Stags and Hens

Quick-witted, authentic and downright naughty.

Upon watching the latest jewel in the Nottingham New Theatre’s impressive crown, you would be excused for forgetting you were indeed observing a piece of drama.

Instead, Stags and Hens slowly seduces you into believing that you are in a seedy 1970s nightclub in Liverpool, with the smell of alcohol almost pervading the stage.

Any student from around the country will be able to relate to the booze-fuelled drama that takes place in Stags and Hens; from the gossiping and laddish chit-chat in front of the bathroom mirrors, to the heavily intoxicated stag, Dave, who spends the entire performance lying motionless beside the toilet bowl. It’s the embodiment of a big night out.

The play itself is a splendidly crude yet comedic tale of the distorted idyll of young love and marriage, with the stage comprised simply of the ladies and gents’ bathrooms and the corridor that separates them. Any notion of nuptial bliss is quickly dispelled through this visual partition between ‘fellas’ and ‘tarts.’

The audience is thrown into a world of flared trousers and floral shirts where disco music is dominant and where cowboy boots were still fashionable. Although some pseudo-Scouse accents occasionally slipped, the characters didn’t and all roles were played with total conviction and the genuine dynamism of acting. The on-stage chemistry was really refreshing to see.

Particular comedic character highlights include those of Robbie and Bernadette, played by Tom Dineen and Kate Chesterfield, both deserving of the utmost praise.

Overall the play was well directed and well produced by Eleanor Porter and Gabriella Carboneri respectively. Most importantly, it is very well performed. Little surprise then that the opening night was a total sell-out.

If it’s thought provoking and cultured theatre you’re after, then this is not the play for you. Stags and Hens however is a light-hearted, engaging and thoroughly entertaining spectacle and is aesthetically as charming as it is salaciously satirical.

It is sure to leave you feeling heart-warmed and upbeat, and if you have plans for the next few nights, then think again. Stags and Hens is a must-see.

Stags and Hens run on campus at the Nottingham New Theatre until Saturday, with nightly performances at 7.30pm and a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm. Tickets from £4.