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The Full Monty is the full monty!

So before the film was released I am unsure how well-known this phrase was. But now we all associate The Full Monty with going all the way. And in this case it means stripping all the way.

The Full Monty tells the story of Gaz, Dave, Lomper, Horse and Gerald in the background of the closure of the steel industry.

Gaz and Dave are really good mates but broke. They are trying to ‘Liberate’ some steel with Gaz’ son, Nathan. Of course this doesn’t exactly go as planned. Further on they meet Lomper, who is so unhappy he is attempting to unsuccessfully kill himself. Gaz and Dave offer suggestions on how to do it well as after all, that’s what mates do!

They are all broke but seeing how popular The Chippendales are they consider stripping. Well Gaz does. He has to work at his friends to talk them into it. But of course they start to practice and get a bit better with Gerald’s help. A classic moment is the job centre queue.

The story works well because the characters are well defined and their individual traumas give the play real heart. You can empathise with their situations. You can enjoy the dark sense of humour. The play is almost identical to the script of the film so there are all your favourite moments. And of course I know you are all wondering about…well the full Monty. They absolutely do it.

Gaz is played by Gary Lucy and he gives this role such a warm affection, despite being a bit of a prat and loser. He obviously loves his son Nathan and this brings real heart to his role. His best mate Dave, is played by Kai Owen and he is also a very affable character and Kai plays him perfectly. He considers himself a fat bastard but the love of a good woman can do wonders and of course he does the full Monty!

Gerald is much posher and hides his financial difficulties from his wife. It is such an emotional moment when she finds out. Gerald is played by Andrew Dunn and gave the role that perfect line between a man on the edge and maintaining his pretence to those around him. Horse is another to perform the full Monty. Horse is played by Louis Emerick and his moment in the play is absolutely his audition. It had the audience cheering and clapping.

Lomper is played by Anthony Lewis and is a shy introvert, who is deeply unhappy and yet by the end of the play begins to accept he is gay and that is okay. Anthony gives the role the room for Lomper to grow and it is wonderful to see. He fancies the final member of the full Monty, Guy. Guy is out and proud. Guy is played by Chris Fountain and has the sort of body that should be in the Chippendales. What did Robbie Williams say? ‘All the best men are gay’.

This is a play with a heart. It is a play with real characters and makes you laugh and cry. And leaves you with such a feel good factor at the end. Who doesn’t want that? Well that and of course some fit naked men on stage!

4 stars.

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