arts
His Name’s Not Down….

But he’s letting us in. Former Eastender Ace Bhatti tells us about his new play Bouncers

Posted: 26.08.12

Forget every stereotype you’ve ever had about Bouncers
While it’s true the play is about four beefed up men there’s a lot more to them than you’d expect. My character likes martial arts, he’s all about ‘inner calm’, which is useful considering his job! These four bouncers, like most, have a tedious job. Every night they have to stand there and watch beautiful girls having fun and they can’t get involved, so instead they take out their frustrations on each other. It’s a universal story and not just because we’re a multicultural cast – everyone, wherever you live will be able to relate to it – these are the typical exploits experienced on a night out. 

It’s not you’re typical play either
There’s also four female characters in the production and four guys who are all out on the pull and what makes the show so unusual is that the four of us play all 12 characters so as well as being a bouncer, we’re one of the girls and one of the lads. There’s no costume changes, it’s more about how we change our mannerisms. It’s also directed by the writer John Godber, which means it’s done just as he envisaged it when he wrote it, which is great to be part of. 

The best nights out are the most spontaneous
People tend to hype up nights out and that’s the trouble – whenever you’ve got hype, things are never as good as you think they’ll be. That’s why I prefer evenings that are more spontaneous, organised on a whim, you’ve got no expectations so everything is a bonus. I’m also a big fan of fancy dress and for me it’s Elvis every time. To be honest we didn’t need to do any research for the role, we’ve all been on nights out before – everyone knows what to expect when guys and girls get together, you’ll recognise a lot of the scenarios. The only difference with me is that I don’t end my night out with a kebab – I’m veggie so prefer a falafel!

My pulling technique?
I’m a bit clueless. I could do with some advice. I normally try and strike up a conversation, nothing too cheesy and if it’s not going anywhere then I’ll make a speedy exit!

I don’t miss Eastenders
I always knew it was a one-year contract but it was a fantastic experience. You never knew what would happen each day, it was unexpected so always really exciting. The only downside was having to give up my life for that time. I like talking to fans but it’s hard when you’re out at the weekend with your kids and you get stopped all the time, so I don’t miss that. After Bouncers I’ve got work lined up for the rest of the year and I’d already done a lot of shows before Eastenders. I’ve been an actor for 20 years and been very lucky with my career, of course I've also done alot of other jobs too, but never as a real Bouncer!

Bouncers is currently touring the UK and will be at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford from 12th-15th September 2012.

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