Mayflower Theatre Southampton – until 16 February 2019
Reviewed by Jo Gordon
Adapted from the 1997 film of the same name, the musical still stays true to its gritty northern roots following a group of unemployed Sheffield steel workers and the struggles they face from the impact of job loss in the 80’s. With everyone desperate for cash and seeing how popular a visit from the Chippendales was amongst the local ladies, they come up with a plan to put on their own strip event but up the game by promising to go the Full Monty causing many hilarious moments along the way
It covers all bases from sexuality, relationship breakups, mental health issues and body image but with a comedic edge to it that will raise a giggle at what would be a normally inappropriate time to let out a chuckle or two. The language can be fruity at times and the cigarettes they smoke do fill the theatre with quite an aroma but it all adds to its authenticity of that situation in that point in time.
From the second the lead characters Gaz (Gary Lucy) and his son (Fraser Kelly) step onto the stage there is a palpable excitement from the audience and if you look hard enough you may even find a few gents in amongst a mainly female viewing demographic!
After a few auditions Gaz finds his troupe and Gerald (Andrew Dunn), Horse (Louis Emerick), Lomper (Joe Gill), Dave (Kai Owen) and Guy (James Redmond) begin practising for the big night. There is a VERY funny scene that takes us into the interval but I won’t spoil it (bit of an awkward moment sat next to my 21 year old daughter but we eventually made eye contact again!)
And as the show comes to an end the audience get whipped up into a frenzy to encourage the lads to achieve their goal. And achieve it they do in a spectacular manner.
It has a great musical inventory throughout the show including the original films favourite hit from Hot Chocolate “You Sexy Thing” and with its incredibly clever industrial set makes for a very enjoyable show that means you can forgive the odd dodgy accent.
A great show to see with a gaggle of friends and despite what the song says – they do not leave their hat on!