In case you’re not familiar with the storyline, it involves half a dozen out of work Sheffield steel workers who decide to go one better than the Chippendales and recover their self-esteem in the process.
All the favourite moments from the film are there in Daniel Evans’ feel-good production – already a success in Sheffield and now making a well-deserved trip down south – including the unforgettable job centre sequence to the sound of Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff and the You Can Leave Your Hat On finale.
There’s poignancy in the sexually strained relationship of Roger Morlidge’s Dave (who constantly refers to himself as a “fat bastard”) and his loving wife Jean (far from svelte herself), and in the desperate determination of wideboy Gaz (who’s behind with the maintenance) not to lose touch with his young son Nathan (excellent Jack Hollington on the night I went) who has far more sense of responsibility than his dad but loves him dearly all the same.
Kieran O’Brien brings a lively confidence to well-endowed, openly out Guy, whilst Craig Gazey’s in-the-closet, misfit Lomper (who, despite having a job as a security guard, feels he has nothing to live for) gets the laughs with his idiosyncratic speech. And Simon Rouse’s Gerald (their older, gnome-loving former foreman who still can’t bring himself to tell his wife that he lost his job months ago) uses his ballroom skills to knock the diverse troupe – thin, fat, black, white, gay, straight – into shape for a one-off, bare-it-all, money-raising performance.
Read more: Theatre: The Full Monty – TNT Magazine
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