Who would have thought that a film about six out-of-work, impoverished steelworkers from Sheffield with nothing to lose but to go full monty would take on the world by storm and become one of Britain’s most successful shows even winning the UK Theatre Award for Best Touring Production? Well, we were excited to find out what was different about the show compared to the 1997 movie starring Robert Carlyle! Arriving to a fully packed Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent on opening night we quickly joined the 1300 other audience. Looking around, we realised that 95 percent of them were women, just like us and we could see the excitement on each of their faces (even before the show has started)! With a star-studded cast, we were wondering if the show was going to have any substance or was it just going to be filled with the boys doing a striptease routine….keep on reading to find out what we thought of the show.
Based on the smash hit film and adapted for the stage by Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy, The Full Monty is set in Sheffield, a city in the English county of South Yorkshire. The first half of the show started just like in the movie with a lot of grounding work and a detailed storyline about the hard times that they faced in the 1970s which was a little depressing but luckily there was a lot of witty jokes and funny moments added in to keep us laughing and entertained. We also totally loved the little extras such as the music from the 90s, traditional props such as stereo and television which brought back a lot of memories of yesteryears.
We could recognise some faces on stage immediately spotting Gary Lucy who plays Gaz and was a crowd favourite, he played the lead helped by his mate Kai Owen, who played Dave and to us, was the stand out performer of the evening. There was also Andrew Dunn who played Gerald, the serious former-foreman, Louis Emerick who plays an arthritic-hipped man who also has the moves named Horse, Joe Gill who plays Lomper a depressed and suicidal character and James Redmond who plays Guy, a gay plasterer who is also a hairdresser part-time. A big shout-out has to go to 16-year old Fraser Kelly who did fabulously well playing Gaz’s son and finally we were excited to hear that homeboy Alex Frost who hails from Stoke-on-Trent and is the acting understudy. We found that the main cast had good chemistry and played well off each other although certain member’s accents were a little unreasonable, but, this didn’t distract from the overall performance.
Now the second half was more upbeat with the momentum of the play picking up. Overall, we enjoyed the show as it was certainly funny, we found that it made it harder for the actors to dramatise the more solemn parts of the play when compared to the original film. Did the crowd love the show? Yes they did especially the last 5 minutes of it when the actors gave us ‘the show’ we have been waiting for. Throughout the show you could hear and see the audience loving each moment as they were not shy to show their enthusiasm by catcalling, clapping, whistling and speaking their mind. Don’t head to the watch the show if you easily get offended with un-PC jokes as there is a lot of it and it was totally fine with us. The cast and crew did a great job as it is not easy doing what they do while keeping a straight face at the same time and the audience recognised this by giving them a standing ovation at the end. It was definitely a fabulous night out with the ladies and we think it is not to be missed!!
How do I book tickets to watch Full Monty?
Tickets are now on sale and available from the Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or by visiting ATG’s website here.
How long is the show for and what are the timings?
The show will be opened yesterday and will run until Saturday, 24 November 2018.
Evening shows are at 7.30pm while matinee shows will be at 2.30pm on Wednesday and Saturday. Please check ATG’s website for full details on timings.
How much does the tickets cost?
Tickets are priced from £3.40 to £31.65
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Photo Credit: Regent Theatre / The Full Monty
*We were invited to watch the show in return for a review. All opinions are our own.