The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
March 9, 10, 11 & 12, 2011.
by John Godber & Jane Thornton
Anna Quick – Mel
Phoebe Hine – Adele
Sophie Lane – Nicky
Emma Parker – Carol
Production Assistant – Tom Harris
Stage Manager – Holly Lane
Deputy Stage Manager – Ham Cleveland
Lighting Design & Operations – Mike Medway
Sound Operations – Tom Harris
Sound Design – Guy Steddon
Set Design & Construction – David Comber
Set Design & Construction – Martin Oakley
Set Design & Construction – Carl Gray
Set Design & Construction – Paul Checkley
Set Design & Construction – Sue Chaplin
Poster Design – Anna Quick
Poster Design – Guy Steddon
Poster Design – Judith Berrill
Publicity – Anna Quick
Publicity – Guy Steddon
Window Display – Rosemary Brown
Front of House – Betty Dawes
Programme Note #1: Shakers
The View from the Bar by GS: “Welcome all to ‘Shakers’; the trendy wine bar from hell!
John Godber and Jane Thornton’s play was first written and performed in 1985. It has long been considered to be a companion piece to Godber’s other famous works of that era – Bouncers and Teechers. The writers revisited and ‘Re-Stirred’ the play in 1991, producing the play that we are performing for you this evening.
Shakers is an enormous challenge to perform in. The four actors are on stage throughout, playing over 20 characters between them and delivering huge amounts of dialogue. It is not an easy undertaking by any means and I am so pleased that this cast has risen to the test with aplomb and sheer determination. I raise a glass to them all!
I have been thrilled that virtually everyone I wanted to help me get this play on stage has said ‘yes!’ I have had a dream team behind me covering everything from lighting, publicity and design. Cheers to all concerned!
Special thanks to my long-suffering production assistant, Tom Harris [Cocktail of choice: Flatline – Sambuca, Tequila and Tabasco]. Tom Harris been an extra pair of eyes, ears and hands whenever I have needed them and has been invaluable all round. Salut Tom!
Lastly, huge thanks to you, our audience. Supporting theatre within this economic climate is not always an easy thing to do. We appreciate your continued enthusiastic support and hope we can continue to be deserving of it.
Oh, and in case you were heading that way ….. Mine’s a Dirty Mojito [Spiced Rum, Soda Water, Fresh Mint Leaves, Crushed Ice, Brown Sugar and Lime Juice].
Review #1: Shakers
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: March 17 2011 issue – page 21
Reviewer: Sheena Campbell
Text Header: Skilfully stirred by Shakers
SOME of the situations in Wick Theatre Company’s latest production – Shakers – rang eerily true for your reviewer, a former barmaid.
Set in the trendy wine bar from hell, Shakers tells the story of four barmaids, Mel, Adele, Nicky and Carol, and a variety of obnoxious and drunk customers. It was a challenging production, with the four actresses – on stage at all times – playing more than 20 characters. For the most part, Wick pulled it off. Guy Steddon’s confident direction led the audience easily into the idea of four actresses playing both male and female characters, with lighting changes helping to define the scenes.
Phoebe Hine, as Adele, was excellent at portraying the bar’s customers – particularly a bored supermarket worker on a night out – but was also remarkably vulnerable as a waitress trying to support her daughter. Many women in the audience would also have recognised someone they knew, or maybe even themselves, on a really bad night, in Sophie Lane’s drunken, 21-year-old birthday girl. Impressively the actresses managed to pull off their male characters almost as easily as their female ones, delivering cheesy chat-up lines with confidence.
Anyone who has ever worked in a bar, or is willing to laugh at their own bad habits after a few drinks, would have enjoyed Shakers, which turned out to be a surprisingly poignant comedy.
Review #2: Shakers
Publication: Brighton Argus
Publication Data: March 11 2011
Reviewer: Barrie Jerram
IN SHAKERS, four actresses recreate life in a cocktail bar, portraying waitresses and supermarket checkout-girls as they prepare for a night out, plus a series of odious customers with varying degrees of obnoxiousness.
Amidst hilarious humour, serious threads appear as each girl delivers a soliloquy revealing their secret dreams and fears. Mel speaks of her abortion and the dilemma of confessing to her latest love. The loss of her child explains Mel’s antagonism to single mum Adele, desperate to retain her job.
Nicky contrasts with Mel – one about to embark as a dancer on a cruise ship, full of hope but plagued with doubt and fear, whilst strongly determined Mel knows she will be a successful photographer.
Talented Anna Quick, Phoebe Hine, Sophie Lane and Emma Parker imbue their monologues with vulnerability, pathos and quietness. This marks them out as real figures, in sharp contrast with their workplace personas and cartoonish grotesques that are the customers. Each impress as they make instant switches of character, aided by well-timed lighting changes.
Guy Steddon’s direction ensures the action and transitions flow smoothly but one questions his decision to include a live band. As good as the musicians are, they neither integrate with nor enhance, the show.
Review #3: Art
Publication: N.O.D.A – National Operatic and Dramatic Association
Reviewer: Phillip Hall – Regional representative for South East Region District 1 – Mid Sussex
How many amateur companies could find four ladies with the talent of Anna Quick, Phoebe Hine, Sophie Lane and Emma Parker? What performance they gave! Guy Steddon described the play as “Not an easy undertaking” for the four actors. As understatements go this must be one of the classics. His excellent direction ensured constant movement about the stage area with never a pause for breath.
It is impossible to comment on the individual performances as they were all of equal merit. The four soliloquies were brilliantly delivered each with exactly the right pace and emotion. The heated exchange between Mel and Carol was very real and almost a disappointment when it failed to develop into something physical. Nicky’s birthday party scene was also very slick with Sophie’s drunken, lung-busting distress being quite memorable.
The setting was ideal in its simplicity with perfectly timed and subtle lighting to move from one sequence to the next.
Kittiehawk & The Jets provided an enjoyable introduction and closing to the evening with a more extended interval performance missed by those of us who chose to seek refreshment. Pity – that was our loss.
This was an admirable performance of a very demanding play. The language and frankness of the dialogue was, no doubt, not to the taste of all in the audience but this cast succeeded in making it perfectly natural for their characters. The Shakers’ customers were certainly an odd assortment. One can only wonder what those who were less odd thought of the staff.
As an afterthought – mine is a pint of Harveys Best Bitter. Thank you!