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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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!