Monday, 16 February 2015

Nottingham Theatre Royal.

There are two versions of The Full Monty in the theatre world; the musical version and then there is this one which is a stage adaptation of the movie. Much as I enjoyed the musical version, this adaptation is just as good, if not slightly better. The reason for this is that I found, bursting into song by the actors for the musical didn't quite feel right.

Described as a feel good production, you may wonder when part of the subject matter includes attempted suicide, depression, unemployment, repressed sexuality, impotence and parental issues. But this is all vital to the story of a group of men who lose their jobs which then brings money and relationship issues, only for one bright idea to be the answer to all of their current problems.

Yes there is nudity but it's all done with great humour and of course the final reveal is hidden by the excellent lighting design of Tim Lutkin' one man you don't want to fall out with as an actor in a show like this!

The six brave, and well cast actors who shed all their inhibitions, as well as everything else are Gary Lucy (Gaz), the initiator of the "Full Monty" at his local working men's club, so that he can raise the money to pay his ex the money owed for his son Nathan. Nathan was played tonight by a wonderfully confident 12 year old actor called Fraser Kelly, but there are three others who take on Nathan's mantle throughout the tour.

Gaz's best mate is Dave ( Martin Miller), the reluctant one of the gang, due to his hang ups about his weight which has been causing problems with his love life, or lack of it!

Andrew Dunn (Gerald) is well recognisable from his roles in "Dinnerladies" and "Coronation Street". Gerald is lying to his wife about his job loss until it all comes to a head when the repo men take away everything bar his beloved garden gnome.

Louis Emerick, known from his "Brookside" and "Last Of the Summer Wine" roles plays "Horse". the reason behind this nickname is revealed in the show but does he live up to the nickname? Some smooth moves from Horse on the dance front in his audition, which gets him a place in the dance group.Another character with hang ups, but of a different kind.

Then there is the proper eye candy for the ladies in Guy (Rupert Hill) and Lomper (Bobby Schofield). Rupert has grown his hair long for this role and he's the first to flash the flesh and his "Big" secret, but also finds a soul mate in Lomper. Bobby Schofield is  a newcomer to me but has a respectable CV of TV, film and theatre roles. Lomper is the security guard who doesn't leave you hanging about to find out about his depressed state of mind, but ends up finding happiness in a way he hadn't expected.

All six give the mainly female audience what they want to see, Gary Lucy not being able to resist mooning cheekily at the audience after the final bows, and everyone went away happy.

A good supporting cast add a little meat to the bones of the story and flesh out the history of the roles and main characters.

Some great scene changes, which are very cleverly incorporated within other sections of the set. Plus there's an explosive final entrance from Mr Lucy for "You Can Leave Your Hat On". Most of the original soundtrack from the film is used, such as Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff": for the dole queue scene.

It really is a fun, feel good show with serious undertones which are overcome after their one night only show. Thankfully this show is on for more than one night only, in fact it's on all week until Saturday 21 February

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