TOBY PARKER REES & JESSICA PATTERSON are on the door. Shit plays aren’t getting in. ‘Bouncers’ goes home alone.

Corpus Playroom, 6-13th, 7pm. £5-6.

Directed by Stephen Bailey | ZERO STARS

The publicity for Bouncers made the coalitionish claim that we’d be witness to ‘Girls on a night out, lads on tour and even pornstars meld[ing] together into an intoxicating tapestry which incessantly mocks the flaws and failings of modern life in hilarious fashion whilst also asking the question of why humanity is quite so full of chaotic failure and despair’.

That is, of course, an awful sentence, but the play was worse. Brevity being the soul and all that, we would have reduced this to ‘LOL, PEASANTS’. John Godber’s noxious script is only a villainous immigrant away from being a theatrical Daily Mail. Lines such as ‘Mam, the rent man’s ‘ere!’ answered with ‘Alright, show him to the bedroom’ are hateful and ubiquitous. Worse, they are played for laughs.

Godber’s attempts to have his shit-cake and eat it by calling this social comment (a phrase repeated throughout, with all the metatheatrical wit of Vinnie Jones winking at the camera) hold no water. Salacious, sub-Kaiser Chiefs depictions of contemporary nightlife are suffixed by ‘because they think they have to’; well you aren’t helping, Godber. You dick.

We are not particularly earnest people;if political correctness meant anything beyond being nice we wouldn’t bother. We are also quite adept at taking a joke. Unfortunately there weren’t any on offer. Here’s an example of one the less dreadful offerings of humour:

‘This job’s all about ego’

‘That’s Frankenstein’s brother’

‘Err, that’s Igor.’

LOL. At least that ‘joke’ avoided the cringeworthy topics of shagging a ‘chinky’ or saving up your dole for KFC. Those peasants, right? Jessica, a northerner educated at a comprehensive, was frequently beset by violent waves of middle class guilt whilst watching our fellow students mock the masses. That’s not on. Obviously the script is to blame, but no one involved was forced to stage it – although the inexplicably frequent dance routines had an air of the pressgang.

Written first in 1977, this ‘remix’ from 1991 has nothing to say about 2010. Unless you happened to be unaware that young people get drunk and it’s not always enjoyable. Or that bouncers are often psychotic, and, more often, cunts. In fact, if you’ve ever been on a night out before you’re probably at an advantage to Godber and those involved in this production. You might have learnt, for example, that all women are not Kenneth Williams; all working class people don’t sound like mid-century village policemen; or that it’s not particularly common for groups of men to rent porn (there’s the internet) and masturbate together (there’s solitude).  You may also discover that bouncers are rarely called Ralph.

We have both seen better GCSE productions of this play, and those were fairly awful. Transitions between the four actors’ various rizla-thin ‘characters’ were lumpen and lazily blocked. No one convinced as a bouncer, each substituting over-rehearsed scowls for acting.

The experience was like being kicked in the head (metaphorically and, in one characteristically poor piece of audience interaction, literally) by immaturity. There is a reason that this piece is one of the most performed for GCSE:  teenage boys can piss about and still get decent marks for throwing in a few ‘theatrical conventions’. Thrown in they were; red lights, strobe lights (Toby, recently epileptic, began hoping for the excuse of a seizure) and even crosscutting. We felt spoilt. Well, sick.

  • CorpusH

    I used to enjoy your reviews, Toby, but this is just petty.

    • Huge Lorries

      'i used to like your reviews, Toby, but then you reviewed something my friend did and I done a cry'

    • Joe's scotch au

      I know that was you joe Rubini. That's completely ooot of order Joe Rubini. You're a wee bit o' nonsense Joe Rubini. Now get tae hell with you Joe Rubini.

  • annoyed

    Lazy reviewing. You felt reviewing a play often studied at GCSE was an insult so decided not to like it before you sat down. I encourage anyone else reading this crap to look at the TSC and Varsity reviews for an accurate description of the hilarious, unpretentious and extremely entertaining play I went and saw.

    • Anon

      What's TSC, then?

  • Tabba the hut

    Solo. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaan Solo.

  • No, Toby, no.

    What an appalling review. I went last night and the audience laughed, clapped and cheered throughout. The acting was very assured, the coreography was excellent and the production values were among the best I have seen in Cambridge. It was extrememely entertaining, and I was highly impressed with the slickness of absolutely every aspect.

    Toby, get you head out of your arse and stop being such a condescending prig.

    • Yes, Toby, oh yes!

      Maybe they laughed, clapped and cheered because they think 'LOL, PEASANTS' is a good joke? In which case they need Toby to tell them they are pisswits.

      • NO, Toby, NO.

        I can assure you it was nothing to do with 'LOL, PEASANTS'. We laughed because the acting was impeccable, and the characters were wonderfully funny. Social comment or not, it was entertaining on its own merits. You have a chip on your shoulder, sir, if you think that the play's purpose was simply to lambast the working class.

        • God, yes, Toby!

          You may have found the characters wonderfully funny, but that is probably because you find lazy and offensive stereotypes wonderfully funny.

    • No, Toby, No.

      (Oh, and Toby, I'm actually a friend of yours, so this was not a personal attack – I just loved the show and hated this review. Keep lambasting me on Facebook if it pleases you however; I revel in the anonymity…)

      • Baron Byron

        'As the Poem is to be published anonymously, omit the Dedication. I won't attack the dog in the dark. Such things are for scoundrels and renegadoes like himself'

        You're a noble sort of cunt.

    • Cheeky

      CHOREOGRAPHY. With an H.

  • Amanda

    This review is disguisting, funniest thing I've seen so far! now know never to trust a TAB review…

    • TPR

      Hi Amanda! Sorry to have disguisted you!!

  • Yoda

    This review is badly written and terribly unfair. You must have some vendetta with somebody in the production to produce something so biased. Giving a play zero stars is ridiculous, the cast and crew definitely, obviously deserve more credit and, although the production was not a 5 star one, if you had applied a slither of objectivity you would see that it wasn't a zero star one either. Your viewpoint is clouded by rage. You've gone over to the darkside.

  • sIMON

    This seems fair, i know a few people who left in the interval because this was such a shart.

  • Reader lost for TAB

    The petty and ridiculous views of the ‘Parker-Rees group’, who evidently arse-lick their own plays and try to degrade anything that gets a good review in TCS or Varsity, devalue what is, or at least was a really good read. Hopefully they’ll sodd off after this term of crap journalism and people who aren’t so small-minded will get a chance to appreciate some of the theatre in Cambridge.

  • What a Prink

    When you review something, try to watch whatever it is you're reviewing with an open mind to the fact that it might actually be quite good. You might end up actually enjoying it like everyone else. If it pleases you more to make pretentious comments on a website that can hardly claim to offer "news" then go for it.

    It wasn't funny because it was taking the piss out of the working class. It was funny because it was taking the piss out of a culture that we all belong to. Grow up.

  • Disappointment

    Bouncers was a great production of an entertaining play. I thoroughly enjoyed it and so, it would appear, did everyone else. The sole exceptions apparently being these reviewers. This piece is an unfunny and poorly-written attempt at a pre-meditated slating, but more sadly for this website, it is a tragically woeful pretence of a review that reflects very poorly on the Tab. A real shame.

  • Stevey B

    Over all I laugh at this.

  • Tit Hall Member

    Ummm being in the guys year at the same college, just though id straighten our you twats and inform you that Jimmy (Lucky Eric) is a 'northerner educated at a comprehensive'.

    Difference is, unlike Jessica obviously, he aint a self-obsessed pretentious twat with such a massive chip on his shoulder and up his arse that he cant take a joke. 'We are also quite adept a taking a joke' LOOOL.

    • B.O.B.B.I.N.S

      'Jimmy (Lucky Eric) is a 'northerner educated at a comprehensive'.

      Lucky Jimmy should have known better then.

      I thought he showed potential as a performer, but his skills should have been applied elsewhere. If you've read any plays other than John Godber's, then you soon realise, John Godber is awful. Inevitably to my mind, the choice of this play reflects badly on all those involved.

      As was stated, people like to laugh. When the jokes are funny. And they really weren't. At all.

  • Selwynrm

    Ridiculous, petty review based on nothing at all. I saw Bouncers last night and very much enjoyed it. The four actors were all brilliant and the crowd loved every minute. The effort put into the production was to huge success. Definitely look at TCS and Varsity for more accurate reviews.

  • Toby, Toby, TWAT!

    This is the worst review I have ever read. Are you insane, were you watching the same show as the rest of us? I went to see this play, and honestly it was one of the best things I've seen in Cambridge.

    "In fact, if you’ve ever been on a night out before you’re probably at an advantage to Godber and those involved in this production."

    Is this a fucking joke Toby? I suppose your experience of Cam-bar, the Maypole and the ADC bar make you an expert. You TWAT.

    Everyone seriously this review doesn't deserve the light of day, clearly two very strange reviewers left their rooms of, solitude internet wanking, in a bad mood.

    Grow up and accept that EVERYONE loved Bouncers!

    • Murray Minge

      Calm down Jimmy. And it's Kambar.

  • Middle Class Boy

    My favourite bit was where they took the piss out of THE MIDDLE CLASS! The rugby initations bit, was soo funny, agreed better than the working class stuff, but hey, just thought i'd mention that they took the piss out of everyone in the show

  • Sara

    This review is ridiculous. Your main argument is 'I don't like the play or the issues that it presents' – a fair enough viewpoint but not one worth devoting the majority of the article to. After all, this is meant to be a review of the performance, not the play. I went with a group of 5 other friends and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought Lucky Eric's speeches in particular were very powerfully performed. The ovation it received at the end is the best testament to how entertaining the play really was. Next time, perhaps focus a little more on the ACTUAL show rather than the publicity (which always over-embellishes to draw in the greatest crowds) and the script.

  • Jessica

    I usually can't be arse to answer comments, but in the name of fairness I feel I should point something out: I co-wrote this with Toby. In all honesty I thought the play was terrible. I have no agenda or vendetta, I was just being honest. We were also accompained by three friends who were astounded by its terribleness. I understand that some of you may disagree, but you weren't reviewing it, I was. It was shit.

    • Yoda

      You can't honestly believe that it was fair to give the show zero stars. Zero stars. Zero. That suggests that the play was infinitely bad. Perfectly bad. So incredibly bad that literally nothing about it was good. This doesn't make any sense.

      If there was a play called 'poo' (with a pretentiously, purposeful lower-case 'p' in the title) featuring a piece of poo (not even an entire poo) sitting on a stool (as in a bar-stool rather than another poo) saying absolutely nothing, but smelling almost entirely NOT like a poo, so bad was this particular poo's acting that it was unable to convey the stench of itself- I would still give the production 1 star at least. I may even give it two.

      Zero stars? Zero! And no vendetta? Come on. You are making a point. When I produce 'poo' next term- in the Corpus Playroom, week 2- I'm going to make you watch, if you give it zero stars I will know it's because these comments annoyed you.

      • Star Wars?

        Er…why would you give it 1 star, maybe even 2? It sounds shit. Bit pointless having stars at all if you're going to give that 2. Maybe that's why TPR hands out the stars round here. Or not, as in this instance.

    • Anon.

      "It was shit"- the entire audience was in hysterics throughout the performance i went to watch. The 5 of you either have no sense of humour or the more likely scenario is that you are supporting your friends' ridiculous vendetta.

  • irritated.

    'Transitions between the four actors’ various rizla-thin ‘characters’ were lumpen and lazily blocked'

    All the above comment demonstrates is that this review is one of the laziest pieces of journalism I have ever read (and this includes the Daily Mail). The transitions from character to character were smooth, well choreographed, often instantaneous and done with neither props nor costume changes to hide behind. If you'd been paying any attention to what you were watching instead of simply looking for things to criticise (which you did badly, by the way, as the middle classes were mocked just as much as the working class were) perhaps you would have come to a similar conclusion instead of spouting such a ridiculous load of crap.

  • Red

    Toby Parker is the new Lexi Abrams!

  • Comment

    I thought the show was excellent; but I only have a single-barrelled surname, so what would I know?

    • nhodges

      haha

      wanker

      • Dave Gwyer

        unblock me from Xbox live

  • Jokes

    So… The cast of Bouncers has managed to work out how to comment on the tab. I went to see this play and it was utter shite. The only way someone could call the acting 'impeccable' is if they were in it. Or the mother of someone in it. So, bouncers cast/bouncers cast's mums, spend more time working on rehearsal/finding a better father for your tedious offspring, less time writing unconvincing comments.

    • Lolz

      Oh WOW another petty, unfounded view so i'm guessing your from the tab. Your argument is fucked by the fact that the two proper reviewers gave 5 and 4 stars. The majority of people loved it, the majority of people have felt the need to refute this bullshit, accept it.

      • Fatty McPhee

        Proper reviewers? You mean students, writing for Varsity and TCS? Get a grip. This review might not be the best review ever but I don't think you can really call unpaid students working for student newspapers "proper reviewers" without also applying this label to those who work for the Tab.

        Oh, but I forgot. You're students. You've no idea how the real world works.

  • laughedoutloud

    Dear Jessica, 'I have no agenda or vendetta'… good for you girl ! Unfortunately your co- writer does as many people know. Were you hand picked to lend Toby some gravitas I wonder? Old northern expression…you lay down with dogs , you get up with fleas. Start scratching !!

    • TPR

      Hello. Just so I know, what is my vendetta? Would be a lot easier for me to carry it out if I knew a few things, like who it's with, why, &c. Thanks for your help gurrl.

  • Darth Vader

    The only good journalism the Tab does is Sofa Sports. Youtube is the future.

  • Stephen Bailey

    I've been thinking about/amused by this review all morning. I'm not going to say it's wrong, a review should be your thoughts on the production. If you want to insult my concepts, character work, blocking and grammar that's fine and generally valid. If you thought it was poor theatre, fine.

    However, I object to the attack on the play. Your job as a reviewer is to review the production, not the script. The play has won awards the world over, it is not shit, and that's really the only point you made in this review. You came in wanting to hate it and thus hated it. Not a review just a limp statement. As far as its offensive content, I have no idea on the rest of my cast but I am from a state school in London. I do not find it offensive. The audiences that see it week in, week out the world over are not offended. The school groups that came to see the production and the staff of Hidden Rooms loved it. It is not your job to try and champion the values of those which you yourself term 'peasants,' who you don't have full empathy with because you're at Cambridge. They liked it and were not offended by it. You're not the voices of the masses, you're a reviewer at on of the most priveledged universities in the world. If you cannot grasp satire, and that is what it is, that's your failure. Don't approach a play with an end judgement in mind, it's just silly.

    Now you can come back and say I'm wrong. That's fine you don't have to like the play. However, I am more willing to side with the National Theatre, LA Critics Circle, Guardian, Times, RSC and EDfringe awards which label it a superb piece of writing. You can hate the play, but next time you find yourself in a situation like this, please send a reviewer who does not want to hate the piece. Send one with an open mind who won't deliberately shoot down the play regardless of quality. I will take zero stars and being called the worst director ever. There's an argument for that. I will not take the unprovoked, character assassination on a playwright who cannot defend himself.

    Also my thanks to the various support and appreciation shown in the comments. Regardless of any personal animosity, it was nice to see an alternate perspective on a project I really enjoyed.

    • BaileyFan

      Stephen Bailey kicked ass.

    • Didn't see the play

      Stephen Bailey > Toby Parker Rees

      • naa mate

        lol, imagine

    • The Flying Skitesman

      Hi. I like how long your comment is. It's almost as big as my name.

  • Comment

    So now we're unnecessarily insulting parents are we? Good one. Genius.

    • fat mum (yours)

      Your mum's not a genius

  • TPR

    To clarify, I didn't go into this play expecting it to be bad – I vaguely remembered it being dull at GCSE but I assumed it would have been reinvigorated. I wouldn't review something that I wasn't interested in; I'm a busy, important and fantastic man. I was honestly disappointed by the production – I have seen the play performed more professionally by 15 year olds. I really was expecting something significantly better.

    The point of student theatre is not to recreate the dire cockswill of provincial reps, it's to do something exciting and new. Cambridge presents an amazing opportunity to put on whatever you want relatively cheaply; it's not nice to see that opportunity squandered on lazy shit.

    You can call Bouncers satire if you like, but it's awful, mean-spirited satire. The first and most obvious rule of comedy is that the mocker be of lower status than the mocked. Jesters knew this, and they didn't even know how to wear hats without bells on. Richard Littlejohn called his book satire: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Littlejohn#T
    And it's no excuse to say 'but we also implied that middle class rugby boys are secretly gay'. For obvious reasons – the first being that it's a shit, tired joke.

    Once again, if someone could clarify what my vendetta is I'd be quite grateful.

    On a related note, it is of no surprise that people who claim to like this play feel comfortable insinuating that Jess is a patsy for this spurious feud. Because she couldn't have an opinion could she, she's only a girl. Latent misogyny thoroughly in keeping with a play that represented women as a bizarre combination of camp and tarty. Jess was far angrier with the failings of the production than I was – not least because she got kicked in the head as the result of dire choreography.

    • Really?

      If you don't remember the play how have you seen better student productions? Please point me to where anyone said anything about the gender of your co-reviewer.

      • Jessica

        Sigh,
        That's the point idiot; no one said anythig about my gender because no one said anything about me at all. All anger and criticism was directed at Toby, when much of the above is actually my opinion. When I did make a comment it was replied with an assertion that I was only included to the affect that I'd lend Toby some credibilty (why he is lacking in any no one has adequatly argued) and congratulated with a nauseating, 'good for you girl'.
        This 'co-reviewer' is insulted by the suggestion that she's only a fixture of the, to borrow another commenter's phrase, 'Toby Parker-Rees Group'. That the implications of these comments were beyond you, however, only serves to illustrate Toby's original point. Well done.

        • Leo Parker-Rees

          I hate to correct an otherwise excellent comment, Jess, but it's the 'Parker-Rees' group, not the 'Toby Parker-Rees' group. I resent the implication that I have any less of a role in our mysterious vendetta.
          Thanks
          Leo

        • annoyed

          If it makes you feel better Jessica, I think your contribution to the review is awful, pretentious and petty as well

        • kraken

          Hate to take the chip from your shoulder, but the reason anger is directed at the 'Parker-Rees' group is because he has made himself a faux cambridge celebrity with his history of vitriolic reviews and a string of shitty directorial efforts under the name of 'the movement'. People know and hate him, whereas I'm afraid you're a bit of a nobody – nowt to do with the fact you're a girl. And his 'vendetta' is against plays not directed by him or any of his stupid friends.

          • The Movement

            You know him but he definitely doesn't know you

    • Reader lost for TAB

      Why must the satirist be of a lower class than the point of his satire? Can people of lower classes not appreciate genuine satire levelled against them regardless of where it comes from? The two Ronnies sketch about class satirises all levels of society, both ostensibly above and below any of the writers' own class definitions. Your grasp of the theory of satire and comedy in general seems loose at best.

    • Person Judge

      You've got way too much time on your hands. I recommend a life

  • Everybody

    This review is so random! Bouncers was amazing! Unbelievably shite review, to the extent it's more or less bullying. Just a godawful review. xx

  • Ben Blyth

    Call me old fashioned but kicking the reviewer in the head during an evidently poorly choreographed dance routine is never a good idea.

    • The Future

      Hey MAN, if she got a SWEET souvenir from sole of an actor's shoe then all the BETTER. That's how audience interaction's SUPPOSED to be, DUDE.

  • Imogen

    didn’t see the production, so won’t comment massively on the individual review – however, zero stars seems a ridiculously harsh rating (particularly for a show so well-received by other publications and many people I’ve spoken to).

    However the Tab’s theatre is normally excellent. I actually take notice of it when deciding whether to see shows or not – it thoroughly out-competes Varsity, and praises all the right shows. well done. love imogen

    • I think I love you

      Are you single?

  • Yoda

    I'm going to repost this wonderful comment of mine because I'm worried nobody will read it if it remains hidden under the 'replies' section of Jessica's comment:

    To Jessica and TPR,

    You can't honestly believe that it was fair to give the show zero stars. Zero stars. ZERO. That suggests that the play was infinitely bad. Perfectly bad. So incredibly bad that literally nothing about it was good. That doesn't make any sense.

    If there was a play called 'poo' (with a pretentiously, purposeful lower-case 'p' in the title) featuring a piece of poo (not even an entire poo) sitting on a stool (as in a bar-stool rather than another poo) saying absolutely nothing, but smelling almost entirely NOT like a poo, so bad was this particular poo's acting that it was unable to convey the stench of itself- I would still give the production 1 star at least. I may even give it two.

    Zero stars? Zero! And no vendetta? Come on. You are making a point. When I produce 'poo' next term- in the Corpus Playroom, week 2- I'm going to make you watch, if you give it zero stars I will know it's because these comments annoyed you. And then I'll throw the star of the show at you.

    • Noda

      By this logic, a five star review would mean the play is perfect. No other play could possibly be any better. Really, then, there can only ever be one five star review and one zero, ever released. Your little poo comment is hilarious and everything (maybe this explains why you thought the play was funny). Zero stars means that it's among the worst plays, just like 5 stars would mean it's among the best. The fact that you felt the need to repeat a comment that's just wrong says it all. Oh no wait POO! That's almost as funny as poor people! LOL.

      • Yoda

        I didn't even see the play (I was too busy writing my play ('poo')) so I don't know how funny the poor people were in it.

        Anyway… I'm not sure if you were being sarcastic when you said that 'poo' is hilarious, but if you were I would like to take this opportunity to inform you (and the rest of the world) that poo is overlooked as a comic material and is becoming increasingly- and unfairly- linked to being childish. There is nothing wrong with the gay abandon of giggling at poo. It smells funny. It looks funny. It arrives on the planet in a funny way. Question my star logic if you will but do not snidely diminish the comic weight of poo.

        That is all.

        • Noda

          You just keep getting funnier. If I were you I'd post that comment again though, there's a chance some of your (by now die-hard, I'm sure) fans will miss it where it is.

          • Yoda

            Good point. Thanks.

    • TPR

      For the third time, what vendetta? Unless you mean against shit plays. And yes, it had no merit. We did think carefully about the star rating, and concluded that it would be unfair to one star shows, all of which actually had redeeming features (however minor) if Bouncers was given anything above zero.

      • Fatty McPhee

        Hear hear

  • Fatty McPhee

    For heavens' sake. All these comments sound like they were written by a bunch of 12-year-olds.
    Even the best plays sometimes get bad reviews.
    Criticising Toby and Jessica's article is pointless (although healthy debate is not – sadly, there doesn't seem to be much evidence of this here). They are perfectly entitled to write what they like. That's what reviewers DO.

    If you don't like it, jog on.

    [And no, I'm not from the Tab. I've actually been slated in a Tab review myself, so this post doesn't come from any sense of loyalty.
    I am, however, now writing for a high-profile independent music and theatre reviews website, and appreciate that there are some plays that are awful enough to deserve no stars.]

    If anything, this review will only generate more publicity for the play! Stop whinging!

    • slim

      show off

      • Fatty McPhee

        :) Love you too. Where did you get your laxatives?

  • http://www.shit.com Whataloadashite

    Ok first of all TPR, having a personal vendetta against the director is petty when as a journalist you should be supplying a fair service to the public. Also, as a thespian wanting to pursue theatre- you should know the effort that goes into staging a production, and therefore you've greatly disserviced the cast and crew, because you don't like one certain member involved. If Maypole schweffing awards Tab stars these days then Stephen Bailey dosen't stand a chance against the mighty PR's bros.

    The play was fantastic, and if the script is the main turn off- oooo way to break Bailey's balls. To say the script is tired and outdated, and moreover- offensive…I'm at a loss-it was written nearly 40 years ago- bad luck for Marlowe, Shakespeare, Sheridan etc. And quick to offend I see- misogyny, what a load of balls, it's the fact that you're more known for reviewing and theatre- that's why everyone is attacking you. Refusing to publish the first review for the show- which was fairly awarded four stars- only confirms that tab reviews are a farce.

  • eyeball paul

    two things:

    1) why do people think that there is some big tab conspiracy where everyone from the tab would defend a reviewer. Surely student journalism is meant to be diverse enough to permit disagreement by people who write for the same publication.

    2) it is sooo depressing that people have to pre-fix their arguments with "I went to a state school." Are we only well-placed to comment on class if we have been at the sharp end of snobbery?

  • No, Toby, No.

    Fatty McPhee,

    "I… appreciate that there are some plays that are awful enough to deserve no stars". Well done you, but Bouncers did not deserve it.

    TPR has not actually made a single comment about the performances. In a review, one might expect such a courtesy, and the quartet in this show outdid themselves.

    • Fatty McPhee

      "Bouncers did not deserve [no stars]" – That is YOUR OPINION and you seem to have missed the point that TPR and Jessica are entitled to theirs.

      I didn't see the play but I am perfectly willing to concede that some people may have found it worthy of 5 stars and some people might have hated it. The world would be an incredibly boring place if we all felt the same way about everything.

      Re: comments on the performances – see FR Leavis' comment below

      • GOODBYE

        Yes, it is my opinion, but also the opinion of everyone else commenting on this website. You are in no place to make informed comments on the show's suitability for a zero star review if you have not seen it. Simple.

        "The world would be an incredibly boring place if we all felt the same way about everything." How profound. I do not dispute that a show may be worthy of zero stars – if it is so beyond the reckoning of everyone who sees it, it deserves it. FR Leavis has provided me with a few tasty morsels which I will hereafter decimate –

        "the inexplicably frequent dance routines had an air of the pressgang."

        What does this MEAN?! They were dancing because this was a show about clubbing.

        "Transitions between the four actors’ various rizla-thin ‘characters’ were lumpen and lazily blocked"

        An empty, untrue and insultingly fallcious observation. The transitions, as have been pointed out in other publications, were one of the shows STRONGEST POINTS.

        And, as a final point, the versatility of the actors really, really impressed, and Jimmy Murray's monologues were particularly effective.

        In fairness, I don't know why I bother to defend this show to you. You didn't see it, you cannot comment ON IT. I agree with your comments about the reviewers being granted their own opinions, but when these opinions are SO ill-informed it is clear to see why some people have accused TPR and Jessica of having an agenda.

        • Fatty McPhee

          I don't think I ever said that the show deserved its rating. I was merely pointing out that TPR and Jessica deserve to be able to give it whatever number of stars they want.

          I would also like to point out that I haven't actually been commenting on the show, merely on the reaction to this review. I'm not really sure why you're bothering to defend the show to me either. The reason I highlighted Leavis' points was because he/she had pointed out that the authors *had* commented on the performances in the review.

          I'm impressed with TPR and Jessica having the balls to step outside typical Cambridge reviewing, which tends to over-congratulate the under-rehearsed (particularly in the theatre and classical music scenes).

          Like I said, I'm not in a position to comment on the show. But I can comment on this: TPR and Jessica saw something they didn't like, and they weren't afraid to say so. Good for them.

        • Fatty McPhee

          Also, LOL.

        • TPR

          See, what you've done there is confuse opinion with fact. Which is understandable since you also confuse shit with good. And 'decimate' with 'noisily fail to understand'.

          The transitions were impossibly clunking given the dearth of characterisation they were moving between. Also, if you can proudly say that the transitions between characters are the best thing about your play then it says a lot about the rottenness of its meat & bones.

          Once again, this nebulous 'agenda' or 'vendetta'; what is it? What are Jess & I trying to achieve? Who are we against? Why? No one has offered anything in the way of clues, which makes it seem like a facile excuse for someone not liking your shit play.

  • FR Leavis

    'TPR has not actually made a single comment about the performances.'
    Untrue. Examples:

    'the inexplicably frequent dance routines had an air of the pressgang.'

    'In fact, if you’ve ever been on a night out before you’re probably at an advantage to Godber and those involved in this production. You might have learnt, for example, that all women are not Kenneth Williams; all working class people don’t sound like mid-century village policemen'

    'Transitions between the four actors’ various rizla-thin ‘characters’ were lumpen and lazily blocked. No one convinced as a bouncer, each substituting over-rehearsed scowls for acting.'

    'The experience was like being kicked in the head (metaphorically and, in one characteristically poor piece of audience interaction, literally) by immaturity.'

    Can you read? Don't be embarrassed if not, and it's not that surprising given the level of your other faculties.

  • fresher

    shit review.

    • fresher judge

      shit fresher

  • shoopdy

    I haven't seen the play but I think this review is amusing and fair. Having said that, I do also think Toby Parker-Rees is a massive fucking loathsome cunt but that's more on his personality and stuff

  • bored

    He's a shit actor too.

    • Person Judge

      You're shit

  • TPR

    Sorry, I forgot to mention, this play would have been infinity better if it had had a big name in. I may have given it a few stars then.

    • The Flying Skitesman

      I am a big name!

  • FACT

    This thread is by far and away the most entertaining thing ever to be associated with John Godber

  • Willy Man

    In my experience, bouncers aren't very nice people. I once got my willy out whilst in the queue for the Place at 22 Sidney Street of Cambridge because I had an itch. I didn't finish scratching and the bouncer told me I couldn't go in. So I got a taxi home and scratched my willy in my room. It felt good. I like to scratch my willy.

  • annadegenhardt

    going to be honest – the thing I mainly object to in TAB reviews (well the TAB all over) is the gratuitous and unimaginative use of expletives.

    And before someone attacks me for sounding like a prematurely aged sod, I don't care about swearing in general, but in writing, particularly journalism, surely the point is to express yourself well. Relying on words like "cunt" to make a point just shows how unimaginative and dull is the quality of the writing in the TAB. Use your brains (I'm sure you've got them) and find more interesting ways to insult productions you don't like.

    • anon

      jus' priggin

    • Jonathan Swift

      you say your main objection is the use of swearwords (which is actually fairly minimal when compared to, say, shakespeare or montaigne) but i contend that your problem is how much of a cunt you are.

  • AWW

    The best thing about this review is that it was published so late that it didn't have time to put anyone off seeing a very enjoyable play. If these two did have a 'vendetta' then next time take your finger out and get the review on time, otherwise you've wasted your time looking like arseholes for nothing

    • Godber is gashmate

      I can't imagine it would have been a high priority review, anyone who's read more than their GCSE set texts knows how shit this play is.

  • Christbras

    This review is pretty funny. Commenters need to chill the fuck out.

  • TPR

    For anyone wondering why there's anyone defending this shame-heap this is the Facebook message Stephen Bailey sent out to the Bouncers event:

    "Dear All,

    Thanks to everyone that came and enjoyed it. It has been a brilliant experience. I have one final request. The tab have given us zero stars. Over all I laugh at this. Mr Parker-rees had already told me that, regardless of quality he was going to trash it. The main issue is that the review, clearly lacking anything specific to say about the play just attacked John Godber, who has had the thing passed onto him. However, if any of you who laughed, cheered and whistled at this production would like to make a simple message explaining that the Tab are basically the only people in Cambridge who did not enjoy this that would be great. I don't want essays or insults, just a simple 'it was enjoyable' message is enough. Simply to show that this 'newspaper' is one of the most laughable things in Cambridge."

    Suffice to say I have never met, let alone spoken to Stephen Bailey. 'Cringe', as the kids say.

    • Reader Won For Tab

      Oh that's why!

      I did wonder….

    • Droggles

      Fairly embarrassing for Stephen Bailey. Shit play and tragic lies. Over all I laugh at him.

    • ANOTHER MESS

      HAHAH BAILEY YOU MESS

  • Bob

    This is one of the worst-written reviews I have ever read. Absolutely brutal and cruel

  • Yoda

    Noda advised me to repost this comment, for the fans:

    I didn't even see the play (I was too busy writing my play ('poo')) so I don't know how funny the poor people were in it.

    Anyway… I'm not sure if you were being sarcastic when you said that 'poo' is hilarious, but if you were I would like to take this opportunity to inform you (and the rest of the world) that poo is overlooked as a comic material and is becoming increasingly- and unfairly- linked to being childish. There is nothing wrong with the gay abandon of giggling at poo. It smells funny. It looks funny. It arrives on the planet in a funny way. Question my star logic if you will but do not snidely diminish the comic weight of poo.

    That is all.

  • boom

    utter dickhead.

  • Person Judge

    I like you, I'm a big fan of your films, keep up the good work. Prick