Sheffield Theatres production of The Full Monty opened at London’s Noël Coward Theatre last night to crowds of eager ladies and a star studded audience. Richard Wilson, Lesley Joseph, June Brown, Marc Almond and Lisa Riley were some of the celebrities I saw whilst drinking the bar dry.
The Full Monty is based on the 1997 film about a group of unemployed workers during the great depression, who decided to put together a striptease show to raise enough money to pay off the child maintenance arrears that Gaz (Kenny Doughty) owes to his ex wife.
Set in the same era as Billy Elliot, the play reminds us of the terrible state the country was in, dealing with some of the choices Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher made during her time in parliament. We see husbands that are too proud to tell their wives that they have lost their jobs and so spend their days sat in empty warehouses together trying to find work.
The Full Monty is a funny play that doesn’t have much depth to it and can be easily enjoyed by anyone. In a time where brand new shows are closing just months after they open, this will do well in town because people are familiar with the film. With Matilda, Billy Elliot, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Bodyguard all succeeding in the West End at the moment, it seems stage adaptations of well known films are what the public want to see.
Some of the scenes felt overly short and I could see this show working well as a musical more than a play as it would add depth and interest, rather than just seeing the film played out on stage. It is a good fun show, with a strong cast, that can’t be faulted in its production.
Will the boys lose their bottle on the night, will Gaz ever get to see his son again and most importantly will the ladies in the audience (and some of the men) get to see what they came for? The full monty.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
The Full Monty is playing at London’s Noel Coward Theatre until 14 June 2014. Click here for tickets