Wednesday, 9 July 2014

THE FULL MONTY by Osker Productions
Nottingham Playhouse

BRILLIANT, FUNNY, AMAZINGLY GOOD, A MUST SEE...need I continue with the review? Well let me flesh this out a bit more, if you'll pardon the pun! First off you really have got to take your hat off to the five leads for having the guts to take on these roles with such gusto and humour.

The story is of a group of men who all lose their jobs and in order to get some money quick, all for different reasons, Jerry ( Nick Smith ) comes up with the idea of getting together a group of the ex workers to perform a strip show after seeing the reaction of the women at a local venue to a professional strip show.

He ropes in best friend Dave ( Andy McPhee ), eventually, and with Harold (Shaun Hanrahan) Malcolm
( Andrew Booth ), the ex security guard, they hold auditions for another pair of male strippers. They complete the group with "Horse" (Armani Watt) and Ethan ( Graeme Crawford ), "Hot Metal" are eventually formed for their one night only performance.

There are several sub plots which highlight the relationships between the men and their partners and especially the relationship with Jerry and his son, Nathan ( Jack Hadfield ) which is pivotal to the whole idea to start with.

This really is a great show but if you're expecting a copy of the film, then don't. There is no "You Can Leave Your Hat On" or "Hot Stuff" or "You Sexy Thing". Not that this matters as the music is really good with some clever lyrics plus a catchy end song in "Let It Go", but also listen out for "Big Ass Rock" for comedy and also a couple of emotional ballads in "You Rule My World" and "Breeze Off The River".

There's not one bad performance here and the male leads have a great relationship with each other, but I suppose there has to be lots of trust when you're stripping off in front of each other and everyone else, as well as a lot of laughs as well...for all the right reasons.

Some very strong female roles and voices in Amanda Dixon-Smith, Grace Gallagher, Morven Harrison, Adele Lee, Emma Shute, Kate Williams and Lorna Kirkland are just as important to the plot as the male leads.

There's several well known local names as supporting cast members as well, Stephen Godward and Tadek Chmiel being just two familiar faces.

The music is played live by a really good and powerful band under the musical direction of Stephen Williams and a smash hit as well for the producer, John Osborne.

I really can't urge you to support this show enough and I hope that the auditorium for the rest of the week will be as packed as it was tonight. I must admit, and with no surprise, with the majority being of the female variety. It's fun, it's funny, it's touching, it's heart warming and it's well worth going to see for all the above reasons.

"The Full Monty" is on at the Nottingham Playhouse until Sunday 13 July 2014.

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