Review: Early Doors (Darlington)

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Fresh from their second sell-out run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Not Too Tame Theatre has taken their production of “Early Doors” on tour, which included a night out at Hole In The Wall in Darlington on Monday, May 22nd, 2017, as part of the Jabberwocky Market.

Directed by Jimmy Fairhurst, Early Doors combines spoken word storytelling, poetry, music and physical comedy to replicate the traditional pub atmosphere full of stereotypical pub-goers. It’s this range of theatrical techniques and frequent switching between them which keeps the audience transfixed on the action.

Despite the show’s one hour running time, Early Doors features some in-depth, character-led storylines. These are hinged on brother and sister Paddy (Fairhurst) and Beth (Emily Stott), who have inherited the family pub, following the death of their mother.

Paddy and Beth are joined by pub quizmaster Steve (Jack Brown), who adds an element of dark comedy to the proceedings through his choice of questions surrounding his ex-wife and the custody of his child, and Bunny (Tom Haywood), a hopeless-in-love drunk whose eccentric nature provides a large share of laugh out loud moments.

Other regulars at the pub include exes Leah (Charlotte Gray) and bouncer Chris (Edward Cole), who reveal a dramatic love story through a series of gripping monologues, and talented singer Joanna B (Rehanna McDonald), who dazzles with a fantastic rendition of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary”, along with the dance moves to match.

The combination of a fantastic cast in a genuine pub setting truly brings the production to life, with each of the cast utilising the space and the bar to its full potential. Not to mention the well-written script, which takes the audience on an emotional rollercoaster. There’s laughter, there’s tears, there’s singing, there’s dancing… Early Doors is just like any traditional night down your local boozer.

Not Too Tame Theatre’s “Early Doors” is at Hole In The Wall from May 22nd – May 25th 2017 (excluding Wednesday, May 24th, 2017). Tickets for the shows are available to purchase from the Jabberwocky Market website.