The Full Monty at the Liverpool Empire Review

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Reviewed by Melanie Allen

As I’m originally from Sheffield, I love The Full Monty film as it takes me back to my childhood. So, when I saw that this was coming to my local theatre, I couldn’t wait to see how Simon Beaufoy would adapt the film to the stage. I wasn’t disappointed.

Set almost two decades ago in a once industrial Sheffield, The Full Monty is a heart-warming story of a group of 6 despondent men who each have their own personal struggles mainly due to unemployment caused by fall in the production of steel. When they fall on hard times, they witness The Chippendales visiting the town, and in desperation, it gives them the brainwave to put on their own strip show called the Bums of Steel. The first half of the show is setting the scene so warming up the audience ready for the action packed second half.

The gorgeous toned and muscly Gary Lucy plays the main character ‘Gaz’ who is a caring, but forgetful father to youngster Nathan (Fraser Kelly). Fraser plays a fantastic part so like this character in the film. The family relationship between the two of them is touching at times and cringing at others. Kai Owen plays a cracking part as Gaz’s best friend ‘Dave’, who is self-conscious about his body image but overcomes this by going on stage with his friends. Local celebrity Louis Emery plays a fantastic part of ‘Horse’ and Joe Gill (although bears no physical resemblance to the film character) plays an uncanny part of Lomper. The early scenes of him trying to kill himself were maybe a bit distasteful in the current climate of mental health awareness but I suppose they were important to be tackled by the story (in a humorous way).

The most outrageous gasp from the audience had to be from Guy (played amazingly by James Redmond) when he was auditioning for the ‘Bums of Steel’ and I won’t spoil the surprise, but it had everyone in stitches. Put it this way, he couldn’t dance and couldn’t sing!

The lads old foreman and boss ‘Gerald’ (Andrew Dunn) poignantly pretends to his wife that he is going to work every day yet sadly he is off to Job Club where he reluctantly meets his former workers. Many of the scenes in Job Club are reminiscent of the film, and the famous ‘Hot Stuff’ dance in the queue has the audience screaming with laughter. But not as much as the final explosive scene did… My only gripe (with me speaking the Yorkshire lingo) was the accents sometimes slipped into cockney making it hard for the audience to understand some of the jokes!

This play is loaded with willy in your face jokes and an outspoken northern humour like no other. A great girls night out (or if you want your husband to feel awkward).

Rating: 5/5

Tickets cost from £13 to £38.65 (plus £3.65 transaction fee)

The Full Monty is at the Liverpool Empire from 18-23 March 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/liverpool or call the box office on 0844 8713017.

Liverpool Empire, Lime Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JE | 0844 8713017

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