Early Doors returned to the Lowry after a critically acclaimed and sold-out run in 2018. Written by Craig Cash and Phil Mealey. The Grapes Pub reopens its doors for a not to be missed night of fun and laughter. The play is based on a short TV series running in 2003 – 2004. After a short time of airing (only 24 episodes), the idea to turn it into this play was born, and what a great idea it was! Ken’s got love on his mind, but will barmaid, Tanya, ring the landlord’s bell? Old Tommy would play Cupid – if only he didn’t have IBS (Irritable Bugger’s Syndrome). Crime is on the rise but fear not, as local cops Phil and Nige are getting stuck in… to a couple of pints in the back room.
Those who are familiar with the show will recognise their favourite characters and get every small detail and nuisance for the past. For the newcomers who are not familiar with the characters or the settings, it might get a bit overwhelming when the (almost) whole theatre is cheering up when a new/next characters enter the stage but it's still great fun! The stage can be familiar for those who have seen it on the TV, but even for them the set up is slightly different. The set has two levels, on the ground floor we have the entrance and the pub as well as backside of the pub/house. On the 1st floor, we have a living room of Ken and his mother – Jean. The set also features impressive details with small symbols like change the colours of lights to signal the start of the play or a Star Wars theme. The biggest question is, were they drinking real alcohol?
Craig Cash, Lisa Millett, Laura Woodward, Phil Mealey and John Henshaw in Early Doors
The play is made up of different small gags, jokes, situations and moments and all of this is combined into a two hours story. We get the chance to meet id… coppers as they are trying to protect peace and order, but because they are mor… (little joke quote from the play), they have bad luck it does not work very well for them. Briefly, we have met Tanya – the subject of the whole commotion. Jean is a colourful character who is acting differently before his son and the others. When Joe is talking to his mother and crying that his life can’t get any worse… we are served the best joke for the night which involves a particular politic.
The play was definitely a great way to reminiscence the characters from the old show. For a new coming audience, not familiar with the whole story, it was introduced to them on a very friendly level and allowed them to enjoy the story to the fullest. A well-deserved special note to the writers who timed the jokes between not only characters but also two floors of the stage.
This Show Gets:
Overall, Early Doors is one of the best comedies seen by me so far!