Review: Shakers at Sheringham Little Theatre

The Shakers cast, from left, Katie Thompson, Jodie Weller, Tilda Fassih and Daisy Winchester. Pictur

The Shakers cast, from left, Katie Thompson, Jodie Weller, Tilda Fassih and Daisy Winchester. Pictures: Richard Batson - Credit: Archant

It's 1984, so forget a Double Diamond or Courage Best at the King's Head; you'd better get yourself down to Shakers in Sheringham for a Buck's Fizz or Harvey Wallbanger!

On Friday (September 6) it was the place to be, dressed in our chinos, with suit jacket sleeves rolled up, and enjoying a trendy cocktail in the shade of a plastic palm tree.

Shakers is the tale of four young waitresses working at a popular downmarket cocktail bar in the 1980s. Following on from its sister play, Bouncers - performed here last year and also directed by Michelle Thompson - it follows the trials and tribulations of four women working their way through the neon nightlife of dodgy customers and poor wages wearing sad eyes and forced smiles.

Thompson, one the most energetic, innovative and exciting directors around, has a real gift for converting sound but basic scripts into genuinely engaging entertainment. Following the writers', John Godber and Jane Thornton's, tenet to allow the performers enormous freedom over and above the lines; it's an invitation she and the cast fully exploit.

Featuring four terrific Norfolk-based actors, about to spread their wings in the world of entertainment; Katie Thompson (Nicky), Jodie Weller (Adele), Daisy Winchester (Mel), and Tilda Fassih (Carol) all put in confident, energetic, well-drilled, and likeable performances.

It was also a treat to see the stylish Charlie Randall reprise his bouncer role from last September with a fine gum-chewing cameo, ably assisted by Christopher Sainton-Clark.

With an ambient 1980s soundtrack and simple black-clad set, the four flamingo pink barstools provided the perfect platform for the performers and the show to fly. And fly it did. Hugely enjoyable and wonderfully choreographed.

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The production transfers to St George's Theatre in Great Yarmouth for one show on September 10.