Shakers by John Godber and Jane Thornton
Directed by Phil Shepherd
A play Made in Hull and exported worldwide, from Dubai to Bratislava, from Scandinavia to LA. A play so popular in Prague that it has played in rep there for the past 12 years!
Carol, Adele, Niki and Mel work in a bar that is worse than hell! Every town has its Shakers, the oh so trendy cocktail bar where everyone wants to be seen, from the checkout girls to the chinless wonders, from the luvvies to the local lads tittering at the thought of a “long slow comfortable screw”.
Shakers gives a wickedly funny glimpse of this world as seen through the eyes of the four long-suffering waitresses, offering a fascinating view of the reality that lurks behind the plastic palms and the Pina Coladas.
The play is presented by four waitresses, each under pressure in different ways, and describes a typical night at a bar called Shakers. The play is set in 1980’s, and specifically deals with issues of the time, most notably high unemployment. The actresses play all the characters in the bar; including the clientele the four waitresses have to deal with.
The four main characters are Adele, Mel, Carol and Nicky. They are vary from being happy to be working in Shakers, to despising their job and desperate to get out. The major unseen character is Mario, who owns the bar, and who is threatening the girls with a change to their working conditions by insisting that they wear shorts to help boost custom. Carol is against this, as she realises this type of sexual exploitation is unacceptable. Adele however, is desperate to keep her job, since she is a single mother with a small child, and so is more than happy to do whatever Mario asks of her. Nicky has just secured a job dancing on a cruise ship, which involves some topless dancing, so the shorts issue does not affect her, but is uneasy about following her dream of dancing.
Only Mel appears happy with her status in the bar, since this is the best of a number of low level jobs that she has endured. There is also great tension between Mel and Adele, since Mel has had the experience of aborting an unwanted child when she was a teenager, and this has left her scarred, and resentful of Adele's young daughter Emma, and the relationship they have.