The Full Monty Reviewed

The Full Monty by Simon Beaufoy

A Sheffield Theatres production directed by Jack Ryder

De Montfort Hall, Leicester 6 - 11 March 2017

Review by: Paul Towers, 06 March 2017

'...everything the publicity promised and more.'

Much has been said in the media of late about disruptive audience members. Usually this refers to those inconsiderate enough to continue using their mobile phones during a performance, tweeting every nuance of the production or even filming the show. But tonight at De Montfort Hall we were repeatedly disturbed by women getting up during the show to go to the toilet. Does it not seem logical that if you consume several glasses of wine before the show that your bladder will not survive a 50 minute first half? I find it incredibly disrespectful to the actors and the other audience members to be so selfish.

Full Monty 17So, rant over, let me say that despite the disruptions The Full Monty is everything the publicity promised ('terrific' and 'chuffing brilliant') and more. Right from the moment the curtain went up we were laughing out loud at a barrage of one-liners and awkward situations. This show not for the faint hearted and you should be aware there is plenty of 'language'. Understandable when you remember this is about a group of redundant working class labourers desperate to make some money as male strippers for a night.

The cast are nearing the end of a nationwide tour and it shows. They are incredibly comfortable with each other and the physical comedy between them has been honed to wring every laugh out of the many prat falls in the wonderful script by Simon Beaufoy. Somehow the stage show is even funnier than the film despite a few dark moments. The child playing Nathan, 12 year old Monty Poole I think, stole every scene he was in.

The cast is led by Gary Lucy (Hollyoaks & Footballers' Wives), Andrew Dunn (Dinnerladies) and a very hard working ensemble of 14.

The set is a suitably rusting Sheffield steel works lying idle after work has dried up. With loads of props and various sliding panels in the back it transforms into every scene needed. Much of the music from the original film is included and yes, they do get to keep their hats on, at least until the very last moment!

The audience, predominantly female and tanked up on Lambrini, whooped and hollered everywhere they were expected to and a few extra alcohol-fuelled places as well. This is a girls-night-out kind of show.

The Full Monty is on until Sat 11 March and there may be a few tickets left, but don't leave it too long before you buy. The tour continues until April when it returns to its home, Sheffield.

Paul Towers

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