9-14 February 2015
Reviewed by Jennifer Barnsley
Prepare to laugh and blush at The Full Monty!
Before I ramble on too much I’ll start with a brief statement. I can fully recommend a trip to see all-star cast of The Full Monty. You will laugh and have a tear in your eye at the desperation and hardship that is depicted throughout the production, you will blush at the rudeness and connect easily with the characters from the get go.
When arriving at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford you really feel like you’re in for a treat, with the lights framing the building beautifully on the dark nights and the full length windows showing off bars on 2 floors, it really is quite a spectacular sight and doesn’t show its age at all.
The website explains well ‘how to get here’ by many modes of transport. We drove and easily found one of the car parks we were told about, just a 5 minute walk from the theatre. The website also explains that the two nearest NCP car parks have an agreement with the theatre and you can get 4 hours of parking for a set fee (currently £3.80). You just have to present your car park ticket at the kiosk on the ground floor. This is plenty of time to get here early for a drink and see a full show.
There are toilets on the ground floor and these had recently been painted/refurbished and looked very pleasant.
Picking up our tickets was simple with the helpful and pleasant staff, a smile on everyone’s face made them very approachable.
On the mezzanine floor is bar 1914 (the year the Alhambra was built), there is also wheelchair access to this bar and the stalls from a side door.
The bar staff quickly get through the many customers, there is a good array of drinks on offer including hot beverages, there is also a selection of very tempting looking cakes and scones, it was very hard sticking to my diet.
You can pre-order drinks for the interval, there are forms out on the bar for you to fill in and save yourself time should you wish.
There is a countdown on speaker telling you to be seated.
We were seated in the dress circle and the seats are comfortable with full padding and I would say of average size for a theatre. A major plus is the tier of the chair layout, you are a full head and shoulders over the chair in front, so even at my short 5ft height I didn’t have a problem seeing any of the stage, this is often a big worry for myself.
The show started promptly and the theatre appeared full.
It is many years since I have seen the film, however many memories were brought back with the accurate rendition of the stage show.
The casting is great, Gary Lucy (Footballers’ Wives and Hollyoaks) portrays the lead character well, with his cheeky attitude and desperate love for his son, despite his long standing unemployed status. There is a lovely relationship between the father and son which is just the right mix of banter and heartfelt dialogue.
Amongst the other cast are other very recognisable actors from Coronation Street, Holby City, Brookside and Eastenders.
The scenery throughout is based in the steelworks and looked very impressive with a mezzanine level and ‘Margaret the crane’. There are small scene changes on the ground level mainly between outside the WMC, and the ‘job club’.
The majority of the stage show follows fairly closely to the film. In the first half Gaz and Dave start the audition process which is where the real fun starts, I was fully laughing out loud, and you get your first little glimpses of chest and bottom to keep you happy!
Intermission is just long enough to visit the bathroom and get a drink if you need to, then promptly back on with the show so you aren’t hanging around waiting. Drinks will also be served in plastic cups so you can take them back into the theatre with you.
The 2nd half kicks off with more laughs giving a sneak peak of the dance/strip. You will be laughing throughout this half if you are anything like me and there are many moments to blush too!
The audience really embraced the production, they connected well with the cast, oohing and awwing appropriately. There was the odd well placed heckle which really showed the cast we were embracing the night without disrupting things too much.
So the question you all want to know, do they or don’t they do ‘The Full Monty’??? Well you will have to go and find out for yourself!
Tickets cost from £13.50 to £31 (plus £1.50 booking fee).
The Full Monty is at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford until 14 February 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01274 432000.
The Alhambra Theatre, Morley Street, Bradford, BD7 1AJ | Box Office 01274 432000