The Full Monty – Review

THE FULL MONTY

‘Stage adaptation of the smash hit British Movie returns to Southampton’

This show has consistently been touring for the last 6 years, and although this wasn’t it’s first visit to Southampton this is the first time I’ve had a chance to see it.

I thought it was a musical.

It Isn’t!

It is however a hilariously funny stage play with an incredible cast including Gary Lucy, James Redmond and Kai Owen (all known for Hollyoaks), Andrew Dunn (Dinnerladies), Joe Gill (Emmerdale) and TV Legend Louis Emerick (Brookside).

I really had no idea what to expect from this, apart from the obvious nudity.

It ended up being one of the best nights out I’ve had in ages.

The transition from movie to stage, even screen to stage, sometimes can be a bit of a disappointment (I’m looking at you Fat Friends) especially with something so beloved but this is so wonderfully written.  

It’s such a lovely story set to the backdrop of the decline of the steel industry in Sheffield during the 1980s and follows Gaz (Gary Lucy) as he risks losing access to his son if he can’t find a job to support him.  After a particularly bad day him and his friend Dave (Kai Owen) try to go for a drink in a local working men’s club but aren’t allowed in as it’s ‘ladies night’ with strippers. He overhears women talking about it and the doorman mention it was sold out and exactly how much these women pay to see such a show and a seed is planted.

Him, Dave and some other friends from his job club audition for some other ‘members’ to join them and ‘Buns of Steel’ is born.

The stripping isn’t the main part of this though, it’s merely the glue that bonds these men, who are all suffering with the state of employment together. Each one with his own struggles to deal with be it depression, suicide, sexuality, body image or being in debt.  All things that men traditionally don’t really talk about.

This is a beautiful story of friendship, family and overcoming adversity and ridicule to be a success.

Not only that it is side splittingly funny. I was crying laughing. It has one of the best scripts I think for a comedy show. And the performances of all the cast were just perfect. Casting in this was spot on.

There was a largely female audience for this, and it had a distinctly different atmosphere to every other show I’ve seen. Although I absolutely loved it I did struggle with some of the audience around me who were blatantly just waiting to see willies and chatted a lot through some of the more serious scenes. There was a definite anticipation towards the end for the crucial ‘Full Monty’ moment. I did feel a little like I was on a hen night! That being said a show like this is always going to attract that sort of attention which is a shame as there is so so much more to it than nudity.

For those of you who do want to know. Yes, they do the Full Monty. Yes, I did see more than I bargained for – lets just say some of the cast are quite happy to let it all hang out. It is when the lights are out, so you don’t see everything. It’s not the Chippendales.

It’s a great night out this show though, not just for women, it’s hysterical, sweet and just a little risqué.  Definitely one I’ll be seeing again.

THE FULL MONTY IS AT THE MAYFLOWER UNTIL 16TH FEBRUARY – TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE AT WWW.MAYFLOWER.ORG

Jodie Brough – Follow me on twitter @jodievoicefm

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