It’s not surprising that when it appeared in 1997 The Full Monty was dubbed a “feelgood” film. Set in the late 1980s, it told the story of a group of skilled men laid off from a Sheffield steel mill aiming to raise some much needed cash by mounting a one-off strip show.
The transition to a live show actually gives the story more punch. The set combines a derelict steel mill, a street, a dole office and a working men’s club. The cast is excellent, all working around the central father son relationship of the story..
The play follows out of work dad Gaz ( Gary Lucy), his son Nathan, overweight Dave ( Martin Miller), lonely Lomper ( Bobby Schofield), Gerald (Andrew Dunn), who is living a lie. Horse, who isn’t hung like one and should probably be named Shetland,(Louis Emerick) and gregarious Guy (Rupert Hill) who has something we get a glimpse of in a humorous section that Horse lacks, as they attempt to make cash from becoming male strippers.
The production makes sure that fans of the film relive their favourite moments, but there is also enough going on for anyone who has not seen it before. Whilst the first half is a little slow paced, once Rupert Hill and Louis Emerick arrive as auditionees, then it picks up. Along with smiles, we encounter sadness, watching one hopeful strip to “Je’Taime” in a totally desperate state is heart rendering
The entire cast are excellent Gary Lucy’s portrays a caring dad, as opposed to a loveable loser, Bobby Schofield and Rupert Hill make a touching double act. Andrew Dunn is great at one liners and Emerick dances up a storm, even with a walking stick. Martin Miller is also excellent as Dave, the guy with low self esteem, due to weight problems.
The story line is still relevant in today’s harsh business world and the second half leads to the full reveal at the end, which left us all smiling. It was a night of “Hot Stuff” with just the right amount of cheek and is well worth a watch.
Tickets are now on sale and are available from The Regent Theatre Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke