A cheeky view of the lads who set out to make sure you have a fun evening - which, after all . . . is the bottom line.

The Full Monty

Belgrade Theatre Coventry


It’s a ‘YES’ from me – and a half! This show has everything. It translates beautifully from the film, but I think even if you don’t know the film, it works really well on stage.

It’s maybe not for the maiden aunts, but the packed audience was interesting in that it was the biggest cross section I’ve ever seen. Possibly it was more female than male but every age group was represented.

And at the end, after our standing ovation which even extended to the disabled cupboard, there were equally interesting comments – chiefly ‘brilliant’ and ‘wonderful’, I loved ‘It makes up for Salad Days’, but everyone, bar none, was laughing and smiling.

Let’s give it a context . . . it’s a play about long-term unemployment, closed factories, hopelessness in Steel City, The Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire, Sheffield, suicide attempts, all against a backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain; manufacturing industry and jobs for life are over and for family men with responsibilities, children, houses, mortgages life is becoming more and more difficult.


Gary Lucy as Gaz out on a limb, or rather a girder, with best mate Dave, played by Kai Owen,(right) and son Nathan, played by Fraser Kelly

Is it mardy, moody and miserable? Not one bit. Crime is one way forward, but The Chippendales are the inspiration. Crane drivers become exotic dancers prepared to ‘go all the way’ to feed their families. Five Sheffield men in particular have some difficult choices to make.

The cast is wonderful. Gaz (Gary Lucy) is the ringleader, Dave (Kai Owen) his best friend, Horse (Louis Emerick), Lomper (Joe Gill), Guy (James Redmond) and Gerald (Andrew Dunn) plus Nathan (Fraser Kelly), Gaz’s son and straight-talking manager. What makes this so heart-warming are the rich and honest relationships that develop within the group.

The scenes I loved are the ones I loved from the film, dancing in the dole queue, Nathan’s pep talk when Gaz gets cold feet, Dave and his wife Jean (Liz Carney) as their relationship is rocky. Great 80’s music punctuates the action; Hot Chocolate, The La’s, Donna Summer.

The final scene, well, I hate to be a spoiler . . . but it doesn’t disappoint!  Directed by Rupert Hill, the lads will be going the full Monty to 02-03-19.

Jane Howard



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