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Tag Archives: John Godber

Gym and Tonic – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Writer:  John Godber Director: John Godber Designer: Graham Kirk Reviewer: Ron Simpson Gym and Tonic is a re-write of a play originally staged 15 or 25 years ago – the programme is uncertain on that point. As John Godber rightly points out, awareness of men’s mental health issues has increased since that time, in the medical profession, the press and ...

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On the Piste – Harrogate Theatre

Writer: John Godber Director: Phil Lowe Set Design:  Graeme Skingle and Will Heyes Reviewer: Ron Simpson Harrogate Rep, back for a second year, is a smart idea and already a favourite with audiences. The same company performs three plays in three weeks, thus enabling the audience, as the programme says, “to see the same cast in different roles across the ...

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Bouncers – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Writer/Director: John Godber Designer: Graham Kirk Composer: Joey Firth Music Choreographer: Lynette Pickering Reviewer: Ron Simpson It’s over 40 years since the first version of Bouncers was staged at the Edinburgh Festival, some 35 years since, in its mature form, it set out on the road to international success. For a play that reflects the contemporary world so acutely, that’s ...

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Seasons in the Sun – East Riding Theatre, Beverley

Writer/Director: John Godber Set and Lighting: Graham Kirk Reviewer: Ron Simpson Seasons in the Sun, originally staged in 2000, can be taken as the archetypal John Godber play with a particularly strong autobiographical element. It is set very specifically close to Minsthorpe High, the school he attended and later taught at, with constant detailed reference to local streets. It concerns ...

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Shakers – Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds

Writers: John Godber and Jane Thornton Light/Sound: Alistair Fox Director: Neil Knipe Reviewer: Janet Jepson John Godber wrote his well-known ‘lads’ play Bouncers in 1977 and it was inevitable that a female version would be conceived, so Shakers was created in 1985 in collaboration with Jane Thornton. To this day, big brother Bouncers is still much more famous and much ...

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Up ‘n’ Under – The STUDIO, Birmingham REP

Writer: John Godber Director: Jeni Draper Reviewer: James Garrington John Godber wrote Up ‘N’ Under as an attempt to recreate the famous Rocky movies, set in Yorkshire and with a backdrop of Rugby League in place of boxing. It’s a classic underdog story. The Wheatsheaf Arms seven-a-side team is a bit of a joke – they don’t have seven players, ...

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Up ‘N’ Under –  The Lowry, Salford

Writer: John Godber Director: Jeni Draper Everybody loves an underdog: it’s a been staple plot device for TV, film and, theatre for well more than 40 years. It’s a plot device so ingrained in our conscience that despite the feel-good factor you get from viewing this classic narrative trope: you want to see something different: Step forward the Fingersmiths Theatre ...

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The Scary Bikers – Theatre Royal, Wakefield

Writer/Director: John Godber Co-Director: Neil Sissons Designer: Foxton Reviewer: Ron Simpson Initially, John Godber made his name with ensemble plays, often based around an activity, rugby league or night-clubbing or school or whatever, with an expertly managed switching of role rather than character development, but some of his best work has been in rather more restrained two-handers. As he has ...

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