A new take on an old classic from prolific playwright John Godber

One of the most performed writers in the English Language, John Godber, returns to Oldham this month with an updated version of Shakers, sister play to Bouncers. Shakers: Under New Management puts women’s lives front and centre, as everyone returns to going out out.

 

The high street might be struggling to get back to normal but the Shakers bar is under new management and they are determined to make it the place to be seen. Pubs are closing, Gin bars are so yesterday, and cocktails and decadence are back for the roaring 2020s, as the hospitality industry looks to a new future.

 

Misogyny is rife, in the home, in the workplace, and on the streets. The walk home after closing feels longer than ever, the customers are getting more leering, the hours longer, but the pay hasn't changed. For waitresses Adele, Nicky and Mel, their lives juggle home, work, school and everything in between, but how long can it be maintained?

 

Funny, physical and fizzing with wit, Shakers might just be the bar that we all want to be seen in.

 

The original Shakers was first presented by the Hull Truck Theatre Company in 1984. It was co-written by John Godber and Jane Thornton, the same team that have updated the script for 2022.

 

Co-writer Jane Thornton says: “On the very first tour of Up n Under that went into the Donmar Warehouse, I played Hazel. At many venues on the tour the rest of the cast also performed a late night version of Bouncers. I was left on the sidelines.  Thus came the impetus to write Shakers - a play that would provide strong physical theatre roles and exciting multi-role playing for four women. It would also examine the world of the waitress, the abuse and degradation that they experience on a daily basis and the struggles and triumphs of their day to day lives.”  

 

 

John Godber is best known for hits including Teechers, Bouncers and April in Paris. He was Artistic Director of Hull Truck for 26 years and since then his plays have continued to tour the UK and have been seen by over 100,000 people. In 2011 The John Godber company was established with the purpose of allowing him to continue expressing himself through the dramatic form.

 

Their 2022 tour Shakers: Under New Management! comes to Oldham Coliseum from 18 – 22 October.

 

 

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