Early Doors

Seven o’clock in The Royal Oak in Eccles.  We’re on the list.  It’s part of the amazing current season at the Lowry Studio, but it’s in a large room in a local pub.  Early Doors is the latest production from Not Too Tame, and it’s the first night for the pub under new management.  The audience find bar stools around bar tables, with no clear stage; the cast of eight emerge from their seats, scattered throughout the audience.

The play looks at the relationships between the characters, the brother and sister who have inherited the pub, the singer, the barman, the quizmaster, the bouncer, his girlfriend.  Each with their own story to tell; hopes, dreams and disappointments.

This is an engaging production with great dialogue, and intelligent use of words and verse.  The characters are well developed, with strong acting.  Movement around the room is superb, and you’re always almost part of the action.  But audience interaction is cleverly planned so as never to detract from the characters.  It’s a classic mix of the downbeat and the uplifting, and it just works so well.  Behind the loose behaviour in the pub is some clever direction and choreography.

Setting this production in a pub not only makes it realistic, but also makes it more accessible.  I’d love to think that there were people in the audience who didn’t often go to the theatre, but were attracted by setting it in a pub.   For everyone, this is worth seeing.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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