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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