It is hardly surprising that Bouncers, the John Godber classic, which runs until Saturday at Peterborough’s Key Theatre, is regarded as once of the best 100 plays of the 20th century.
It has been touring nationally and international for more than 30 years - and if anything, on the evidence of Thursday night, just like a fine wine it gets better with age (albeit in the contect of this play Blue Nun!)
A feeling I am sure shared by the big and appreciative audience.
The jokes are as funny as ever - some raise a chuckle, some are real laugh out loud - and the 80s references and tunes are easily picked up - even by those who weren’t around during that decade.
The four dinner-suited actors on the pretty bare stage - neon sign and four beer barrels - showed a great appreciation for comedy in this look at the highs and lows of a night out at a tacky northern nightclub .
It is a credit to the writing, direction and their talent of course that in the blink of an eye, with a slight change in mannerisms, the dicky-bowed Rob Hudson (Lucky Eric), Adrian Hood (Judd), Frazer Hammill (Les) and Chris Hannon (Ralph) take on the persona of four giddy girls out clubbing (with just a shoulder bag), or four lads on the beer hoping to get lucky with the girls.
Lucky Eric’s speeches - centre stage in the spotlight - remain as insightful as ever - and the blue movie skit is an absolute joy.
The highlight? Adrian Hood’s “plain” Elaine - a bearded and bald great hulk of a man dressed as a bouncer pretetending to be a girl. Delivered with the dictionary definition of deadpan. Pure comedy gold.
Bouncers in on at the Key tonight (Friday) and Saturday. Contact the box office on 01733 207239 or visit www.vivacity-peterborough.com