The Full Monty DVD is a permanent fixture in my movie collection so the stage production had big shoes to fill when I went to see it at Liverpool Empire Theatre last night.
The Full Monty tells the tale of six steel workers who have recently been laid off and spend their days in the job centre looking for paid labour or stealing scrap metal from the old factories to make some extra cash.
After hearing of the success of some visiting Chippendales in their local pub- they decide they have nothing to lose. For one night only they do a striptease for the local women of Sheffield, South Yorkshire in the hope of making some big money.
The first half of the production is bittersweet- black comedy at its best. Just as the film does, the stage show delves into some negative territory with unemployment, attempted suicide and theft and the threat of Gaz (Gary Lucy) having his son, Nathan, taken away from him- none of which spring to mind as being funny. Writer Stephen Beaufoy and Director Jack Ryder have struck the perfect balance with this offering- despite its dark routes- you leave with a feel good factor at the end. Let's face it- any story where the underdogs rise to the top is always going to draw in the crowds.
If you're a fan of The Full Monty film, you will love this production- it follows the script and the scenes very closely to those of the movie so you won't be disappointed if you want to see something that stays true to the original.
As all of the elements are in keeping with the movie- the actors needed to be top notch and the six men gave it their all. They all paid homage to their on-screen characters, but gave it a little twist of their own so there was something new for those who have seen the film before.
The show retains all of your favourite scenes too so if you're eager to see the Dave's (Kai Owen) cling film and Mars Bar moment- don't worry- it's in there- along with the mischievous gnomes at Gerald's (Andrew Dunn) interview and the unforgettable job centre queue dance with Lomper (Anthony Lewis), Horse (Louis Emerik) and Guy (Chris Fountain).
I am so relieved that this production didn't deviate too much from the movie we have all come to know and love.
I simply can't fault The Full Monty, however if I was to see it again I would definitely book seats in the front row!
The Full Monty is on until 12th November 2016 at Liverpool Empire Theatre.
tagged in Gary Lucy