The first student drama show of the year, Shakers Re-stirred (written by John Godber and Jane Thornton) brought back the casual and fun nature of student shows to the JP stage, a daring take on the world of cocktail bars, with actors both old and new, provided by Rostra.
This cocktail bar comedy featured, well, a cocktail bar manned by four slightly eccentric bartenders visited by slightly more eccentric guests, some seeking to be intoxicated, some already intoxicated, some on a date, some seeking a date, all in red-tinted décor and lights, with occasional music usually heard, well, in cocktail bars.
Among casual humour and vulgarity lie shots, ironic action, monologues with a bit of truth in them, diverse characters with many flaws and desires, and of course music, while these characters with many flaws and a bit of truth in them ironically take shots.
The actors managed to bring a show despite many challenges; multiple roles with different costumes and even different accents, multiple scenes filled with action and lengthy monologues, sound that wasn’t working at times, etc.; despite all these, the actors managed to put on a persevering performance, with stars like Christian Demaude and Julia Hall playing different genders with much dedication.
A striking thing apparent throughout the show is the bar’s cleanliness: it is quite unseen of student shows to feature a good-looking stage; why are characters sweeping the floor if it’s already cleaned then?! Sure, no audience member would like a messy floor, but come on! Is it that hard to drop perfectionism? A suggestion to drop the light intensity would be appreciated too; yes, we know it is a character giving a monologue because you shun a light on them, but do you have to whack it to 100%? Also, we know music can’t be whacked too loudly because the audience would stop paying attention to the actors dancing and dance themselves, but a bit more loudness (can’t use the “whack it to 100%” or otherwise I would be repeating, oh well, I just did it here but) and marching band feetwork would have been reserved for, well, marching band (‘marching band’ insinuating marchers in a band, not the musicians; sorry musicians).
Otherwise, props to the show for its tactfulness and well-chosen cast. A bit more movement, some less sweeping, and more cocktails!!!
If you missed Rostra’s comedic twang, be sure to check their next show on the 30th November, Dirk Gently!