Thursday, November 19, 2009

‘Shakers’ by John Godber and Jane Thornton

19 November 2009

On Saturday we made a first visit to the marvellous Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds – the only surviving example of a Regency theatre in the country. The original Georgian building is now supplemented by a modern atrium – in a similar way to the Ashmolean extension. We were there to see the Hull Truck Theatre Company production of ‘Shakers’ by John Godber and Jane Thornton. ‘Shakers’, written in 1985, is a companion piece to Godber’s 1977 hit ‘Bouncers’ with four female actors playing four waitresses in a cocktail bar and all their customers from opening time to closing time. Like a lot of John Godber plays, it’s very funny but also achingly poignant. I first saw ‘Shakers’ many years ago – a great amateur production but at the less architecturally inspiring setting of the South Holland Centre in Spalding (before its Lottery-funded facelift) – quite a contrast from the Regency splendour of the Theatre Royal! This production, directed by John Godber, was excellently acted and enthusiastically received by a sell-out audience.

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