Early Doors

Famed fan of the sauce Oliver Reed once said, “You meet a better class of people in pubs.” It would seem that company Not Too Tame Theatre had Reed’s sentiment in mind as they created this superb show. Early Doors is a beautiful, funny and moving ode to pubs and the people within them. In one short hour, the talented group presents the local lads, ladies, bouncers, boozers and buxom babes of local watering hole “The Jingling Geordie” and manage to craft a harem of multifaceted, interesting and complex characters.

Not Too Tame create a rich canvas in which their characters thrive.

Using a seamless and effortless blend of spoken word, poetry, dialogue, music, physical theatre and the obvious benefit of being able to secure an Edinburgh pub for their site specific performance, Not Too Tame create a rich canvas in which their characters thrive. The show is regularly funny, back-achingly so (if you suffer from back pain, like I do, from laughing too hard for too long), dramatically fulfilling and, for the second time this festival, I had to pretend I had something in my eyes for the last ten or so minutes: not because the finale is sad - quite the opposite - but through the amazing script and touching performances one can't help but truly care for these locals and their complex lives.

Monologues from inhabitants of the bar make up the bulk of the show. Most of these use blank verse to great effect. Their words bounce and weave, dropping in hilarious one-liners or heart wrenching pathos, creating vocals that are filled with meaning but are also simply a joy to listen to. During one such monologue a character pines for the love she’s never found. Looking to the magpies for premonition of when it may come she lilts, “One for sorrow. One for sorrow. One for sorrow. Maybe tomorrow,” and the audience swoons.

It's almost unfair to single out the monologues, as every scene and piece is of such a high standard. A hilarious pub quiz from an embittered divorcee is a masterclass in dark comedy and the barman's compering of a local musical act had me gasping for air between his biting, hilarious remarks. The final stand-off between two local ladies might be the greatest battle sequence I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing.

Reed also once said, “my only regret is that I didn't drink every pub dry” and with a twelve o'clock show time and a fully functioning bar, you have no excuse not to try.

Reviews by Andy Currums

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Not Too Tame invite you down their local boozer for an immersive theatrical experience. Join the regulars at the Jinglin' Geordie for tales of love, loss and laughter, with drunken dancing, and a pub quiz. A celebration of community and pub culture, Early Doors is site specific, set in a real pub and has all the great qualities of a gig; uplifting, unpretentious, and with a bevy in hand! Drown your sorrows or charge your glasses, but grab a pint, take a seat and get a load of this!

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