watch.

There is a flashback to when Eric and Ralph bought the video, the scene changes to a video shop and Judd plays the shop assistant. Judd gives them a list of movies to choose from. They then jump back to outside of the club.* Another flashback takes place, as they remember watching a porn film using the old projector, Eric and Ralph act out the porn film, Eric is the Swedish woman and Ralph is the postman. Throughout the scene Judd and Les Narrate what is going on during the blue movie, just as Ralph is about to make a move the film freezes, Les then boots the projector and the film rewinds to the beginning and then Ralph and Eric are back to bouncers.* Lucky Eric then delivers his second speech of the play.

This comes along after a small conversation about being a porn star. The monologue is about six men taking advantage of a very drunk girl inside of a pub on Christmas. After the speech there is some more small conversation about being a bouncer and about a women bouncer in Manchester.* We then move to inside the disco, where an interaction between two of the lads and two of the girls. Eric and Les become the lads, Ralph and Judd play the girls. The four give a quick update of how they have progressed throughout the night.

Les quickly goes to the toilet, Eric goes up to the girls and goes for a dance with Ralph. Les then returns and his stuck with Judd, she forces a dance from him. The four then recite what is going on through their heads. Ralph makes an excuse to ditch Les and ironically Les does the same to Judd.

Judd tries to get a kiss from Les but Les is making excuses and eventually confrontation rears its ugly head.* Eric and Judd become bouncers ready to sort out the trouble but along the way Judd calls Eric soft and eventually a small fight breaks out between them as Eric starts to lose it. Eric then nearly gives a third speech but the other bouncers butt in and halt him. The DJ then has another announcement, and then makes a joke at the bouncers’ expense at the end.* The four then become the lads again.

They start to dance with imaginary women and use very cheesy chat up lines. The lads then start to leave the club and slowly turn back into bouncers.* The bouncers start to encourage everyone to leave; Les comes to the bouncers as a punter asking for champagne, the bouncers aren’t having any of it. Les then turns back to a bouncer and the four start saying goodnight to everyone, Les recognises one of the women and comments that she is always following him.* We then move to a hot dog stand outside of the club.

Ralph, Judd and Les are the lads again and Eric plays the owner. The lads make jokes about what they will order, and eventually they each have a kebab.* We switch to the lads waiting for a taxi. The four are obviously fairly drunk by now and this appears obvious in this scene. They chat about how cold and dark it is, Eric then urinates.

There is then a big hype about how much money they have spent during the night and then they manage to hail a taxi. As the lads are in the car, one of them lights up a cigarette and then Ralph begins to feel sick. Eric decides he needs to go to the toilet again but the driver refuses to stop. Eric then ‘ goes’ out the window and Ralph throws up on his back.

Judd then closes the window on his Eric’s penis and then they arrive home.* They then move back to the Bouncers and we go back to the club, where they are clearing up. Eric finds out that two of the urinals are cracked, there are non-empty beer glasses everywhere and then Lucky Eric finds five pounds. Throughout this scene, Judd is eager to watch the porn film. The scene ends with the three convincing Eric to watch the Porn with them.

I found this to be significant because it tells us a little bit more about some of the characters’ sexual nature.

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