The King’s Theatre, Glasgow – until 27 April 2019
Reviewed by Linda McLaughlan
There wasn’t a seat left in the King’s Theatre that wasn’t occupied by very excitable women and men or slightly anxious looking husbands/partners.
The atmosphere was electric as everyone…. well, almost everyone awaited the start of the production. Everyone has seen the screen movie of Full Monty, and if you haven’t then why not? Set in the northern city of Sheffield it follows the lives of 6 men in particular who had previously worked in the steelworks which adorned the city skyline. That was until politics took over and many of the mighty forges where closed leaving thousands of hardworking men out of jobs.
The productions follows the lives of a small group of men, some who have been friends since childhood, others who have met at the job club and the rest who become friends when they come up with the madcap idea to become strippers for one night only, after listening to the local women go crazy over the visiting dance troupe ‘The Chippendales’ to which Gaz reckons he could do much better.
Gaz and Dave (played by Gary Lucy and Kai Owen) have been friends since childhood and worked together in the forge are introduced at the beginning of the production when breaking into the abandoned steelworks to steal a rather heavy iron girder. Alongside them is Gaz’s son Nathan (played by Fraser Kelly). Gaz is separated from Nathan’s mother who has now taken up with another man and Gaz is trying to do right by his son by is struggling financially to even make any payments for him. Hence the reason for the stealing and upcoming mad ideas to get cash.
Joe Gill (Lomper)who is very well known for his character in Emmerdale joins the cast when he goes to the steelworks to hang himself as he has no friends and generally hates his job. Thankfully Gaz and Dave stop him from doing this and they become unlikely friends and Lomper agrees to join them in learning to dance and strip.
The guys are joined by some very well known and talented actors in the likes of Louis Emerick (Horse), Andrew Dunn (Gerald) and James Redmond (Guy). Each of them having their own troubles to deal with and struggling to get by or find work and even deal with health issues.
There is not a moment in the production that the audience is not laughing or screaming for the guys to ‘Get their kit off’ and even sympathising with the characters on stage. I personally have not had such a laugh at a theatre performance in a long time. Not because it was about male strippers but because the performers kept the acting real and alive and each persons story allowed someone in the audience to resonate with what they were feeling.
‘a fantastic feel good show which will leave you smiling on the way out’