Reviewed by Leigh Jackman
From the opening moment we were asked to switch off our phones and keep our knickers on, the show did not disappoint. Based on the 1997 film about six unemployed steel workers from Sheffield, the long-running play was adapted for the stage by Simon Beaufoy.
The expectations from this well-loved film would be a hard act to follow but they managed to walk the fine line well. There were enough of those favourite moments from the film to warm the heart with nostalgia but enough new material as to be entertaining and fresh.
All the hits are there, guaranteeing a stomping night, but this is not a dancing in the aisle production. The mixture of deep despair and raw gutsy humour made it quite an emotional ride. It does have too many to count laugh out loud moments and some eye watering unexpected scenes.
Hollyoaks’ Gary Lucy embodied Jack the lad Gaz and Kai Owen as his best friend Dave played some touching emotional scenes and humours moments with equal believability. Andrew Dunn as Gerald, Louis Emerick as Horse, Joe Gill as Lomper, and James Redmond as Guy played the rest of the gang really capturing the complex nature of their situations.
Fraser Kelly stole many scenes as Gaz’s long-suffering son. The look of shock on his face at one point has had me smiling all day. The rest of the cast all embodied numerous characters with breath taking consistency. I loved the science changes as the cast danced and moved the scenery into place in the style of the scene they were about to play.
The scenery captured the gritty deep desperation of the time but felt like a more little change throughout would have given a touch more variety. The lighting and never-ending smoking really set the scene perfectly.
The big finale did not disappoint and everyone was on their feet.
Tickets cost from £19.50 to £39.50 (booking fees may apply).
The Full Monty is at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton from 11-16 February 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.mayflower.org.uk or call the box office on 02380 711811.
Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811