It’s funny. Its heartwarming. It’s a story where there is most definitely a big highlight at the end. Oh yes - The Full Monty is in Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury this week. This is guaranteed to warm up those autumn nights!
The Full Monty tells the story of Gaz, Dave, Lomper, Horse, Guy and Gerald in the background of the closure of the steel industry. Gaz and Dave are really good mates but broke. They have been laid off and are signing on. They are all broke but seeing how popular The Chippendales are they consider stripping. Well Gaz does. He has to talk his mates into it. The things you do for money. And yes, that iconic job centre scene is there is all its Hot Stuff glory.
The story works well because the characters are well defined, and their individual traumas give the show real heart. You empathise with their situations and understand their dark sense of humour. And of course, I know you are all wondering about. Yes, they do! But you don’t need to wait til the end – you get a good view from Guy when he is auditioning for the group at the end of the first act. I really wish I was sitting closer but even if you are in the back row, you can’t miss it! Know what I mean?!
Gaz is played by Danny Hatchard, and he gives this role a real heart to his role. His best mate, Dave, is played by Neil Hurst and he is also a very affable character. Dave considers himself a fat bastard. I think a lot of people can connect with Dave and Neil smashes the role. Fat can still be sexy!
Gerald considers himself a step above Gaz and Dave. But he hasn’t told his wife about being unemployed and it’s now been six months. Gerald is played by Bill Ward who gives that perfect performance of a man on the edge. Horse is another to perform the full Monty. Horse is played by Ben Onwukwe and his moment is absolutely his audition. He sure can dance! I wanted more. He is brilliant. Lomper is played by Nicolas Prasad and is a shy introvert, who is deeply unhappy. He begins to accept he is gay when he first saw Guy. Nicholas gives Lomper room to grow and it is wonderful to see. Guy is out and proud. Guy is played by Jake Quickenden and has the sort of body that should be in the Chippendales. What did Robbie Williams say? ‘All the best men are gay’.
The sets on stage change a lot but you are blessed to hear snippets of 80’s and 90’s tunes that will have you reminiscing about how it was back then. This show will make you laugh and cry and leaves you with a big feel-good factor at the end. Well, that and of course some fit naked men on stage!
The Full Monty is at Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury until 25 November 2023.