Tuesday, 21 February 2017

I've Got My Ticket... The Full Monty Live Show

I can't call to mind any film or television show about male strippers that most heterosexual blokes would be even the slightest bit comfortable with watching
- Well, other than The Full Monty.

There really aren't many moving pictures out there that have its viewer chuckling at almost every scene, but I can say, hand on heart, that for me, this one does.

As I write this prior to seeing this stage version I am thinking that the cast has got a LOT to live up to!

Show Name: The Full Monty
Venue: The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
Performance Dates: Monday 20th – Saturday 25th February 2017
Starring: Chris Fountain, Gary Lucy, Andrew Dunn, Louis Emerick, Anthony Lewis, Kai Owen
Writer: Simon Beaufoy
Director: Jack Ryder
Brief Information:
First released for TV viewing in 1997, this comedy-filled story focuses on the lives of six recently unemployed steelworkers who currently have no earnings coming in and are struggling. Pennies aside, they each also suffer from their own different personal worries, which include depression, homosexuality and body image issues.

When it is first suggested by an individual member of the men that they could all get a nice cash sum from putting on a striptease in a building often used by the locals, the others look of response, as you can imagine, is of absolute horror.

Soon however, scheduled dance rehearsals, velcro-attire and a few bumps and bruises follow: as does, for one night only, the bare skin of these ordinary men being made public for all to see... but only if you have purchased a ticket!

My Opinion:
The first impression that I got from the opening scene was straight away very good indeed. Gary Lucy, who is best known for his acting roles in ‘Footballers’ Wives’ and ‘The Bill’ evidently displayed all of the right mannerisms to take on the role of ‘Gaz’ with perfection. His co-star Kai Owen, from where I was sitting, not only sounded like his character Dave, but looked the spitting image of him too.

Accompanied by Nathan, a young lad and the son of Gaz, the close friends were already in a spot of bother just minutes in when an attempt at stealing scrap materials from an old warehouse issued multiple lights to spark. Then, of all the people to walk in and catch the duo committing a crime was the mother of Nathan and ex partner of Gaz, validating that these two didn’t seem to have much luck with their plans, and also that this production was going to be anything but boring.

What did you like?
During a play of the groovy song ‘You Sexy Thing’ by Hot Chocolate are a few very dodgy hip thrusts from Gaz, all in full view of Nathan. Setting things straight, the boy comically gives his dad the harsh reality that to go ahead with this dance project of his, he is going to need training.

I didn’t have to wait much longer for more foot-tapping music, as this came with the energetic movements of ‘Horse’, an older man auditioning to be part of the one-off strippers gang, who automatically gives the impression that he is hardly fit for even walking… That is until he breaks into ‘The Mash Potato’ dance!

Along with the audience I found amusement with almost every section of the show. The script has the same amount of swear words as the film (more than I can count on the fingers of both my hands). Normally I would disapprove, but somehow this use of bad language still caused obvious laughter, which is often extremely difficult to do.

The duration of the show really did speed by, and you know what they say: “Time flies when you’re having fun!” – Which the whole auditorium and I certainly did. And yes, just to confirm, the six do in reality, remove all of their kit (though, the most you will get to see are their naked backsides).

What would you change?
Reverting back to the film, nearing towards the end there is a scene where the group of men does a practice run in front of some unknown ladies, one being a matured elder. On stage a single woman around the thirty-year mark was brought in and this remake of that particular clip just wasn’t as humorous.

My rating out of five:

Find out more about The Full Monty Live Show, including ticket prices and performance times: www.marlowetheatre.com/page/3040/The-Full-Monty/1117
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Tuesday, 7 February 2017

My Seven Winter Must-Haves

"Brrr!" is all I can say if asked about the weather in England recently.

Just thinking about those harsh outdoor winds sends a shiver down my spine, even though writing this I am nicely wrapped up in the soft material of my dressing gown. I am wearing day clothes I might add, not my pyjamas - Although this won't be the only mention of my night attire, because right now I want to tell you about the little things that perk me up whenever the temperature plummets.

So, here are My Seven Winter Must-Haves.

Heated Puddings:
Where else better to start than with food glorious food?
Call me weird but cold custard straight out of the fridge on its own to me is something that I think tastes glorious. However, most people have this yellowy loveliness as the topping on a warm sponge, which is even BETTER.

Chocolate, treacle, jam, whatever flavour or filling you settle on, they are all incredibly tasty and comforting on a cold night sitting on the settee. If you prefer an alternative to custard then you have a choice of creams too - squirty, runny or iced.

Keep a look out for offers in the supermarkets. My mum returned from Poundland a couple of weeks ago with a two-pack of Jane Asher's Kitchen Christmas Puddings reduced down to 50p and paid 35p for a pair of Cadbury Milk Chocolate Puddings.

Keeping Warm:
From one hot luxury to another. 
Two years back we were thrilled to have a wood burner fitted in our home, and not only does this let out great warmth, but it is really lovely to look at as well. I just picture myself reading a book or drinking a hot chocolate with marshmallows and it is such an idyllic scene.

It is expensive to have the heating on full all of the time, so an electric heater or a hot water bottle might be a better option if you live alone or with another individual and that's it.

Classic Games:
Grab Monopoly, Battleship or a pack of cards for an hour or more of enjoyment away from all digital devices. Then all you need are a few bowls of nibbles and some hot drinks and you have an almost-free social get-together. 

We pretty much always take playing cards away with us on holiday as you never know when a power cut is about to happen - Plus you can't go wrong with a game of Snap!

Luxury Sleepwear:
When purchasing winter pyjamas they have to be cosy and cute! (Well, that's what I go for anyway).
Floral, leopard print, deer illustrated and a decorated caption are all what feature on the sets that I currently own.

Remember that no PJ's are complete without thick socks or slippers either.
How welcoming does this reindeer-inspired design look?

Hydrated Skin:
Getting older has made me realise how important it is to look after my skin. 
Whether, its body, face or hands, dryness can appear on all of these places. I repeatedly carry a lip balm with me to prevent cracked lips, not just in the winter. 

It wasn't too long ago that I discovered the brand Nip Fab who really do live up to their name. I apply a small amount of the company's Deep Cleansing Fix under my eyes and to my forehead before going to sleep and by morning it has disappeared. This products tub is huge, so I am sure that it will last me a long while yet.

Grab the Remote:
I've posted numerous times about what I have been watching on the television at that certain moment in time. You can see these here, here, here and well, here!

Although I like to tune into scheduled programmes, TV box sets are a great solution for when you might only have 30 minutes to spare. My most preferred though when it is dark and dingy is a film - Something upbeat and that includes lot's of sunshine in its footage.

How do you bear up in the winter?
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