No one can say no to seeing a group of men strip on a Monday night which is what I did last night at the Empire Theatre. This play was so much fun to watch and really hilariously entertaining.
A bit of background first though. Written by Simon Beaufoy (from his original screenplay for the 1997 film version), The Full Monty is a comedy play telling the story of six unemployed men from Sheffield, England who come together to perform a male striptease act for one night only in the hopes of earning enough money to get the main character Gaz to be able to see his son as well getting somewhere in life. The film version of The Full Monty was hugely popular earning over £160 million in global box office receipts, making it the highest grossing film in the UK at the time. Not only that it was nominated for a fair few Academy Awards and Bafta Awards.
I enjoyed this play so much and not just for the obvious reasons! After being a cinematic hit 17 years ago, The Full Monty is still a major hit even with a few tweaks in the script from Simon Beaufoy so the play could fit to the stage. This isn't a musical, mind you, no this is just a simple talked out play with a string of songs to accompany the scenes. You Can Leave Your Hat On by Tom Jones was, let's just say, a very memorable song that fitted well with the final scene!
The first 45 minutes did drag a little bit and was saturated with exposition, building the foundation of the actual story. But this isn't actually too bad as it allows you to explore each character and find out what their background story is. The characters were Gaz (Gary Lucy, he was looking fine might I add!), Dave (Martin Miller), Lomper (Bobby Schofield), Gerald (Andrew Dunn), Horse (Louis Emerick) and Guy (Rupert Hill). They all played their parts pretty well from the hilarious first-dance-rehearsal-scenes right down to the sorrow of each individual as they struggle with unemployment and their own self-worth.
The only problem was that the sound wasn't very good at times as for some reason the production is relying on various stage microphones positioned in random places rather than the actors wearing head microphones. Due to this, you couldn't always hear what people were saying and the microphones picked up the odd clanking sound and scuffle of shoes rather than voices which was exasperating and off-putting.
However the play didn't fail to deliver their message of pure heart and hope. But in the end there was no need for dialogue as the famous finale made the whole room explode in cheers, clapping and singing as the men stripped right down to glorious, red thongs before then ripping those off too!
Absolutely fantastic for their first night, just a slight shame about the sound every now and then but it's so worth a watch. Go and see it!
Thankyou for reading.